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Well, I Guess They Do Mind

I thought that just posting one Far Side cartoon when talking about the The Complete Far Side 1980-1994 gift wouldn’t be a big deal, but as you can read below, they take it very seriously.

So, the “Midvale - School For The Gifted” Far Side cartoon I put up has now been removed.

Sorry folks.

Re: Notice of Infringement of The Far SideŽ Cartoon:
http://damon.durandfamily.org/myimages/FarSideMidvale.jpg and http://damon.durandfamily.org/archives/000353.html

Dear Mr. Durand:

Creators Syndicate, an international newspaper syndicate, syndicates Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoons to foreign newspapers. In addition we handle all reprint permissions requests for The Far Side following guidelines long established by Mr. Larson and his company FarWorks Inc. (copyright owner to all Far Side images). In short, we approve or disapprove requests to reproduce Mr. Larson’s cartoons, and carefully monitor the ways in which they appear.

We are writing on behalf of FarWorks, Inc. and Gary Larson about your posting of one Far Side cartoon on your website http://damon.durandfamily.org/myimages/FarSideMidvale.jpg and http://damon.durandfamily.org/archives/000353.html. While Mr. Larson is certainly flattered to know you are a fan of his work, we have to be concerned about any unauthorized use of The Far Side name and cartoons, especially when they appear online.

FarWorks has a serious problem with unauthorized uses of The Far Side worldwide. As a result, it does not allow online publication of works from The Far Side. No matter how insignificant a few uses may seem, it still amounts to making versions of the cartoons available in digital form for anyone to download, which makes it virtually impossible for Mr. Larson to control future uses, something that is very important to him.

Please read the letter from Mr. Larson below, and respect his wishes by removing the cartoons from your website. Many thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Marianne Sugawara
Permissions Department
Creators Syndicate
5777 W. Century Boulevard, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Ph: (310) 337-7003
Fax: (310) 337-7625
E-Mail: msugawara@creators.com

Enclosures: A note from Gary Larson

A note from Gary Larson
RE: Online Use of Far Side Cartoons


I’m walking a fine line here.

On the one hand, I confess to finding it quite flattering that some of my fans have created web sites displaying and / or distributing my work on the Internet. And, on the other, I’m struggling to find the words that convincingly but sensitively persuade these Far Side enthusiasts to “cease and desist” before they have to read these words from some lawyer.

What impact this unauthorized use has had (and is having) in tangible terms is, naturally, of great concern to my publishers and therefore to me — but it’s not the focus of this letter. My effort here is to try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me, personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized, and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control.

Years ago I was having lunch one day with the cartoonist Richard Guindon, and the subject came up how neither one of us ever solicited or accepted ideas from others. But, until Richard summed it up quite neatly, I never really understood my own aversions to doing this: “It’s like having someone else write in your diary,” he said. And how true that statement rang with me. In effect, we drew cartoons that we hoped would be entertaining or, at the very least, not boring; but regardless, they would always come from an intensely personal, and therefore original perspective.

To attempt to be “funny” is a very scary, risk-laden proposition. (Ask any stand-up comic who has ever “bombed “on stage.) But if there was ever an axiom to follow in this business, it would be this: be honest to yourself and — most important — respect your audience.

So, in a nutshell (probably an unfortunate choice of words for me), I only ask that this respect be returned, and the way for anyone to do that is to please, please refrain from putting The Far Side out on the Internet. These cartoons are my “children,” of sorts, and like a parent, I’m concerned about where they go at night without telling me. And, seeing them at someone’s web site is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, “Uh, Dad, you’re not going to like this much, but guess where I am.

I hope my explanation helps you to understand the importance this has for me, personally, and why I’m making this request.

Please send my “kids” home. I’ll be eternally grateful.

Most respectfully,
Gary Larson

Comments (1)


Wow. All this over one comic posted? That's harsh. LucasArts (you know, the gaming arm of the Star Wars empire) doesn't like proprietary stuff used by fans, but does exhibit restraint when it comes to "cease and desist" notices. I know of a few Star Wars gaming groups who use LucasArts stuff (characters, places, logos, etc) and LucasArts only forbids use of official Star Wars logos (sort of. Apparently, people can use the rebel insignia but not the Imperial logo. Go figure :D).


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