Ceased (also desisted)

The Cock Boat has departed, and you missed it.

This was once a mirror of a bunch of patently (and intentionally) offensive parodies of Dilbert. As happens with such things, I received a letter from the syndicate's lawyers suggesting that I should take it down, so it's down.

Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

I'm bound to be asked why I acquiesced, so here's the explanation.

When I first got the letter, I thought I'd put up a bit of a fight, drag things on, call their bluff, and so on. So I started poking around the 'net for related info, and I found the original copy of the parodies, in Tristan Farnon's Leisuretown comic. I also found an interview with Farnon in which he talks about his escapade. He puts it thus:

Even Scott Adams sent me a one-line note: "Do you want to go to jail?" No, I don't want to go to jail. I'm not going to be a martyr for Dilbert, I complied and took them down. I understand the Fair Use copyright act and I know there are Dilbert parodies everywhere, but I wasn't interested in making noise or getting junk mail from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. A group of Leisuretown.com readers who worked at a law firm offered me pro-bono assistance with my case, but I wasn't convinced they were actually lawyers. More like system administrators. I ended up redoing the offending artwork with stick figures, and United Media sent me another note acknowledging I had obeyed their request. Then they claimed my website would be "monitored" periodically. Which is good. I need more readers.

What I don't know is why Scott Adams would feel compelled to contact me personally. I'm allowed to disrespect Dilbert if I want to, I've suffered through years of insipid Dilbert-related merchandise staring at me from other people's cubicles. I've worked on software products code-named "Dogbert." It just got annoying. After awhile each strip ballooned up with industry keywords, and they grew indistinguishable from any other rectangle of syndicated bumper-sticker humor. Let's all honk if we love Dilbert.

There's not much there I disagree with. I don't see much value in fighting a fight he didn't want in the first place. If you really need to see the strips without the line-drawing characters, I'm sure you'll find them on the 'net somewhere.

Related Links

Cease and Desist, advice for lawyers from New Architect

Form letter from the lawyers (as sent to someone who is not me)

Original Leisuretown strips

Tristan Farnon interview mentioned above

Jerkcity has Tristan "Spigot" Farnon and COCKS