ComicMix, together with creators David Gerrold and Ty Templeton, created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing and distribution of a work, Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!. The work was a clear nod to Theodor Geisel‘s [better know as Dr. Seuss] Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, a mash-up of the Seuss book with various aspects of Star Trek.
Defendants stated that “[t]his is a work of parody, and is not associated with or endorsed by CBS Studios or Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.[,]” and included the following text on its copyright page: “Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education, research, and parody.”
Unfortunately for them, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the holder of the late Geisel’s rights, disagreed and brought a lawsuit in federal court alleging copyright infringement. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that their work was a “parody, created with love and affection, fully [falling] within the boundary of fair use….”
The United States District Court (S. D. Cal.) found for plaintiff Dr. Seuss Enterprises and dismissed defendants’ motion to dismiss the claim of copyright infringement. However, in December 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court and held that defendants’ work was not fair use and infringed on the Dr. Seuss book.
Seuss’s book ends:
I’m sorry to say so
But, sadly it’s true
That Bang-ups And Hang-ups
Can happen to you.
Here‘s another mash-up, this time of Seuss and award-winning fantasy/science fiction writer Anne McCaffrey.