Disney should wind it's kneck in
Disney didn't create Snow White or the Seven Dwarfs.
Disney has reportedly, and unsurprisingly, taken exception to an Oz booze campaign which features "Ho White" puffing on what we assume is a post-coital ciggy in a bed full of dwarves. The offending pic, created by ad agency The Foundry to promote Jamieson's Raspberry Ale, carries the caption "Anything but sweet": The Jamieson …
Is Disney suing for likeness with the characters they produced the Snow White cartoon so many years ago? Or have they somehow been able to copyright a classic Fairy Tale that pre-dates the company by a couple of hundred years?
There is definitely a rant in here waiting to bust out.
Whether it's right or wrong to use a well-known children's character in this way, it does raise an obvious legal question. Since Disney did not originally create Snow White, merely the best-known version of the story, how similar does this version have to be to Disney's specific interpretation before the latter has a legal basis for their complaint?
Looking at the picture, I'd guess it probably is Disneyish enough for their lawyers to sue, but I'd be interested to hear anyway.
(Disclaimer- I Am Not A Lawyer, nor even particularly knowledgeable about the law- like 99.9% of people discussing legal issues on Internet forums...)
This is, of course, aside from the issue of whether Disney should still enjoy the benefit of copyright over a film (and likenesses) created over 70 years ago, especially given that Snow White- like many of Disney's works- was originally based on older works that had fallen into the public domain. A fate that Disney hypocritically seeks to have its derivative works avoid by lobbying for the extension of copyright.
Anyone see any statement from Disney? Anyone see anything that actually shows they've made any complaint over this? Nope, neither do I.
What I DO see is an advert that's being carried front and centre in a large number of news sites, and is getting talked about. Reckon the "little bit of contact" with Disney could just be "Hey, we're doing an ad using Snow White. Yeah, we know she's a public domain character, just letting you know. Cheers mate." Job done, they can legitimately say they've had contact with Disney over it, come over as a bit cheeky and pushing the boundaries, and get their product into the press more than any advert ever could.
I accept the correction but the point stands.
I personally would have said that the characters looked sufficiently different from Disney' s representation as to be outside the copyright. Otherwise any drawing of one young woman and seven short blokes amounts to violation of the copyright - which is a bit much.
Not that I approve of the use of children's fairy tale characters to promote beer anyway.
IIRC the specific characters and names of the Dwarves, Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashfull, etc were a Disney invention. Get rid of those from the image and they should be fine. To be replaced with more generic dwarves, with red beards, axes and chainmail, of course, or do they just come from Tolkein?? Could be fun - oh what a big axe you have etc, etc.
"I personally would have said that the characters looked sufficiently different from Disney' s representation..."
You need glasses. I'd say that was the most blatant passing off going. Beards, hats, Snow White depiction (minus the dress), even the bloody furniture and background is close enough to the Disney version to get 'em nailed to the cross in court.
Quite deliberate and appears to have achieved exactly what it set out to do, generate free global press coverage for something nobody'd bloody heard of yesterday.
That Disney are griping that the characters are an obvious parody of *their* interpretation of Snow White & the Seven Vertically Challenged Individuals.
Dreamworks parodied a number of fairytale characters in the Shrek movies, but none of them looked much like their Disney versions. I assume this was to avoid being sued by Disney.
Then again, Dreamworks didn't intimate that Snow White was a dirty little slapper, either.....
I made a quite delicious chocolate raspberry stout that was anything but sweet. Lambics are generally sour, and have fruit syrups added to make them palatable. By themselves, raspberries are quite tart, so a slutty Snow White (a Tart, right?) seems like the perfect advertising vehicle.
It's totally different. The original Winnie-the-Pooh books had illustrations, which are very well known, and the original Winnie-the-Pooh books are still in copyright in the USA and in the EU.
(Partly thanks Disney-sponsored legislation and US pressure on other countries as far as the text is concerned, as the author died in 1956, but the illustrator didn't die until 1976 according to Wikipedia, so I would guess those images are in copyright till 2026 almost everywhere. I note that
http://winnie-the-pooh.ru/ has the text but not the pictures.)
Raspberries are not very sweet, which is why in Germany, home of the brothers Grimm, you get Himmbeergeist but not Himmbeer-Schnapps. Most fruit can be fermented and distilled to make a Schnapps, but Raspberries are soaked in pure alcohol and then distilled to extract their essence - the Geist, or spirt. Raspberries don't have enough sugar to make it worth fermenting them.
Doesn't necessarily matter - if 'a reasonable person' associated snow white and her prime numbered vertically challenged friends with Disney then the ad could be a libel of Disney.
At least in the libel friendly UK - there was a famous case over 200years ago where a cartoon of a pear by Hogarth was banned as a libel of the prince of wales because 'everybody' knew the cartoon was about his gluttony.
You're all a buch of quasi lawyers/fairy tale historians and members of CAMRA now are you?
Anyone see the real dangers of this advert, and it's not the selling of beer using sexual images, or using characters associated with infancy in a sexual innuendo kind of way.
Enough of the beer drinking legalese, where are the anti smoking (for you earthy young men out there, I'm not talkng about your wives, girlfriends, or in the case of most of the commentards, their underage boyfriends) brigade.
The anti tobacco brigade should be having a field day here too, all taboo's in one advert, it isn't Disney they should have been having a little chat with, perhaps Plod might like a word, maybe.
The original Snow White story and characters are in the public domain in the US. Not sure about NZ, but even if the story copyright still holds, its unlikely Disney is the copyright holder.
The Disney depictions of the characters are still copyrighted, but that picture is obviously distinct from the Disney version, despite the similarities resulting from use of the original source material. So this seems like it would be worth fighting. Even a small liquor company for which the legal costs might be burdensome could milk extra publicity out of it to help defray the costs(as they seem to be doing).
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