By Philip   |  09-22-2017   News
Photo credit: Cdn Images

Matt Furie is back on the warpath regarding Pepe the frog. The attack could represent a two pronged attack against freedom of speech. In specific, the adaptation, adoption and alteration of Pepe would be strictly VERBOTEN. Now how ingrained is this sort of "meme morphing" to internet culture? One needs look no further than Rule 34 of the internet itself ("If it exists, there IS porn of it"). It also seems like just more of the same as far as suppression of unpopular speech by unscrupulous means goes. From Google, Facebook and Twitter employees working overtime to repress right wing voices as reported in <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/media/303295-how-facebook-twitter-are-systematically-silencing-conservative">The Hill</a> and stories to applying blanket labels of "fake news" to anything that doesn't agree with you. It evidently wasn't enough that <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/7299-Texas-Educator-Faces-the-Furie-of-Boston-Lawyers-Over-Pepe-the-Frog-Kid-s-Book">a Texas educator lost his job for releasing a parody version of Pepe</a> in a mock "children's book."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Furie will not divide us. <a href="https://t.co/ok34GdL9Im">pic.twitter.com/ok34GdL9Im</a></p>&mdash; Meme Alert News (@MemeAlertNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MemeAlertNews/status/910115390042382337">September 19, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Hauser, the author denied the claims that his book, or he, were in any way associated with the "Alt-Right," a term more and more becoming a nebulous slur word rather than a philosophical or ideological categorization. So Furie has tried to kill off Pepe, initiated a cease-and-desist order against a parody work and is now set to sue every last memer who <strong>DARES</strong> to post a choice cut from his or her dank Pepe meme stash. None save the experts can yet possibly foretell <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/MemeEconomy/comments/70ziha/holy_shit_pepe_price_skyrocketed_its_worth/">what this will mean for the rare Pepe market.</a>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sponsored Meme: &quot;DIY Rare Pepe Illuminati Pyramid. For ages 5+. Meme Magick sold separately&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/mememagic?src=hash">#mememagic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/pepe?src=hash">#pepe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/pepethefrog?src=hash">#pepethefrog</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/memetics?src=hash">#memetics</a> <a href="https://t.co/87NUkvNXz2">pic.twitter.com/87NUkvNXz2</a></p>&mdash; The Cult of Kek (@thecultofkek) <a href="https://twitter.com/thecultofkek/status/910952273764691968">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Reddit's /r/The_Donald community, Mike Cernovich, Alt-Right.com's Richard Spencer, Baked Alaska and others have already been served papers. <a href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a3kvmk/the-great-meme-war-ii-amid-lawsuit-threats-the-alt-right-says-pepe-belongs-to-them">According to <i>Motherboard</i>, this isn't over yet</a> as several facing a DMCA are prepared to fight back.

Cernovich's lawyers are complying currently but reserve the right to meme at a later date and taunt Furie's counsel:

<quote>Further, he won't see a dime from Mr. Cernovich. Should you file a suit against Mr. Cernovich, we will be delighted to embarrass the fuck out of you—and set up a malpractice claim by your client against you</quote>

Furie's pro bono legal team are ready to litigate with extreme prejudice saying it's not about the money, they say, it's more so to "send a message." The chilling effect this precedent could set for internet culture in general and the right wing in specific is too great to be discounted. Wendy's and Geico also made the mistake of associating themselves with the Pepe meme. The current climate has seen both right and left wings all too willing to shut down free speech, so long as their own speech and expression remain intact.

<i>Vox</i> makes a good point about how what Furie is doing amounts to nothing more than <a href="https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/9/21/16333162/pepe-the-frog-alt-right-dmca-takedown-fair-use-matt-furie">"good old-fashioned censorship."</a> The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the intellectual property equivalent of dropping an atom bomb. His behavior amounts to a "supprevssive view of remix culture" that would have a regressive effect on fair use law and precedent to date.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here are the letters that Pepe the Frog&#39;s lawyers sent to the alt right: <a href="https://t.co/5Xo1k2WPy9">https://t.co/5Xo1k2WPy9</a> <a href="https://t.co/P4Sx6k8hln">pic.twitter.com/P4Sx6k8hln</a></p>&mdash; Motherboard (@motherboard) <a href="https://twitter.com/motherboard/status/909894330621530112">September 18, 2017</a></blockquote>

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When e-celeb PewDiePie dropped the n-word during a gaming livestream he was met with creator Sean Vanaman's instant censure. The game creator instantly issued a DMCA takedown of all work from his game studio that PewDiePie had used and urged other game creators and studios to do likewise. Evidently he came to his senses shortly after and expressed "regret" at going nuclear with the DMCA takedown.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Someone really needs to explain to Matt Furie how memes work. Nice way to put fuel on the fire dumdum. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PepeTheFrog?src=hash">#PepeTheFrog</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pepegate?src=hash">#Pepegate</a> <a href="https://t.co/cKbgVNqziY">pic.twitter.com/cKbgVNqziY</a></p>&mdash; Dead Center (@AnitaSarcastic) <a href="https://twitter.com/AnitaSarcastic/status/910801736826105857">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Furie may have opened a proverbial Pandora's box here taking on, not only the Alt-Right and your average channer, but also the entirety of Kekistan and the, closely related, Cult of Kek. Taking on ancient Egyptian gods or the internet's special autistic service/tactical shitposting squad are sure to be a precarious affair to undertake. Taking both on at the same time is tantamount to Hitler or Napoleon's two-front war failure

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pepe the Frog maker Matt Furie sent DMCAs to Reddit, Mike Cernovich, etc. Spoiler: He allowed the trademark to lapse <a href="https://t.co/RqDV1l52uC">https://t.co/RqDV1l52uC</a> <a href="https://t.co/O7oD7KoHMQ">pic.twitter.com/O7oD7KoHMQ</a></p>&mdash; Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) <a href="https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/909923955418550272">September 18, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Furie is facing some potential blowback already from those who support remix culture as well as the memers who love Pepe, but there's more. He has already been accused of basically copying the character of Pepe from former Disney cartoonist Don R. Christensen and many other cases of cartoon frogs who look very similar to Pepe have been pointed out by eagle-eyed internet users.

Christensen's frog character (who coincidentally has a shock of golden blonde, Trump-esque hair which may be relevant if you put any credence in the idea of meme magick) is in the public domain however, but to be quite honest, many cartoon frogs since the 40's bear a strong resemblance to Pepe. Then there's cases like the Argentinan kids' song "The frog Pepe" by Las Pepas that emerged before Pepe had been co-opted by politics and meme magick. Or for that matter, there's the fact that the meme of Pepe looks as much like the frog on the Italo-Disco single "Shadilay" (referred to as P.E.P.E., point emerging probably entering).

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Furie's unbalanced approach is far from that of other copyright and trademark holders. Even Disney was able to take a joke (or at least held their tongue) when South Park parodized and satirized Mickey Mouse and the Disney company in Season 13, Episode 1, "The Ring." There is no doubt that Stone and Parker's represenatation of Mickey Mouse is both a parody and satire but it also seems to sit squarely in the realm of "fair use." I'm not a lawyer, but from my reading of relevant Supreme Court rulings related to fair use as it applies to satire and parody the use of memers and even parodist/authors like Hauser, this seems like it's anything but an open and shut case for Matt.

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3 Comment/s


Anonymous No. 8461 1506053059

Hail Trump Praise Kek Based And Fashy

Anonymous No. 8462 1506053311

Shadilay is El-Shaddai in pig latin. El-Shaddai is a Hebrew version of Shaddulu which roughly translates to "the abominator and desolator." Shaddulu (Khuudhulhu) sounds suspiciously similar to Cthulhu.

Shadilay, ia Pepe!

PEE PEE No. 8463 1506054090

WHERE DA PEE PEE MAY-MAYS AT?

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