The succession of the creator of comics “ Tintin ” loses for reasons of fair use against the artist putting Tintin alongside women


of comic-con-job department

To clear your throat, there are a few things you need to know about Hergé, the nom de guerre of the artist behind the famous Tintin old comics. First, Hergé’s estate has already found its way onto Techdirt’s pages and has a reputation for being extremely restrictive and contentious on any use or reference to Tintin. Along with that, you should know that Hergé did everything he could to keep women completely away from his comics. His reasoning on this can best be summed up as a combination of having too much “respect” for women to include them in his comic strip … and also that women, according to his estate, were “rarely comedic elements. “. Women, in other words, are bad for humor.

It is therefore perfectly logical that a modern artist decided to create a new material with Tintin in romantic or risky settings with women and both parody and commentary on the original works. And, likewise, it is perfectly logical that the Hergé estate has taken legal action.

In the Hergé-Hopper mashups by Breton artist Xavier Marabout, Tintin is variously painted in Hopper’s Road and Houses, scratching his head as he greets a woman in a car; looking disgruntled in a version of Hopper’s Cape Cod Evening, 1939; and kissing a girl in a car, in a ride on Hopper’s Queensborough Bridge, 1913. On his website, Marabout describes his work as “strip art”, in which he “strips distant artistic universes to merge them” in a style where “parody [is] omnipresent”.

But the Moulinsart company, which manages the Tintin activity, does not agree, accusing Marabout of reproducing the world of Tintin without his consent.

“Taking advantage of a character’s reputation to immerse him in an erotic universe has nothing to do with humor,” said a lawyer for the company in court in Rennes this week, where Moulinsart brought an action in counterfeiting, as reported by Ouest-France. .

Fortunately for the world, lawyers are generally not seen as the arbiter of humor. And there is a good reason for this. Most fair use equivalents around the world have specific exemptions for parody and commentary for this very reason. New artists looking to provide social commentary, through humor or otherwise, need the space to produce that commentary. The upturned nose of an estate attorney isn’t meant to be a hindrance.

With that in mind, Marabout’s rebuttal to costume is pretty much what you’d expect.

In response, Marabout’s lawyer claimed the paintings were parody, reported Ouest-France, and cited a “conflict between copyright and freedom of expression and creation,” asking: “An artist does he have the right to wonder about Tintin’s sex life? ” and “what about artistic freedom?” The Rennes court will rule in May.

Marabout told the Guardian his work echoed historian Christian Jacob’s belief that “there is no cultural transmission without reappropriation.”

Imagine a world in which an artist could not create an artistic commentary on a socially important icon simply because of copyright. Specifically, imagine an artist attempting to restrict another’s artistic commentary for these same reasons. This is absurd and denies the way the art and commentary is done, not to mention the importance of this commentary to society.

Fortunately he seems that the French courts agree.

On Monday, Moulinsart’s complaint was rejected by the Rennes court. “The court recognized the exception of parody and the humorous intention expressed by my client,” declared Marabout’s lawyer, Bertrand Ermeneux.

The Rennes court also said Moulinsart ‘denigrated’ Marabout by contacting galleries showing his work to say he was in breach, Huffington Post France reported, adding € 10,000 (£ 8,500) in damages for Marabout and € 20,000 in legal costs for his decision. .

Considering how the legal system has let the Hergé estate override others in the past, this is as good a result as one could hope for. Not only to see the costume launched, but to see Moulinsart financially punished for his intimidating ways is a breath of fresh air.

Yet, we end up with the never-ending question: why can’t other artists and content producers understand that the same protections that protect their work also apply to other artists?

Thanks for reading this Techdirt article. With so much going for our attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to bring quality content to our community.

Techdirt is one of the few truly independent media that remains. We don’t have a giant company behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, at a time when advertisers are less and less interested in sponsoring small independent sites – especially a site like ours that is unwilling to fire punches in his reports. and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to increasingly annoying / intrusive payment walls, registration requirements, and ads, we’ve always kept Techdirt open and accessible to everyone. But to continue to do so, we need your support. We offer our readers a variety of ways to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool products – and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt team

Filed Under: comment, copyright, culture, france, herge, tintin

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.