I’m guessing Dwyer had the complete set of Wacky Packages stickers



If you're the type of person who would enjoy reading an unpublished master's thesis on parody and copyright, "Messing with the Mouse" by Terence Chua is definitely the one you'd want to read. The main focus is on the conflict between the Disney corporation and a collective of underground comix artists called the Air Pirates (and it's a hell of a story), but it also covers most of the other notable cases that established and severely limited the copyright exemption of art that mocks art.

The resolution of the Starbucks "Consumer Whore" case is particularly relevant. [Emphasis added.]

In 1998, comic book artist Kieron Dwyer created a parody of the Starbuck's Coffee mermaid logo, portraying the mermaid as bare-breasted, holding a cellular phone and a cup of coffee, with "prominent nipples and a navel ring." In place of the "Starbucks Coffee" legend with stars, it had "Consumer Whore" and dollar signs. The "Consumer Whore" parody was only one of a number of parodies that Dwyer had done, including Pokemon, ("Tokemon"), Evian water ("Elian", after the Cuban cause célèbre) and a Microsoft hand icon with the middle finger raised. Dwyer sold T-shirts and stickers with the parody logo through his web site, justifying it by saying that it captured the "crass, rampant commercialism in this country."

Starbuck filed suit in April 1999, getting a temporary restraining order and moving for a preliminary injunction and demanding all T-shirt profits plus damages. Dwyer commented that it was like "carpet-bombing an anthill." (Read more...)