The dotted line in this graph illustrates the challenge faced by defendants, including Star Trek writer and Axanar advocate David Gerrold, in the copyright and trademark infringement suit brought by Dr. Seuss Enterprises.Data/GoFundMe

GoFundMe Seeks $25K for Seuss-Trek Mashup Defense

Two Months Into Fundraising Effort, ComicMix and David Gerrold Face a Steep Hill to Meet Goal

Defendants in the Dr. Seuss-Star Trek mashup copyright/trademark infringement case, including Trek author and Axanar advocate David Gerrold, are trying to raise $25,000 to fund their legal defense .

Seuss v. ComicMix

In Seuss-like verse, the GoFundMe page, launched June 13, 2018, laid out the defendants’ fair use defense, claiming their case is the bellwether for the legality of creative works that “mash up” the creative works of others.

COVER IMAGE of the book at the center of the copyright/trademark infringement case brought by the estate of Dr. Seuss.

The case has dragged on since November 2016, brought by Dr. Seuss Enterprises after ComicMix and Gerrold raised tens of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter to create the Trek-Seuss mashup, a book called, “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!”

See also: Dr. Seuss Estate Sues Star Trek Writer Over Comic Book1)

The Case So Far

Since the lawsuit was filed, a federal judge noted in June 2017 that the case raised important questions about how legal such mashups might be under copyright and trademark law.

In December 2017, the defendants lost their attempt to have the case dismissed.

Then in May 2018, ComicMix scored a legal victory in having the trademark aspects related to the book’s title (similar to Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”) turned aside, but Seuss’ copyright claims survived.

DEFENDANT Axanar advocate, author David Gerrold Image/Facebook

The Plea

ComicMix’s GoFundMe page lays out their case in Seussian verse:

Now, it’s taken long months, and it’s cost lots of swag
But we’ve gotten rulings about which we can brag
We got judgement on the pleadings, a partial decision
Leaving only what’s left after the court’s excision.
Unfortunately, now the case REALLY gets pricey,
And if we can’t pay, then the outcome gets dicey.
We’re fighting a company with millions of bucks
And we’ve spent most of ours, which truly just… stinks.2)
SPLASH image illustrating the GoFundMe page aiming to raise money for ComicMix and David Gerrold’s legal defense.

Progress Toward $25K Goal

UPDATE Two months into the GoFundMe effort, progress toward the defendants’ $25,000 goal had slowed considerably. In the nine days since its June 13 launch the campaign collected $1,540 from 40 people, only 6 percent of its goal. By mid-August, the number of contributors had increased to 67, with a total of $2,739, about 11 percent of the target.

As a crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe can be a challenge, with one study finding 90 percent of its campaigns failing to meet their goals.

GoFundMe had initially listed the effort as trending in late June but its sluggish growth since ended that.

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This links to an copy, retrieved 7/13/18, of this November 13, 2016, article, originally published on the Geek Nation website. That website has since gone offline.
GoFundMe page by Glenn Hauman, ComicMix editor, retrieved 6/22/18. uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. You can learn more about how we use cookies by reading our Privacy Policy, though cookies are not required to browse AxaMonitor. More information about cookies