Comic strip likeness subject of new copyright suit

Glenn W. Peterson

Intellectual property can include a wide range of things such as a new technological invention, the creation of a new music video, a novel and more. It may also include the likeness of a comic strip character. One such character that was originally developed and drawn near the early years of the century is a little frog that appeared in publications for young boys. By 2016, that frog was identified as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.

It is that transformation and journey that ultimately led the frog’s creator and artist to file a new copyright infringement lawsuit. This new action is actually the second lawsuit regarding the very same frog. While the frog was a character is an ongoing comic series, it eventually was used as a meme online and in posters and on various websites associated with racist, ultra conservative and even anti-semitic groups. It was even used during political campaigns including the most recent presidential campaign of the now President.

Reports indicate that on at least one occasion in 2008 a copyright regarding the frog was published and that some uses of the frog were licensed by the character’s creator. It is not known exactly how actively any non-licensed uses were addressed at the times they happened. No details of the alleged financial damage are known.

When a copyright has been violated, the holder of that copyright might learn about how they may seek compensation by talking with an attorney.

Source: IP Watchdog, “Pepe the Frog Creator Files Copyright Suit Against Infowars over Use of Pepe Likeness on Donald Trump Poster,” Steve Brachmann, March 31, 2018