This is my reply to Ronnie Rockney's August 13th Espistle:
>From: Psycho Dave
>To: Ronald Rockney
>Date: Thursday, August 13, 1998 7:08 PM
>Subject: Re: Copyright violation
>>To "Psycho Dave," webmaster of the Jack Chick Parody Website.
>>Your website, "The Jack T. Chick Parody Archive," is illegally using over
>>300 images containing the copyrighted artwork of Jack T. Chick in order to
>>present your messages.
>No shit, Sherlock!
>>On behalf of Mr. Chick, we are asking you to remove
>>his copyrighted artwork from your website today, and refrain from using his
>>material in the future.
>>You certainly have the right to free speech, for
>>whatever your own personal message may be, but we must ask you not to use
>>copyrighted material in your efforts. Our licensing agreement with Mr.
>>Chick requires us to defend his copyright, and we will do so. It is
>>imperative that you remove this copyrighted artwork from your website
>>immediately in order to avoid litigation. Thank you for your cooperation
>(1) The artwork is available free of charge to anyone with a web browser.
>www.chick.com makes all of the images available.
>(2) Much of the parodies on my page are not stored on my site. In fact, a
>good 60% of them are on other people's websites, and I merely link them.
>(3) Much of the material is edited quite a bit by the individual parody
>(4) We put disclaimers all over the site attributing Chick's artwork to it's
>proper creator. I quote:
> "All artwork is copyrighted by Chick Publications, Inc.
> We had nothing to do with any of the cartoons.
> We do not want you to avoid their website.
> We actually encourage you to buy their comics,
> because we find them hilarious in their original form!"
>"All artwork in these parodies is copyrighted by Chick Publications, Inc.,
>where otherwise stated. Individuals may have altered them a little here and
>there, but I just thought we should mention that we did not have anything to
>do with the drawing of any of the cartoons here, and we do not want anyone
>to be confused about who drew these cartoons. We are not making profits of
>any kind from selling any of these images, and we make complimentary and
>clearly-stated links to all of the originals, so that nobody would be stupid
>enough to confuse the dialog in our parodies with the original dialog that
>Jack T. Chick wrote. We are not even trying to suggest that our parodies are
>a substitute for the originals. We encourage all to visit the website of
>Chick Publications, Inc., send for their catalog, and buy their products, as
>we have found them to be hilariously entertaining in their original,
>paranoid, extremist form. The comics here are parodies or satires, and
>nothing more, and are PROTECTED FREE SPEECH, as such."
>(5) We do not use Mr. Chicks work in any commercial ways whatsoever. We do
>not sell his images, nor do we intend to profit from them by copying them
>and putting them on any products.
>(6) Chick's comics are given away worldwide FOR FREE to prospective converts
>by street evangelists. Most of the people who have them, obtained them for
>free in the manner that Mr. Chick prescribes in his training guide/tract,
>"Who, Me?". "Could you (stash, place, drop, plant) 3 booklets in a
>conspicuous place in one day?...Could you leave a booklet on a table after
>dining out?..." Though Mr. Chick certainly gets money from the purchase of
>his booklets by Christians, they are mostly given away for free by those
>people. Furthermore, since www.chick.com gets no profits whatsoever from the
>online display of the tracts on the website. Anyone with a web-browser can
>read most of Chick's tracts without ever paying any money for it.
>(7) Chick publications in no way can claim any damage from the use of the
>artwork for parody purposes. We openly state that we did not create the art,
>and openly advocate visiting the official Chick Publications site to see the
>originals. We even advocate (see above quote from my site) patronizing Chick
>Publications, by asking visitors to but it's products! Clearly, we are not
>harming Chick publications in any way, or depriving them of income.
>(8) The use of copyrighted images is completely legal for purposes of parody
>and satire, as long as there is no commercial use of them, and as long as no
>slander or libel accompanies them. You don't think that I checked the
>copyright laws with respect to the internet, parody, and satire before I had
>my fun? I know that you are mainly trying to scare me into compliance. It's
>your job. It is completely legal to use images from the web for purposes of
>satire and parody, as long as they are not used for commercial purposes.
>This is very clear from the Electronic Freedom Foundation, whom I will
>solicit for defense if you really want to spoil the fun of a few kids. You
>may see what they have to say at: WWW.EFF.ORG
>(9) We would love to comply with your demands, but unfortunately, we are
>having too much fun exercising our right to parody at the current time.
>Waging a legal battle against us sounds frightening, but we realize that you
>will probably spend a lot of money trying to fight it -- far more money than
>you could possibly collect from a collection of college and high school
>students who do not even use their real names on their parodies. If you wage
>a lawsuit against us, you will waste a lot of money.
>(10) The web is a VIRTUAL environment. You are communicating with virtual
>people -- the online egos and personae of about 10 people. Chick's online
>artwork is VIRTUAL -- it doesn't really exist, as it is made up of
>electronic pulses which are only a crude likeness of the originals. My site
>is far from the only site using the artwork of Chick Publications. The Links
>section on the Jack Chick Parody Archives lists only a small sample of other
>sites that use Chick's work.
>(11) Nowhere on www.chick.com is there any notice stating that the art on
>the site is protected and cannot be used by anyone for purposes of parody
>and satire. If there were such a message, we might consider a compromise.
>There are several online artists who have tried to sue people for "stealing"
>images from their websites, and in each case, the courts ruled that images
>on the web cannot be protected, unless they are used to defame the artist,
>misrepresent the artist, or for commercial gain which is unauthorized by the
>artist. I guarantee you that any money spent on a lawsuit will be a complete
>waste of Chick Publications resources. Also be aware that all letters sent
>to me will be placed on my website for the world to see. You see, being a
>comedian, I consider your communications to me to be nothing more than
>material for me to use for my jokes.
>(12) So please, if you could, please let me know how Chick Publications
>suffers financially or how it's reputation is in any way harmed by the
>existence of our parodies. I'd really like to hear. If we really are hurting
>you, we are sorry, and we will comply. But please, tell us how you are
>hurting so we can see the whole picture.
>I'm terribly sorry if Chick Publications is pissed off that I have the nerve
>to poke fun of ideas and beliefs that they hold holy and sacred. But this is
>America, we have freedom of speech, freedom of jokes, freedom of parody, and
>you have to learn to have a sense of humor about yourself. If Chick
>Publications can't laugh at itself, then it has a serious problem.
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I got a great idea out of this experience. After pressing the "Send" button on my email program, I thought it would be fun to play a game with them. So I called up all the parody artists, some hacker friends of mine, and moved all of the graphics for this site to other locations. I then composed a letter which I send the next day to Mr. Rockney.