Thursday, November 29, 2007

Really “Coexist?”

Boots & Kittens is a parody of Owen Robinson’s blog Boots & Sabers by a lefty.

Technically, it’s a copyright violation, since so much of Owen’s code was copied.

But in reality Robinson should be flattered that he’s important enough to parody.

Of course it’s unfair and shows a leftist bias. That’s the point.

But it does have one good image: a parody of the parody of the “Coexist” image that has been so controversial in recent days.

That’s probably a tougher form of coexistence than Christians getting along with Jews getting along with Muslims getting along with atheists.

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Blogger John Foust said...

Thank you for the review! It's always appreciated. Making B&K has been great fun. Indeed, the idiocies of B&S as reprinted in the Milwaukee newspaper was one of the factors that drew me into paying any attention to Wisconsin political blogging in the first place, although that's more a criticism of the MJS than of B&S. It's not so much that B&S is "important" enough to write about, it's that I'm shocked that other folks are inclined to point to it and reprint it.

It's so easy to write. Take selected posts on B&S, then create a parody by taking it one step beyond. It writes itself in a Colbert-ian fashion. Read between the lines, take his unvoiced assumptions and run with them. Meow! When recast in this light, the parody is sometimes hard to distinguish from the reality, especially when it comes to parodying the comments.

I respect copyright and parody "fair use". I have considered the four points of Section 107 of the Copyright Act. I don't think I'm infringing. I have set a few mental barriers where I'd be inclined to change more in order to do more. It's not commercial now, for example. You can't actually buy the "Roger-Up Pro-Military Apparel" underwear. If you look closely, you can see he is indeed wearing underwear.

What you call "Owen's code" is actually a combination of many parts made by others. One large part is CSS called "Logical Blocks" by Simon Collison. Other portions are clearly marked by a Creative Commons license, which as you can see can be copied and remixed. And who said it was Owen's coding? I thought silent Jed was the brains behind the operation.

I was booted from B&S. Owen's claim of my sock-puppetry is utterly false. I ask him to show evidence to support it or rescind that accusation. He would ask the same of me or anyone else who impugned his character this way. He's got the logs. Let's see his proof or even his suspicions.

As for whether I'm a righty, lefty, or considerably more two- or three-dimensional, anyone can read what I write elsewhere to find clues if they want to base their opinions on analysis more sophisticated than "He's making fun of a righty, therefore he must be a lefty."

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a follower of either Boots and Sabers or Boots and Kittens, but I just wanted to second what John Foust said above: as long as B&S is a valid parody (which it seems is the consensus here), then it falls under the "fair use" portion of copyright law and is not an infringement on intellectual property.

1:24 AM  
Blogger John Foust said...

Just to clarify: "Boots and Sabers" (B&S) is the "real" blog, and "Boots and Kittens" is the parody. Yes, it might be hard to tell them apart at times, but I wouldn't want anyone to get confused.

4:37 PM  

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