Seuss-Star Trek Copyright Battleship Makes Landing at Ninth Circuit
(Courthouse News) — Just weeks before graduates receive copies of the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” as graduation gifts, an attorney for the publisher told a Ninth Circuit panel Monday a Star Trek mash-up of the children’s classic violates copyright law and was created to compete in the graduation gift market.
DLA Piper attorney Stanley Panikowski, representing Dr. Seuss Enterprises in a 2016 copyright dispute over the crowd-sourced Star Trek mash-up “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go,”
said the purpose of the reimagined children’s book was “to serve as a market substitute.”
“It’s a purely commercial work that would compete head-to-head with ‘Go,’ especially in the graduation gift market,” Panikowski said via videoconference Monday.
“‘Boldly’ has the same purpose, the same target audience, the same intended sales channels, and even the same substantive message as ‘Go.’ ‘Boldly is just a Star Trek-flavored clone of ‘Go,’” he added.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises challenges summary judgment by U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino last year in favor of “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go” publisher ComicMix. Sammartino found the Star Trek mash-up fulfilled the fair use provision of the Copyright Act. Panikowski asked the Ninth Circuit to find no fair use by the ComicMix mash-up.
An excerpt from the ComicMix book “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go,” a Star Trek mash-up of the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”