Rosamond the Strange (updated)

Okay, I pretty much registered just to post this because I was so floored by it.

So last night I was at my aunt’s for Thanksgiving. She has two little boys, and their library books were laying around. I’m an art student studying illustration, so I’m always interested in kids’ books. I noticed one of them was an old favorite of mine, Nate the Great and the Lost List, which I had all but forgotten about:

I had loved the Nate the Great books as a kid so it was great to be reunited with it. However, I couldn’t shake the weird feeling I had about Rosamond, the girl in the window. She has long black hair, a short black dress, white mary janes, and four black cats. She is repeatedly described as “strange”.

That’s when it hit me.

WOAH. BACK UP. SERIOUSLY? Yes. The top image is a page from Nate the Great Goes Undercover, complete with text. This book was published in 1978. The bottom image is one of the first images of Emily the Strange ever made publicly available–it was sold, WITH THAT TEXT INCLUDED, as a bumper sticker.

If you’ve ever walked into a Hot Topic, you are somewhat familiar with Emily, but on the off-chance that you haven’t, you can get aquainted with her at her big fat website. She was designed in 1991, according to creator Rob Reger, as an image for use on skateboarding merchandise. Since then, she has morphed into a kind of goth pop icon.  At first she was just a mouthpiece for typical Hot Topic tee slogans (“I WANT YOU to go away,” “Problem Child,” etc. etc.) but since has moved to full-fledged characterdom, with her own comic book series and a film slated for 2010.

Google searching for any information on this rip has yielded a tiny handful of bemused observers (this one offering the most analysis), but as far as I can tell no real action has been taken. I doubt that neither Marjorie Weinman Sharmat nor Marc Simont (the author and illustrator of the Nate the Great books, respectively) is aware of the appropriation of their character. I plan to send a letter to each c/o of their publishers as soon as possible. I really do think something should be done. This stolen character has already made millions for its “creator” and the fact that she will have her own film is clear testament of how big she’s gotten.

P.S., check out this interview with Rob Reger. High points:

What artists influenced the artwork in the Chronicle Books series?

“Good Nightmares” is the name of the book where you‘ll notice our influences the most. We actually made a conscious decision that the book would be about 13 specific nightmares Emily had. We loosely based each nightmare in the style of some of our favorite art or artists. So you have Dr. Seuss, a spread based on the Hokusai woodcuts, Escher, Rube Goldberg, Albrecht Durer, and Maurice Sendak. It’s also got Yellow Submarine stuff, art from the psychedelic ‘60s era, and some punk rock stuff.”

(Hmmm…Marc Simont is curiously absent from that list!)

What sort of message are you trying to send your audience with “Emily the Strange”?

That’s really the most important thing alongside the art itself. Emily is often misinterpreted as a negative or plain old bad girl. To me, she’s more of an icon for the think-for-yourself, do-it-yourself movement.”

(Think for yourself. Right.)

Anyway, that’s gotten me all good and pissed off. Enjoy.

———————————————————–

YTWWN Update:

Rob Reger (taken from our comments section)thanks coopercm

Dear Emily the Strange Friends and Foes,

I’ve been made aware of this blog and some similar ones with inquiries regarding the origination and creation of the Emily the Strange character. As you may be aware by what has been noted in many interviews and on Wikipedia, Nathan Carrico first conceived of and used Emily as a character for a skateboard design back in 1991. After seeing a sticker of the design, I thought the quirky “looks strange” design was in line with other tees Cosmic Debris was doing, and that it might resonate well with the crew I was selling to. I asked and received permission to use the design from Nathan. We then began creating Emily’s gothic, nonconformist, dark world by using a variety of original expressions (”I want you to leave me alone”, “Teacher’s Pest”, “Emily doesn’t search to belong…” etc.) and unique Emily designs on our t-shirts and other products. Several years thereafter, the character of Rosamond from the children’s book series Nate the Great was brought to my attention for the first time.

Although the designs and worlds of Rosamond and Emily are different and readily distinguishable, and although we never received any complaints from the author, the artist, or the publisher, we phased out the original skateboard design upon learning of the Rosamond character, and worked with the creative team to further distinguish Emily and her universe. Regarding copyright law, there is legally nothing wrong with sharing or implementing a unique variation on a concept. I have never drawn inspiration from the Nate the Great series or Rosamond. In fact, we at Cosmic Debris have always moved to individualize the idea of Emily the Strange and her universe, which are original to Cosmic Debris.

Today Cosmic Debris prides itself on what it has become over the years: the creative design house that is responsible for providing consumers with strong messages about feminism, empowerment and individualism. Through years of development, Emily the Strange has grown from simple graphics into a concept that reaches far beyond design. Through our fan forum, I have learned that Emily has comforted the suicidal, helped people accept their sexuality, and get through very taxing personal situations. This is all in addition to making everyone know it is okay, and even better, to be different. I am very proud of this, because that was and is my goal: to make the world feel more comfortable in its own skin.

We applaud your interest and hope you continue to stand up for what you believe— that’s what Emily would do.

Sincerely,
Rob Reger

Mark simont (taken from the LA times via laughingsquid)

Dear Doctor Popular,

Thank you for your interest in the Emily the Strange caper., which I just learned about a few days ago. Marjorie Sharmat, the author, and I have referred it to the legal department of the publisher. We have not had any contact with Cosmic Debris. Marjorie has the rights to the text and I have the rights to the illustrations. The illustrations are copyrighted in my name.

Sincerely
Marc Simont

307 comments

  • I KNEW there was a reason I never liked this emily character!

  • I see in Wikipedia that Mr Simont is alive and well and living with his wife in Connecticut, aged 73. If he’d like to take her on a world cruise or buy something marina-side in Florida, this looks like a pretty open-and-shut court case to me.
    =) Marc

  • Like you, I’m a student of Illustration (in germany, so I didn’t know those books Rosamond was in.. yet I always had a feeling about the character of emily being totally ‘flat’) ..so I’m really pissed-off by this. D:

    I’m glad you said you’d send a letter to the Illustrator that did the original characterdesign back in the 70ties!
    I totally encourage you to do so! *cheers*

    ..it’s a shame that such a blatant Rip-Off makes SO MUCH money.

  • Whatta rip! To the gallows posthaste.

  • Good GOD, finally someone else noticed! I made this comparison back in the mid-90s when I first discovered Emily merchandise. My very first thought was, “Uh, Nate The Great anyone?” However, no one else seemed to notice and obviously there was no lawsuit, so I thought maybe I was overreacting. But I never saw that bumper sticker!

    One more vote in favor of contacting the original creators posthaste!

  • Ironically enough, there’s a sidebar ad on this page advertising Emily the Strange soda. *headdesk*

  • Geeze Louise, this butters my crumpet!

  • sure hope you send the letter and this
    is corrected.

  • HOLY CRAP!

    I never knew that…I love emily stange too.. TT.TT
    that sucks…

  • :-) LOL – Pretty ballsy and profoundly stupid. There goes someone’s precious little economic empire.

    Can you say “copyright violation with treble damages against two decades of revenue streams”.

    I knew that you could.

  • Yes! Finally! I knew someone else would have seen it … My girlfriend and I used to read childrens’ book bedtime stories together (that was pretty sweet) that we’d picked up together at the library. The instant I spotted Rosamond I was like ‘wait, whut?’. Then I raged at the huge commercial entity Emily had become without giving credit where credit was due. I couldn’t find good comparison pictures with a google image search with which to show a comparison to friends. You freakin’ nailed it! Good eye, chelseamca. Thank you!

  • The guy who did Emily the Strange is a retard from Humboldt County. Finally, someone has slammed that moron from Tweakerville!

  • The book you mention is still in print, from Random House: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/natethegreat/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780440462828

    I’m fairly sure their lawyers would be delighted to hear about this (the author and illustrator would be parties to the lawsuit, but the publisher of the book(s) is going to be the primary party). However, their copyright dept only accepts written communications. Their contact info is on this page: http://www.randomhouse.com/about/contact.html

    In any case you would have to contact the author and illustrator through their publisher or publishing agent.

  • When the MPPA et al. scream about blatant copy write infringement, this is what the spirit of the law is referring to. It’s ironic to see that the MPPA will now be at the center of a truly egregious copy write infringement suit. Not file sharing! File sharers do not make a profit from sharing…but there are those that can and do make a profit from the wholesale stealing of other’s ideas. Some companies (i.e. Microsoft) even make a living at it.

  • Those Emily things suck in a way that to me always seemed to indicate an absence of original inspiration. Glad (and astonished!) to see that this has been confirmed. Good job!

    I wish someone would sue that artist out of existence.

  • If the Humboldt hippie who ripped off the book is named Tim Ruth, he owes me $20 from those Grateful Dead t shirt illustrations I did for him and he ripped me off for.

  • I knew there was a reason I never liked her. >:/

  • i never did like her.
    i knew there was some reason.

  • From the website: “Emily wants you to be yourself, think for yourself, and DO IT YOURSELF. There’s nothing more boring to her than copying everyone else.” Charming. Long live Rosamond! I loved those books.

  • Bittorrent… although I think you’ll be impossible to train enough to understand this, you are wrong.

    It is COPYRIGHT, and when someone doesn’t pay for another persons work, that person is profiting. And the artist loses any reason to continue their work, except to get paid by the people who actually pay for music, movies, and books. You know, books with illustrations like the one discussed above. If you can’t spell copyright, I doubt you have read any of the law, nor do you understand the implications of its violation. Let alone, any spirit of it. It is also MPAA, not MPPA, since you didn’t spell it correctly twice, you don’t even know what the acronym stands for, let alone the entity itself.

    I think you are more against companies being large, which benefit from economies of scale, than anything else. If you don’t like the rules, change them legally, but in the mean time, educate yourself before you stand up on a soap box. I doubt Microsoft has ever stolen anything that you’ve created, nor have you ever created anything worth selling.

  • I loved those Nate The Great books!

    A friend of mine pointed me to your post. Wow, those two pages you posted makes the copyright violation pretty obvious.

    And it looks as thought someone else also wrote about the similarity between the two characters:

    http://coffeeghost.net/2006/12/30/emily-the-rip-off/

    Debbie

  • fuckin’ a!

    i remember reading those books as a kid. i remember my dad would get really mad at me because i couldn’t pronounce “rosamond”. asshole.

    anyway fuck emily strange

  • fuckin’ a!

    i remember reading those books as a kid. i remember my dad would get really mad at me because i couldn’t pronounce “rosamond”. asshole.

    anyway fuck emily strange

  • Great catch. Get him. Bravo.

  • Wow. I’ve always liked Emily. But now, this. I’d hate to see Emily go down the drain but Rob Reger would deserve a lawsuit.

  • Ljubica Todorovic

    I hope this actually gets resolved. How disheartening that this could go on for so long without punishment!

  • holy shit! fuck that fucking guy! grrrrrrrrr I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

    excellent catch. this really makes me happy. AND it makes me want to check out that original Nate the Great book! thanks :D

  • Pingback: Lemmingworks :: you thought we wouldn’t notice » Rosamond the Strange

  • IT’S NOT OPEN AND SHUT. HOW THE HELL DOES THIS VIOLATE COPYRIGHT? IT’S JUST SHITTY APPROPRIATION, THERE ARE NO LAWS AGAINST UNINSPIREDNESS.

  • excellent work! also.. i never liked here :)

  • NICK I’M NOT QUITE SURE I CAUGHT YOUR COMMENT

    PLEASE TRY USING A BIGGER FONT

    COMIC SANS… 100PT MAYBE

    BOLD

  • NICK: um, this is actually a fairly open and shut case of copyright infringement.

    You see, copyright protects “original works of authorship” that are “fixed in a tangible form of expression.” This includes literary, as well as pictorial and graphic works. Once the “work” (in this case Rosamond’s appearance as a part of the Nate the Great book pictured above) is published, copyright protects the author from having his/her work appropriated by others (copyright infringement).

    “SHITTY APPROPRIATION,” as you so eloquently put it, does constitute infringement.

  • I’m sure there will be plenty of armchair lawyers in this comments thread, but the case is a little more complicated than you guys are making it out to be. U.S. copyright law *does* allow appropriation of ideas as long as the new work is changed at least “50 percent”. Whether something is changed more than 50% is a matter for a judge to decide, but nevertheless, the Emily the Strange bumper sticker does have differences from the Rosamond page. Even in that really damning image that you posted.

    The other complicating factor is that copyright law *only* applies to individual works, not to characters, or ideas or concepts. To prove a copyright violation you would have to prosecute about exactly that one bumper sticker, and the revenue gained/lost as a result of the marketing of that bumper sticker. Any other produce sold by the emily the strange creator would have to be prosecuted in a peice by peice manner.

    Characters can, however, be protected by trademark law, which is a whole different kettle of fish. The name counts, and the fact that she is called Emily and not Rosamond would make that aspect of the trademark dispute rather pointless to prosecute. You would have to prove whether the actual character designs are similar enough that consumers would be reasonably confused that Emily the Strange/Rosamond are one and the same character, and thus associated with the same company/author.

    Whether that’s an easy case or not, I won’t comment. But the important point I’d like to make is that it’s a case for trademark law, not copyright law.

  • But just for the record, I don’t really think “Girl with cats” is a trademarkable concept.

  • Breton, you know absolutely nothing about the law. I like how you claim there’s going to be “arm chair lawyers” in this thread when you yourself no nothing. That “50% rule” is something you just made up. Nothing like that exists. Copyright does apply to characters, not work by work basis.

    This is a blatant copy.

    When I first looked at the two pictures (without looking at the words), I could already tell it was copied. The 3 cats are identical. Just look at the legs. The dead give-away is the really small cat in the far background.

    The words make it completely obvious. There’s really no debate here.

  • Copyright law protects against Derivative Works. So that’s why it is not a work by work basis.

  • Breton, you are wrong as well. Changing it 50% does not make a difference. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#change

  • emily supporter

    i personally know Rob, and I m sure, he has something to say. This image, is a just a page in a book. Rob had created much more than a picture of a girl with 3 cats…. He could also have done it as a tribute to Rosamond…. Art is not only business…..

  • “Art is not only business” – No, but Emily Strange is.

  • emily supporter

    I think you’re wrong about that….. because you don’t know the guy.
    victor

  • It’s amazing what you find if you go beyond the FAQ section, and actually read the law.

    from the copyright.gov website:

    Section 102:

    (b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

    So you cannot copyright the idea of a character; you cannot copyright “girl with cats”. You cannot even copyright “Spooky girl with cats”. Copyright is strictly limited to an actual individual work.

    Emily the strange was designed in 1991, but there’s limitations on how long you can leave it before you take action
    from section 507:

    “(a) Criminal Proceedings. — Except as expressly provided otherwise in this title, no criminal proceeding shall be maintained under the provisions of this title unless it is commenced within 5 years after the cause of action arose.

    (b) Civil Actions. — No civil action shall be maintained under the provisions of this title unless it is commenced within three years after the claim accrued.”

    and finally, the 50% rule. I’ll admit I blundered a bit on that one, there’s no specific number. But the basic principle is here in section 107. In particular, point #3.

    § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

    …the factors to be considered shall include —

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

  • Good catch.
    Great post.

  • You guys just don’t know the artist like I do! He’s got really good taste in what he steals and he only takes from the best. He respects the original artist so much that he didn’t attempt to change anything or create any new angle or fresh ideas, out of respect for the original.

    You guys don’t know!!!

  • Otis D'Elevator

    From Emily Website:

    http://www.emilystrange.com/beware/termsofuse.cfm

    “8. Copyrights

    BPE and Cosmic respect the intellectual property of others, and ask that you and other users do the same. If notified of allegedly infringing, defamatory, damaging, illegal, or offensive content, BPE or Cosmic may, in their sole discretion, investigate the allegation and/or edit, remove or request the removal of such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, BPE and Cosmic do not ensure that any such content will be edited or removed. We may terminate access to the Service if you violate the intellectual property rights of others.”

    Cut off their own nuts? Can I buy a ticket to see this?

    “9. Proprietary Rights

    Cosmic Debris owns all right, title and interest in and to the Service and all materials and content contained in the Service, including, without limitation, all content, site design, logos, icons, images, digital downloads, data compilations, text, and graphics are protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Any unauthorized use of the materials provided as part of the Service is strictly prohibited.”

  • It’s appalling that people are actually attempting to defend Rob Reger’s blatant act of copyright infringement. “I know the guy personally” is hardly a valid reason for ripping off a character wholesale.

  • I completely agree with K. Who cares if you know the guy or not? There was a killer in KS in the 70′s who was a boy scout leader and head of the church he was attending. People “knew” him as well. You can never really “know” what someone is capable of doing. (The killer is obviously a larger case, but proves my point, none-the-less.) No one cares that you know him, and defending him only makes you look like a complete idiot. What he did was wrong. Bottom line. Don’t try to defend his wrong act.

  • I found this thru Inkygirl…this is disturbing me…I like Emily the Strange but I also remember liking the Rosamond character when I was younger. Maybe Em Strange was just familiar and comforting…Those books are still out- my kids have a couple. So, its hard to believe it is coincidental when the text matches so well or an ‘homage’ when he does not credit the artists…excuse me now i have to remove my Emily the STrange app from my facebk… and buy Nate the Great books for xmas :)

  • YellowSidekick

    Taking the girl, the cats, the general style and the words from a childrens book and earning money from it, he should get an award. he shouldn’t be defended that he is such a great guy.

    Great guys don’t nick ideas and peddle them as original work.

  • Here’s another article where he describes the origin of Emily and how it evolved from a drawing by his good friend Nate. There’s still nothing said about Emily being inspired from the Nate the Great books. Very sad.

    http://www.computerarts.co.uk/in_depth/interviews/emily_the_strange

  • Huh, that’s really odd. I remember Nate the Great (though not Rosamond) from an excerpt in one of my earlier gradeschool textbooks; I didn’t encounter Emily until I was in maybe 7th grade (late 90s), when I was given two licensed t-shirts for Christmas.

    It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this, so please keep us posted!

  • I’m sorry but this is absolutely ridiculous. I’m sad to see so many people taken in by this bullshit of Intellectual Property.

    Let me get this straight, a guy drew a children’s book which has this Rosamund character. Someone saw this character and got inspired to create a spinoff of their own.

    And this means that the original author, who for 13 years didn’t think to do anything similar gets to be rewarded?! Where’s the sanity in that?

    Human culture had always taken ideas from people who came before it and created new stuff. This kind of mentality you’re thinking, of everything having to be paid to get used only stifles stuff like that. You may not like Emily, but she’s loved by thousands of others and what you’re attempting to do is make sure that such new characters do not occur.

    Any person who gets inspired by something, now has to get scared that the person who sowed the seed of his imagination will come around when he managed to make it successful and demand either a big, undeserved cut, or a total shutdown.

    It’s ridiculous. It’s harming to culture and it’s just wrong!

  • You’re all retards. The beginning of the analysis is not to wonder if there’s been a breach of copyright law, or trademark law — the beginning of the analysis is to ask if the two parties have an agreement whereby rights to use the character were negotiated.

    When you “assume” things (in this case, assuming that the parties have not negotiated a “use” agreement), you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.

    Maybe they haven’t negotiated an agreement, but only then do you need to wonder about intellectual property issues.

    The irony is this, if they have negotiated an agreement, then has this site (and it’s owner/author) committed a tort (defamation) against the party holding the right to use the character (the Emily the Strange people)? Now that’s an outcome that would be fun to watch!

    ALL OF YOU….GET OFF THE INTERNET AND GO GET AN EDUCATION.

  • Mr. “Think People”, aren’t you making an assumption yourself? It’s a pretty far-flung one, at that.

  • Is copyright infringement so clear?

    I thought Breton made a clear case … against.

    You remember the Emily has a Posse stikers? A blatant rip of the Shephed Fairey ‘GIANT’ Andre the Giant has a Posse? Yes, but so much of Cosmic Debirs stuff is parodies of brands, etc it’s no suprise Emily could share artistic DNA with Rosamond. The question is whether Emily tries to be Rosamond and whether the publishing house and creator of Rosamond have been damaged and think they have a case.

    We’ll see, I suppose!

    In this case, imitation is part of the art.

  • If it is the case that Emily is an homage to Rosamond then why is there never any mention of the the character or artist by the creator of Emily. The two are so closely related in artistic style and presentation. It seems as if the artist would mention or discuss this if it is an homage. In not doing so it comes off as stealing or at least underhanded. It may not be enough to sue or take to court over but it is shady.
    If you read the info about the birth of this character in one of the links posted above you’ll find that the creator of Emily actually resketched an image his friend had drawn. He may have molded the character into what it is now but it was originally drawn by someone else. That is shady in itself. Then he took it to another level by shaping the character into something else he stole.
    he sucks……..

  • But Mr. Think People…you’re on the internet. :( Am I supposed to get an education or be on the internet like you? I’m confused now.

    Perhaps Emily is a homage to Rosamond. Perhaps the creator remembered Rosamond as a comforting, fun memory from childhood and unconsciously re-created her as Emily. Or perhaps he believed the books were public domain, and such imitation was okay? I’d like to imagine these were more likely the case than a malicious, lazy act of plagiarism. To go virtually unnoticed by all save a handful of Nate the Great fans for so long is impressive.

    I personally hope Rob Reger comes forward with an explanation beyond “Emily was a sketch from my good friend Nate” – which no one can deny is far too coincidental for it’s own good, both by the name “Nate” and the potential claim of “oh, well it wasn’t MY original drawing, so I didn’t really plagiarize anything” (if that’s indeed the case).

  • For references, please see/Google “Schmorky vs. Todd Goldman”.

  • hey just a shout out here in support
    it seems everyone’s caught up in a design that was created 15 years ago, by someone perhaps different then rob reger
    wikipedia says that the Emily design was originally a skateboard before a t-shirt, so well who designed the skateboard? It’s posible they had an affinity for Nate the Great? Seems yes. Someone mentioned Shepard Fairey above, someone who I’ve worked in the gallery world, has used (with some liberty i might add) material quite blatantly from almost every propaganda artist who’s ever existed. doesn’t make his work/design/business of products any less valid—Looks like a similar case to me. This early Emily design does call out Nate the Great and Rosamond, but beside a skinny dark haired girl with cats (already a generalizaciøn) I don’t see the Rosamond character influence in their later work. Wasn’t Rosamond wearing baseball caps and super perky happy girl?

    Anyway, what i know of emily the strange, for the 8 or so years i’ve been aware of her and seeking out that quirky design, clever word play and a positive ‘but dark’ message, is that they do comment on and take spins from the art (my fave was the Aubrey Beardsley-esque t-shirt) the Strange crew have become known for… rob reger and his design house have a created un mundo tan lejismio, far beyond this one design, they deserve recognition for whatever success they have accomplished. my little sis Eva has dark hair and bangs and totally identifies with Emily, as someone who doesn’t fit in with the girls of her school—i think Emily is this for a lot of youngsters. for me personally this knowing that an early design came from Rosamond (I also loved Nate the Great, I read when visiting my aunt in Nueva York) does not affect my affinity for Emily, her comic books, and design. as a filmmaker and painter myself i know that the art, film and design world is all a tower of influences, appropriations (it’s called post-modern folks) and references…. No lo puedo creer… can’t believe how many people are using this as an outlet for whatever disdain they have for the character. thanks Emily—keeping rawking!

  • Pingback: Emily the Rippoff | Bent Corner

  • Dear Emily the Strange Friends and Foes,

    I’ve been made aware of this blog and some similar ones with inquiries regarding the origination and creation of the Emily the Strange character. As you may be aware by what has been noted in many interviews and on Wikipedia, Nathan Carrico first conceived of and used Emily as a character for a skateboard design back in 1991. After seeing a sticker of the design, I thought the quirky “looks strange” design was in line with other tees Cosmic Debris was doing, and that it might resonate well with the crew I was selling to. I asked and received permission to use the design from Nathan. We then began creating Emily’s gothic, nonconformist, dark world by using a variety of original expressions (“I want you to leave me alone”, “Teacher’s Pest”, “Emily doesn’t search to belong…” etc.) and unique Emily designs on our t-shirts and other products. Several years thereafter, the character of Rosamond from the children’s book series Nate the Great was brought to my attention for the first time.

    Although the designs and worlds of Rosamond and Emily are different and readily distinguishable, and although we never received any complaints from the author, the artist, or the publisher, we phased out the original skateboard design upon learning of the Rosamond character, and worked with the creative team to further distinguish Emily and her universe. Regarding copyright law, there is legally nothing wrong with sharing or implementing a unique variation on a concept. I have never drawn inspiration from the Nate the Great series or Rosamond. In fact, we at Cosmic Debris have always moved to individualize the idea of Emily the Strange and her universe, which are original to Cosmic Debris.

    Today Cosmic Debris prides itself on what it has become over the years: the creative design house that is responsible for providing consumers with strong messages about feminism, empowerment and individualism. Through years of development, Emily the Strange has grown from simple graphics into a concept that reaches far beyond design. Through our fan forum, I have learned that Emily has comforted the suicidal, helped people accept their sexuality, and get through very taxing personal situations. This is all in addition to making everyone know it is okay, and even better, to be different. I am very proud of this, because that was and is my goal: to make the world feel more comfortable in its own skin.

    We applaud your interest and hope you continue to stand up for what you believe— that’s what Emily would do.

    Sincerely,
    Rob Reger

  • This is smoke, not fire.

    There seems to be no evidence that there is NOT an agreement between the Nate author and Reger. If there is, there is no requirement that it be publicized. So we just don’t know.

    The upcoming film will certainly undergo extremely close scrutiny to make sure the rights to everything in the film have been properly acquired as part of the finance process. If it hasn’t been done already. Otherwise, it will never be released.

  • Anyone who would argue FOR blatant IP theft is not much of a creator to begin with, I’d say. Think about that before you post here.

  • Rob,
    Thank you for responding. You have my respect, as far as coming out and speaking rather than turning a blind eye or hiding behind representatives. I still have questions though after hearing your side of the story.
    1) Nathan Carrico, then, was the actual artist of the sticker in question? Did you know at the time that he lifted much of it from the book page? Did it ever come up later or become an issue? Did he ever say why he did it?
    2) I understand that Emily is now a different entity and has evolved over the years, and has her own universe going and have been developing her personality. However, there can be no question that the first image of her ever, the image that this evolving character was and always will be based off of, was appropriated. Have you ever tried to contact Rosamond’s creators to inform them of what happened? Don’t you think that they deserve compensation or at the very least, credit, for inspiring the character? After all, without them, it’s very likely that Emily never would have been created. Her most basic and key elements come from Rosamond. Crediting the original creators where it is due seems appropriate, if only in fine print. You do not even mention them in interviews when asked about Emily’s inspiration, which makes it seem like you’re trying to cover up.
    3) To address in general the debate over homages: An homage to Aubrey Beardsley or Obey Giant is much different than an homage to an old, somewhat obscure children’s series. Yes, Nate the Great is popular for a children’s series, and yes the books are still being written (all the more reason to be courteous to the author/illustrator), but they have nowhere near the pop-culture presence of those works that Emily parodies. Furthermore, the Emily parodies are immediately described as such in interviews. The homages in the Emily the Strange franchise are readily admitted to be such, and the specific artists being imitated are named. There is no fear in doing an homage, no reason to hide your sources. If Emily is an homage to Nate the Great, why has Nate the Great never once been mentioned in an interview?

    Sorry for the length. Thank you for reading.
    Chelsea

  • “Anyone who would argue FOR blatant IP theft is not much of a creator to begin with, I’d say. Think about that before you post here.”

    No, real creators make their IP theft less blatent, and cover their tracks a bit better. Or apparently according to chelseamca, make it so blatent that there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind. Only then can it be called “Homage”. You guys are so funny!

  • chelseamca FTW

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  • God, there are a lot of people here arguing FOR theft of concept. I guess we aren’t all artists here, as I once thought.

    I had to laugh when “Think People” started his post with “You’re all retards”. Hey jackass! One way to get me to ignore what you’ve written is to start with “You’re all retards!” Think, Think People!

  • chelseamca:
    To address in general the debate over homages: An homage to Aubrey Beardsley or Obey Giant is much different than an homage to an old, somewhat obscure children’s series. Yes, Nate the Great is popular for a children’s series, and yes the books are still being written (all the more reason to be courteous to the author/illustrator), but they have nowhere near the pop-culture presence of those works that Emily parodies. Furthermore, the Emily parodies are immediately described as such in interviews. The homages in the Emily the Strange franchise are readily admitted to be such, and the specific artists being imitated are named. There is no fear in doing an homage, no reason to hide your sources. If Emily is an homage to Nate the Great, why has Nate the Great never once been mentioned in an interview?

    So you are saying that its okay to take an image from those guys but not this person?! Who are you to judge what is right and what is just? The graphic bears a similarity but thats all. Who cares!? Get off your high horse and do something productive for the world. At least that’s what is seems the emily people are trying to do.

    Pia

  • Pia bucket of tears for Emily, for all I care, Pia. He fucking stole it, and he should have to turn over his money to the original artist. Period.

    Another Todd Fuckin’ Goldman.

  • @Tom. I am an artist. The only difference between you and me I suppose is that I have enough of an imagination to think of a world in which I am not allowed to create my art for fear of accidentally making something too similar to something someone else has already made. This is a rather abnormal and artificial kind of state for a culture to exist in, and if we’re not careful with these rather fascistic standards for what amounts to infringment and what doesn’t, it will become impossible to create any culture not officially sanctioned by a corporation.

    Thank god the law doesn’t actually reflect the insane standards presented on this comments thread though. The fact is this is not a photocopy, or an otherwise direct reproduction of the original. So it doesn’t count as copyright infringement, as such. It’s still a degree of plagiarism, but there’s no laws against that so far as I’m aware.

    Also, you might have missed it from my earlier post, but it would seem the statute of limitations has run out on this anyway. Even if there were a rock solid case here, the creators of rosamond still wouldn’t be able to act on it NOW. Let that be a lesson to you copyright zealous artists: if you don’t actively protect your copyright you lose it automatically.

  • Rob Reger’s response/damage control is certainly appreciated, though doing it with that much added spin sounds a bit disingenuous. It comes across like “never say you’re sorry if you hit someone’s car.” I’m afraid I would have had more respect for the response if it had been a simple acknowledgement that they made a mistake and corrected it. That takes a lot less time to write that patting oneself on the back for two paragraphs. The verbosity completely lost me by the end.

    So, let me continue by being completely verbose.

    On a more irritated (petty) note, the “aw, aren’t you little things just like Emily” closing didn’t win me over.

    It’s wishful thinking to hope, as many posters have, that this sort of plagiarism just doesn’t matter. That it’s okay because it’s something cool that you happen to like, or everything in the world is free, or something. But in the end, it’s down to the original creators to pursue the matter. If they are content that Emily has since moved away from the undeniable plagiarism of the first sticker (the cats–look at the three mirror image cats! for shame), that’s fine. Everyone is happy, and Emily moves on to a money-churning franchise, and The Lost Days made me laugh in public.

    My Emily the Strange Jones soda six-pack was delivered today, right before I found this post (after a wait so ridiculously long I’d forgotten I’d ordered it and it was way too late for the occasion I’d ordered it for anyway). What a(nother) weird coincidence.

    I think I’ll go have a soda and draw.

  • Another Emily

    It is interesting to see the origins of an idea and how the histories of these two characters overlap. I wonder if, at their advanced ages, the Nate the Great artists are upset or if they’re okay with it/like it. It’s pretty clear that what Emily has become is different than this early sticker, and from many of the Emily drawings.

    I think a lot of people hate anything that becomes commercially successful, and that’s understandable since a lot of artists never get there. Also, who can resist a “gotcha” moment? But anonymous personal insults to someone you don’t know about a situation about which you are wholly unfamiliar isn’t effective activism against copyright infringement, nor is it good communication.

    Rob, Buzz, and the whole Cosmic team have always been supportive of the unfamous artist community and have helped many along the way, mostly in ways that do not get publicly acknowledged OR make good copy.

    An interesting thread in any case.

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  • I don’t care about the copyright infringement. I think modern copyright law is insane, and I cannot defend nailing this artist on a copyright infringement offence when I believe that derivative works – even for-profit derivative works – should be legally permitted.

    What I do care about, a lot, is the plagiarism. Plagiarism is not in itself a criminal offence (although it can constitute a breach of contract), but it is morally repugnant. I think this guy deserves to be named and shamed for blatantly deriving his work from another person’s work without any kind of attribution.

    In the absence of plagiarism, there’s nothing wrong with derivative works. If everything is properly attributed, people can judge for themselves how much creative effort was put into a derivative work, and have the opportunity to find and support the original work.

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  • Wait.

    Why has no one been saying anything about the WORDS? I thought the post was more about the Emily sticker; that is after all the image comparison that’s given.

    So some people think Emily is Rosamond, some think she’s not. Whatever, we’ll never figure that one out unanimously.

    But words are just as important as pictures and those words are a definite lift.

  • Hey…don’t all artists get their inspiration from something already existing, anyway? And from what I know of Emily, she’s kind of more than just that one drawing…Steven Tyler used to look and act just like Mick Jagger, and I don’t think Mick shook his tail feather all the way to Boston to sue him.

  • Sheesh. People just don’t get it, do they.
    The point here is not how much Emily has changed over the years or how much she has helped people.
    Did no-one actually look at the post? The orignal incarnation of Emily was basically a STRAIGHT RIP of the Rosamond character. (notice the flipped cats and the ripped copy?!).
    Rob Reger says: “I have never drawn inspiration from the Nate the Great series or Rosamond.” But the point is that the guy who created Emily DID, and therefore, as “owner & creator” of this character, you are responsible for any copyright breaches. You have NEVER acknowledged the influence of the Rosamond character, even after you knew about it. Way to be an asshole about the whole thing.

    Now, where did I put that sketch of the boy wizard with round glasses and two best friends??

  • Another Emily

    But what makes her her is not the position of the cat in the background, nor was it even that design that made Emily famous. It’s like the secret of coke and pepsi isn’t the formula, it’s the brand and following that made it who it is. There may or may not be something legally wrong with taking one expression of an idea and making it into another idea that is so clearly derivative, but this moral high ground is blowing it WAY out of proportion.

    To me it seems like a careless thing a novice designer would do, not a sneaky plot to take someone else’s money. A more experienced professional might have made enough changes to conceal the clear derivation from Rosamond and EASILY could have based what is now Emily on her without any trace. Maybe then she’d be more closely tied to Wednesday Adams or another more prominent character.

    It is true that how much Emily has helped people (etc) isn’t directly related to the discussion of what is/was the right thing to do, but it is related to the hatefulness that is directed toward the whole brand based on this comparison. Otherwise this would be a purely legal discussion between only the parties directly involved and once an outcome was reached based on actual evidence, the verdict would be out and the public could make a more informed opinion at that point.

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  • Another Emily

    That sticker looks knocked off from that page, but the whole character? No way.

  • How can you say that one man should be sued over a drawing that bears slight resemblance to something else? If you can walk into a mall and tell me that ever shirt design, every book, every toy is completely original without any influence from either another companies style, another authors words, another artists design…Well, be my guest, because EVERYTHING that is created has inspiration from SOMETHING. The music you listen to? Influences. That book you love? Ask the author who their favorite writer is and you’ll see that nothing is without outside influence.
    I am not a huge fan of Emily the Strange but from what I see on their websites and the bodies of their fans, I am extremely impressed. Its not just a great design, its a bridge between a message and art. If you think the creator should be blamed or sued or deserving of the comments above, than please roll out the carpet for every graphic artist, every author, every sitcom writer…EVERYONE.

  • Copied that from another blog but I think it hits that nail on the head.

    M

  • Maria,
    Its one thing to putting YOUR own spin on a common idea (the modern family, outsiders, crying in the shower, etc.), but its completely different when you filp an image, trace it, put it on a wristband, and buy yourself a beer.

    P. S. Its pretty fitting that you didn’t credit the writer of that post or the blog you copied it from.

    Pia,
    An homage is when you draw a picture of YOUR characters in the same pose as that famous Spiderman cover.

    Or

    You draw YOUR characters in the style of another artist.

  • as an artist, i don’t really care what the law provides, my respect for other artists would not let me profit off of another artist and writer’s hard work and original work. let alone for the crazy amounts of money that “emily” makes.

    on the simple, moral level, there is no excuse.

  • …this is just sad.

  • So funny seeing all the Emily fan’s coming in here to defend the ‘Emily Company’ after this post got linked everywhere…

    Would hurt if you based so much faith in a company, a commercial idea, a product…at the end of the day it’s all about the profits – no matter what you write on your website about helping people or being yourself or what not.

    What a fraud.

  • zanyatnen’ko, chtivo na vecher

  • It’s funny that the person we’re considering the “artist” or “creator” here is distancing himself from the original drawing, which of course could not have been a “drawing” at all but a mirror image of a stolen piece of artwork. The use of the word “drawing” makes it sound as if his friend Nathan (and if Nathan really exists, it’s just a really bad coincidence, given the name of the book from which Nathan ripped his image off)just freehand sketched the first Emily, when clearly it was done in Photoshop or some software with the full knowledge of “Nathan” that he was working with a copyrighted image, reversing it and mucking with it.

    Either that, or Nathan had an awesome sense of visual memory to sketch those cats in a perfect mirror image of the original, leaving some really specific angles and shapes in the overall composition.

    The businessman generously referred to as the “artist” behind Emily should acknowledge that the original image was ripped off, that he didn’t know, and that his company has gone far from that original image in crafting a character lots of people apparently relate to. Unless, of course, he DID know, in which case he has clearly taken a page from a copyrighted work and made the type of unathorized use of it that his own website prohibits.

    I don’t care what this businessman’s artistic influences were or weren’t, since he apparently didn’t create the original art behind his most famous character (we have “Nathan” to thank for that) and I don’t think what Emily has been made into is very original to begin with. What I do care about is a little integrity and disclosure here. Does our businessman think that Nathan copied his first Emily from Rosamund? Does he think it was wrong to do that? While the many fans of Emily whose lives have been changed by her individuality and integrity may care, clearly our businessman does not. Because whether he cares or not won’t make him any money or protect him from a lawsuit.

    But don’t all artists steal? The whole line about good artists borrowing and great artists stealing has to be taken into the context of culture and choice. Culturally, you can’t help but use what you know, so you’re necessarily using the material of your culture. In terms of choice, nobody forced this guy to reverse a copywritten image, fool with it in Photoshop and build an empire out of it. Great artists steal means they take something everyone recognizes and do something that looks like magic to it, right in front of your eyes, and even though you know it’s not magic, it still has the effect of magic, of changing everything. I don’t think Emily belongs in this discussion. We’re talking about petty theft here, pickpocketing in the great scheme of things. But should pickpockets be forgiven if they don’t admit their petty crimes?

    Really, the reason this is annoying besides the obvious theft of an image and text is all the PR copy about the Emily standing for individuality and being bored by people who copy other people, combined with the fine print warning against unauthorized use of any likeness of the Emily character. What Emily means has been muddied by some ground-level hypocrisy. And for that, the artist, or businessman, or whatever you would like to consider him, is entirely responsible.

  • Does it seem coinidence that the book is called ‘Nate the Great’ and the original skateboard drawing of Emily was done by ‘Nathan’. Maaaaaaaybe Nate the Great was created for Nathan. As in, maybe he has relations with the people who wrote nate the great. And if this is true, then what’s the problem?

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  • BUSTED !!! Looks like Emily is about to Fall off the shelves.

  • I liked Emily as a character.

    But knowing that the creator willingly appropriated it kills it for me. So much talent sells out to make the bux, because art with integrity is so hard to sell.

    I might never be rich, but what I make is my own.

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  • so if i draw a mouse in blue pants that looks like a certain other famous mouse but give him new friends and a different world to “live” in, name him Mikey and claim I wasn’t inspired by that certain other mouse at all, I can get away with it?

    good to know.

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  • nate the great

    Nate the Great Goes Undercover was one of my favorite books as a kid (and my friend’s mother called me that very nickname), so when Emily popped up at Hot Topic during the height of my gothy high school years, I IMMEDIATELY made this connection and was furious she was becoming so popular! Thank you SO MUCH for exposing this on a more public scale than my lunch hour rants of years past. Down with Emily! Viva La Rosamond!!!!

  • The fact that the artist who originally drew/traced this was named Nathan I actually find completely believable–my family read these books because my brother is named Nate. He probably picked them up/got given them for a present for the same reason.

    I can even understand how the art may have been created–I’ve seen enough artist friends doodle off of things they like/are looking at to easily imagine a non-commercial creation of this to begin with. And things like that can take on a life of its own. What I find objectionable is, as others have mentioned above is that no one is admitting that this was (or at least ‘could have been’) the original inspiration of it. And while yes, Emily is now something completely different and has a ‘life’ far beyond that one picture, the fact that Rob and others keep conveniently ignoring is that none of that would have happened without this piece. So, yes. Just saying “we stopped making that one image that maybe someone else took from this book” is kinda…cheating.

  • Matthew Weiss

    Who cares? EMILY, and Rosamund alike, are incarnations of a timeless like Joseph Campellian megaconsciousness icon or whatever just as is Wednesday Addams or LULU the dead girl or Christina Ricci, for that matter.

    She’s an archetype, Sherlock. Deal with it.

    Matthew Weiss

  • I care. Artists who make their living on their creative ideas care.

    There’s nothing more excruciating than people who don’t understand / know copyright law arguing it among themselves.

    Or people who don’t draw / creatively produce for their livelihoods discussing the decisions of those who do.

    I am an artist and illustrator who makes their living at it, and has for ten years. For those same ten years I’ve worked closely with a lawyer who specializes in copyright and intellectual property to protect my work.

    What has to happen is, the illustrator, who holds the copyright (not the publisher) will have to want to pursue it. I doubt, seriously that they will- not because it’s not a blatant rip off (which it clearly is) but because it’s not the actual reproduction of their illustration and it most likely will, in the eyes of the court, fall under ‘inspiration’. But, that’s a big, big gray area.

    That said, I do think it’s important to bring attention to this totally shameless, embarrassing and blatant rip off in a public forum.

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  • I just emailed Simont – he has a website featuring his political cartoons. If he didn’t know already, he will soon. I figured he had the right to know, in case he had not already made an agreement with the other artist.

  • A note for that “Think People” guy – that “assume” line is a cute little thing that fucking idiots do to stop the other person in the argument making their case. In science (and therefore, in every other aspect of life), *everything* starts with an assumption, then you look for the evidence to support said assumption. Can’t find any? Then ditch the assumption (or “theory” if you prefer) and start again.

    In this case, it looks fantastically unlikely that some sort of agreement was reached between the two parties, as those responsible for this wholly insipid franchise never, ever credit Simont – even when they’re rattling off a long and clearly fictitious list of influences for the character.

    And this:

    >This is all in addition to making everyone know it is okay, and even better, to be different. I am very proud of this, because that was and is my goal: to make the world feel more comfortable in its own skin.

    Is just so much arse-water. Your goal was to make piles and piles of cash selling a weary, played-out notion of individuality to gullible Goths, and in that, you have succeeded handily. But don’t try and pass yourself off as the Jesus Christ of T-shirts and accessories, because it doesn’t wash.

  • Breton, you are clueless. Why don’t you just admit it instead of making up things as you go?

    “I’m sure there will be plenty of armchair lawyers in this comments thread”
    You mean someone like you who makes things up as he goes? lol

    “Whether something is changed more than 50% is a matter for a judge to decide”
    Did you hear this in court or did you make this up?

    “The other complicating factor is that copyright law *only* applies to individual works, not to characters, or ideas or concepts”
    It doesn’t apply to “ideas” but it applies to characters designed in a tangible form. That’s what copyright means, or did you not find that in your latest google search? It’s obvious you don’t know anything with regards to Case Law so why do you pretend to know? It’s funny listening to you make things up as you go.

    “But just for the record, I don’t really think “Girl with cats” is a trademarkable concept.”
    You don’t even understand what trademark means, what copyright means, or anything. I don’t even know where to begin.

    “Thank god the law doesn’t actually reflect the insane standards presented on this comments thread though.”
    But what would you know about the Law, Breton? It seems like you know absolutely nothing about it.

    “The fact is this is not a photocopy, or an otherwise direct reproduction of the original. So it doesn’t count as copyright infringement, as such.”
    Wow, so you actually believe that something has to be an actual photocopy or direct reproduction in order to count as infringement. I wonder why you like to make things up like this.

    As someone else pointed out, imagine someone copying Mickey Mouse, but instead calling him Mikey and the defense being “well they’re not entirely identical…you can’t copyright the idea of a mouse”.

    I don’t have a problem with someone “inadvertently” drawing something that may look similar. But this isn’t the case. Anyone with eyes can see this was a copy (both the illustration as well as the words underneath, and also her character of being “strange” and “unique”)

    The statute of limitations has not “run out” because it’s 3 years since the LAST infringment. They are still making money off of this to this very day. It would be like someone selling merchandise with “Mikey Mouse” and his friend “Donny Duck”.

    I agree with the above poster, Dan, when they don’t even list Simont as an inspiration, that tells you a lot about what they’re trying to pull.

  • I can’t believe this. It’s a girl in a mono colored sleeveless dress, tights, long hair and cats.

    Differences image: angle on subject, posture of subject, different shoes, 4 cats vs. 3, small distant cat’s tail different side of cat, small cat different size, subject has wide-mouth vs. small mouth, subject has dash for nose vs. two dots, monochrome vs. three spot colors, lighting effect shading used for top of head vs. flat no-shading, pupils vs. no pupils, detailed cat bodies vs. black silhouette, hair different.

    Differences in text: “did not” vs. “didn’t”, different rejected potential apparent emotional states.

    No one can truly be sure beyond a reasonable doubt that this wasn’t co-created by two separate individuals having no knowledge of the others work. The text is a basic construct, I don’t doubt that were we to search the entire history of the English language we’d find many other people using nearly the same construction and none of them guilty of ‘plagiarism’ – for the love of civilization folks, that’s not an accusation to casually throw around because you see two SIMILAR images/texts in different contexts.

    The on-going existence of Emily has no reference to the earlier similar work. There’s no relation here. It’s not an homage. It’s not even a reference. It’s an illustration of an idea and _not_surprising_ that two separate people wanting to illustrate/communicate that general concept of a ‘strange’ girl would make that exact image/text.

    Do you seriously think you can paint a burly guy with long hair and a sword sitting on a horse and “own” that concept?

  • It is clear the original work is a copy. Even the guy who runs Emily the Strange wrote in the comments here basically implying it, although ofcourse not saying it outright because that would be marketing suicide.

    This is the paragraph I refer to:
    “Although the designs and worlds of Rosamond and Emily are different and readily distinguishable…we phased out the original skateboard design upon learning of the Rosamond character…”

    Wait a Second. If Rosamond and Emily were “different and readily distinguishable”, why would you need to “phase out” anything?
    And I also don’t really see them phasing out much, if she still looks exactly the same as before, still surrounded by the four cats of varying sizes (not in this picture but in the main “story” of Emily the Strange), still has the same strange personality.

  • “Breton, you are clueless. Why don’t you just admit it instead of making up things as you go? ”

    I’ve been perfectly civil and reasonable during this discussion. There’s no need to sink to hyperbole.

    “It doesn’t apply to “ideas” but it applies to characters designed in a tangible form. That’s what copyright means, or did you not find that in your latest google search? It’s obvious you don’t know anything with regards to Case Law so why do you pretend to know? It’s funny listening to you make things up as you go.”

    It applies to a particular expression of a character, but not the character itself. This is why, for example, it was possible to make a james bond movie without the express permission of the brocolli family. As for google searches, no I haven’t been using them. I’ve been reading the laws on copyright.gov. I’ll quote the relevant section again, in case you missed it.

    Section 102:

    (b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

    Does a character not count as a concept or idea? It’s clear the specific design of rosamond was not copied. Where is the infringement? I’ve cited my references, where are yours?

    “You don’t even understand what trademark means, what copyright means, or anything. I don’t even know where to begin.”

    A trademark is a name or visual mark associated with a particular business, in a particular category. Since it is not possible to copyright the name or design of a character, trademarks are the only option if you want to protect these things.

    “But what would you know about the Law, Breton? It seems like you know absolutely nothing about it.”

    This is simply ad hominem and doesn’t really deserve a response.

    “Wow, so you actually believe that something has to be an actual photocopy or direct reproduction in order to count as infringement. I wonder why you like to make things up like this.”

    I didn’t make it up, I found it written in copyright law, and cited my source in this comments thread. Have a look yourself if you don’t believe me.

    “As someone else pointed out, imagine someone copying Mickey Mouse, but instead calling him Mikey and the defense being “well they’re not entirely identical…you can’t copyright the idea of a mouse”.”

    I don’t have to imagine. That’s exactly how Donald Duck himself was created. He’s an obvious but watered down rip off of Daffy Duck, who was a popular cartoon character at the time of his debut. And yet, somehow Warner Bros has never got round to suing disney about that. Hmm!

    “I don’t have a problem with someone “inadvertently” drawing something that may look similar. But this isn’t the case. Anyone with eyes can see this was a copy (both the illustration as well as the words underneath, and also her character of being “strange” and “unique”)”

    Of course it’s a copy, I will admit that, but it’s not a photo copy, or a direct copy. So it amounts as plagiarism, which has a fair amount of social stigma attached to it. But, no laws as such. Believe me, I looked and looked in that copyright.gov site for any sign that this is an actionable case and couldn’t find anything. I welcome you to try the same. Please do enlighten us as to what you find.

    “The statute of limitations has not “run out” because it’s 3 years since the LAST infringment. They are still making money off of this to this very day. It would be like someone selling merchandise with “Mikey Mouse” and his friend “Donny Duck”.”

    The last infringement was in 1991, or if you take Rob Reger’s response, a few years after 1991. They no longer sell that bumper sticker, or anything else with that particular design on it. I presume it has been at least 3 years since they stopped selling those bumper stickers. All the other designs are non infringing since they feature an eerily similar, but not the same character named emily the strange, in compositions and layouts that don’t occur in any nate the great books.

  • I broke down and finally did a google search for the sake of this comments thread. I found a rather interesting link by an attorney about exactly how difficult it is to protect a character using US intellectual property law.

    http://www.publaw.com/fiction.html

  • I predict the creators of Nate the Great will see some of that Emily the Strange money about the same time Neil Gaiman sees some money from the Harry Potter folks.

  • You probably did not read that publaw article that you linked to. In that article it says: “even when the fictional character is protected it frequently receives less protection than that accorded to graphic characters.” That article dealt primarily with characters written in a book, not graphical characters.

    That same author, wrote an entire article on graphical characters right here:
    http://www.publaw.com/graphical.html
    He states very clearly that “Long lines of cases have found graphic characters to be protected by copyright law.”
    He even lists specific examples of Detective Comics, Inc. v. Bruns Publications when Superman was infringed.
    Further in that article Walt Disney Prods. v. Air Pirates shows it again.

    The James Bond film you refer to was only able to be made because of a settlement the Brocolli’s had to make. You can’t just go out there and film an actual James Bond movie unless you have the rights.

    And then you claimed that Donald Duck was just a ”
    watered down rip off of Daffy Duck, who was a popular cartoon character at the time of his debut. And yet, somehow Warner Bros has never got round to suing disney about that. Hmm!”

    Donald Duck is not a watered down version of Daffy Duck. They look and act different, and also Donald Duck was created before Daffy making it kind of hard to copy something from the future.

  • foot firmly in mouth. But while I definately see the resemblance between that book’s page, and the sticker, I don’t see any resemblance between the two character designs. The poses and line styles are vastly different. I honestly wouldn’t accidentally confuse the two.

  • It’s all over the Internet now, google “Emily the Strange ripped off”.

  • D: I’m all sad now.

    I’ve rather liked the Emily The Strange series for a while now — I have most of the comics (though there are a total of about 5 I know of, and they’re all rather cheap, if I do recall) — and this is rather upsetting. It wouldn’t be a deal at all she’d credited him, somewhere, but this is beyond obnoxious. You don’t do derivative works without crediting the original author. >>

    Hooowever.
    I have been playing The Sims since I was at least 10 years old — perhaps before then, but I can’t tell without running off to ask my parents and attempting to find out when The Sims Pets was released, et cetera.
    Anyways.
    In this game, I have had numerous Sims going by first names such as “Secret”, “Rose”, “Rosalind”, “Emily”, “Amelia”, “Michelle”, “Daffodil”, et cetera, and for a long time (when I was probably about 10-12-ish) my favoried last name was “Estrange”, the French for Strange.
    Also, the Sims 1 and 2 both had plain black dresses with tights and mary janes for child sims, which I used often, and I did have a large number of Sims with long black hair — so, I have made characters /eerily/ like Emily The Strange or Rosamund as a sheltered 10-year-old suburban child who was previously completely unexposed to either.
    Once pets were introduced to The Sims, I obviously made many of my sims have several black cats — I was a fan of the “gothy” shit during tweenhood and beyond, and a cat fan, so of course I had 2-4 black cats to go with my Rose Estrange, with her long black hair and plain black dress.

    … >> The point is, it’s just such a basic design, it actually is possible that it was a coincidence.

    As well, there are more differences between Emily and Rosamund then even noted by a few commenters here — Emily has curly hair. Emily always wears a BLACK dress, and a black dress only. Emily’s cats are much more distinctive, generally, than the cats with Rosamund that are pictured — one of them has a star instead of one eye, for instance. And one of them is a white cardboard cut-out of a cat.
    And I can name all of these only seeing the Nate The Great images posted here.

    Nonetheless, the images shown here look quite incriminating.
    However, based on Reger’s comments, the comments I have seen, and my own logic… there seems to be little evidence of actual plagiarism here. It is possible that there was, but the evidence seems sketchy. But… really, we can’t tell, from outside, can we? I personally will wait to see if there is a court case, or to see more direct evidence of copycatting, before I form a solid opinion on this.

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  • cartoonists can tell when a character comes from the soul- the life lines betray this,,good ones delight, poor ones have something missing– we can tell when a character is copied or traced – and sometimes when someone elses character is inhaled and then exhaled as ones own vision . Thats the sneakiest an d the mark of a desperate person -the term for this is ” fart breathing” that is, taking in someone elses intimate experience that creates a character and passing it off as your own..

    the soul is not awake to make copycat lines- the hand traces the perimeter ofwhat the soul genrates: with copycatting just the intellect is awake and of course the sneak ego who acts as art director/ forger/ and the hand follows the external impulse that excites

    watch a kid draw whats in their soul, then watch them copy or regurgitate some cartoon they adore–watch for ” deadeye” — that is the eyes don’t have life in a copycat version..

  • There is such a thing as intellectual property.
    Ask the members of DEVO. The original concept of “DEVO” and de-evolution was created by Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis. Even though Bob Lewis left early on, and the rest of the band took the ideas and made something out of it, Lewis was entitled to some of the profits. He had to sue to get his share.
    Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marc Simont should get a share of the Emily profits.

  • Jeez! Even the two cats are the same as the original. How gross.

  • As Adriana said above, people can argue about courts and copyright laws and appropriation all decade.

    On a purely moral level, it is theft. It is plagiarism. It is deliberately ripping off another artist’s work wholesale, although the plagiarist clearly isn’t much of an “artist”.

    Looking at these two images, it’s inescapable. And inexcusable. I do hope some satisfaction comes to the original artist, because exploiting and ripping off creatives is just parasititic, immoral and vile.

  • “hekamisama

    I predict the creators of Nate the Great will see some of that Emily the Strange money about the same time Neil Gaiman sees some money from the Harry Potter folks.”

    Neil Gaiman doesn’t own the rights to Tim Hunter, or any of the Sandman material- DC / Warner Brother does. And both corporate entities are two much in the movie & marketing business to rock the boat.

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  • …i adore marc simont. i work in a children’s bookstore and illustrate children’s books. he has always been someone i’ve admired…this is heartbreaking! i sincerely hope this is solved.

  • This is very naive. What about Obey? Shepard Fairy has built an entire business from an idea presented in “They Live”.

    Maybe it isn’t about the fact that icons can be ripped off so easily, but a statement about how little people pay attention.

  • WOW! It looks like I’m a 3rd generation hack when it comes to this! I stole art from Emily and thought that was original! Ooops! Go check out all of my art that i have stolen here:

    http://www.miketyndall.com/todd_goldman

    glad i’m not alone at doing this stuff!

  • disgusted at people's idea of art

    i don’t really care if anyone gets sued or if anyone cares, but i really think it’s pathetic that people argue that this is art and that there is something respectable about this character. if emily was so STRANGE she wouldn’t be mass produced and marketed to hungry, ignorant, dumbed down tweenies at hot topics.

    ART is not MASS PRODUCTION and even if emily the strange wasn’t a blatant rip off of this other character, it still isn’t ART and this Rob guy can go suck himself off for all i care. it’s depressing that people somewhere even respect and refer to this garbage as ART.

    if this character were real, she should theoretically hate herself for being such a tool.

  • “Maybe it isn’t about the fact that icons can be ripped off so easily, but a statement about how little people pay attention.”

    maybe what it REALLY is, is a statement about how little people think for THEMSELVES.

  • Interested in copyright

    On there justification this means we can all produce copies of Emily the Strange, as long as it’s different enough, as it’s derivative already.

    The real illustrator should be credited and paid. In no way was he hired, worked for or associated with the Emily the Strange people. They can’t justify they ‘have made her character there own’ if they didn’t create it in the first place.

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  • Wow, It’s horrible to see what crap people pull and get away with. That’s so disrespectful to the people who put their time into creating something original!

    But props to all you lawyer people who are giving advice!

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  • I’m glad to see that Rob Reger has responded here and has such a caual attitude and understanding regarding adaptation of intelectual property and its use for commercial purposes. After reading his post, I’m now certain that neither he, nor Hot Topic, will have any problem with the new line of t-shirts I’m producing based on my character “Jenny the Strange”.

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  • Rosamond is way cuter than Emily.

  • as an artist myself..I have been accused of doing something like this…when it was infact, if it was done at all completely subconscience…I was in a show at a gallery…and actually didn’t really see the show myself while it was up because we where out of town during it’s run…a year later I was in another show…and someone who had been to both shows..wrote in our sign in book that my work was pragiarized…from some other artist who had a piece in blah, blah, blah show at blank gallery..I said wait a second?…I was in that show!…and I went back and read the press from the show and sure enough there had been a piece in that show..reviewed right below the review of my work that was indeed very similar to the work in this new show. Now trust me I am self centered and when I read the reveiw, the first time after I got back from my trip abroad… I was only looking at what they wrote about me, because yes it’s is all about me, and only me, Me Me ME…did I copy that other artist’s idea? I don’t think so …not on purpose anyways I don’t even remember seeing his work. Isn’t it possible that the image stuck with the artist from when he was a child and he didn’t even know it or remember where it came from years later. I don’t think that would stop me from taking action if I was the illustrator of the Nate the Great books…but really we get so much input over the course of our lives it is possible that he didn’t remember where the idea came from and over the years just thought that it was of his own creation when really it had be inspired by a childhood memory of an story he read way back when. I can not see anyone in their right mind looking at illustrations from the 1970′s and thinking they could copy it so blatently without getting caught…Reger would have to be a complete idiot to do that, but one never knows. Everything is possible.

  • http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2008/12/emily-the-stran.html

    Marc Simont replies to an email informing him about this -

    “Thank you for your interest in the Emily the Strange caper, which I just learned about a few days ago. Marjorie Sharmat, the author, and I have referred it to the legal department of the publisher. We have not had any contact with Cosmic Debris. Marjorie has the rights to the text and I have the rights to the illustrations. The illustrations are copyrighted in my name.”

  • Yes, for those still following, I e-mailed Marc Simont at his website shortly after posting this. He was unaware of the appropriation of his and Sharmat’s character, which answers the question of whether there was a quiet agreement between Nate the Great and Cosmic Debris. I am very interested to see how this turns out.

  • disgusted at people’s idea of art

    that’s the funniest post in this thread.

  • please, please, please keep us updated on this! i want them to take on this guy and win. i can’t believe this guy would just steal another person’s art and claim it as his own!

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  • GET A FUCKIN LIFE

    I can’t believe this stupid thread of hate mail over something so dumb. You all talk big and proud, but do any of you know any of the people behind the brand? Do you have nay idea how small this quite empire is? You all need to get off you ass and do something more constructive like change laws, create mayhem when there’s a proposal that rip into our human rights. this… this is petty. Its a fuckin corporation… they all SUCK.

  • “GET A FUCKIN” above does not meet my required level of comment literacy to engage me in their trolling. I’m thinking that we’re dealing with a ninth grade education or so at best when we’re dealing with comments like these, so I just ignore ‘em.

    Great news about Mr. Simont forwarding this information to his legal representatives. Now, if only a nice class action lawsuit could wipe Todd Goldman off the earth. That guy needs a career assassination too.

  • I love it when people break out their e-law degrees. I think a lawsuit could go either way, but thanks for bringing this interesting comparison to light.

  • Are you serious?

    http://www.youngeomall.com/bemarket/shop/index.php?pageurl=page_goodsdetail&uid=2725

    http://www.youngeomall.com/bemarket/imgs/save/upload/bookpage/kizC01_tardy_1.jpg

    How can you say THIS looks like Emily the Strange? You cannot copyright a girl with bangs and cats.

    Because that seems to be the only similarity. Why not look at every other girl with bangs or cats and say they should be sued for a character with Rosamond traits?

    She bares no resemblance. OBVIOUSLY she has changed since that drawing.

  • Not a money machine.

    Emily strange is a company of 6. They arent millionaires and they strive to make fun empowering art for young girls.

  • Why isnt anyone blaming Nate Carrico? It’s not the creators drawing so why rub his face in mud when he is not deserving of it?

  • wow!!! i never knew. its clearly a direct copy and whats even more sad is he still claims he never saw the book. RIGHT.

  • Hey “Are you serious?”,

    I somehow find it hard to believe that the text on one of the first Emily Strange bumper stickers was that similar to the Rosamond picture posted above.
    Look at it closely.
    Look at the cats.
    This is absurd!

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  • I remember reading this book as a kid, now that you’ve mentioned it…
    wow, let’s hope they can take down the emily empire!!! Cheaters.

  • Knuckles McGee

    Hangin’, I say hangin’ is too good for this Emily character!

  • I’m a graphic designer/illustrator and this really pisses me off.

    Rob shouldn’t even be called an “artist” or be allowed to talk about his bullshit, irrelevant inspirations and what “his” character would do. It’s not his.

    It has been said that everything in art has already been done, and I agree to that point. You can re-interpret or be inspired by another person’s work, but you have to change it and make it your own. Plus, you should always give credit to the original artist and receive permission from them, especially if it is going to be part of a highly-marketed campaign.

    Rob Reger should call himself a “rip-off artist.” I hope Marc sues. There’s no denying the artist or team of artists that worked on Emily saw this illustration.

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  • It’s a pop culture reference, get over it.

    OMG INTERBNETS DRAMA!!11WTf

  • silverbullet69

    legally it looks gray. I mean the emily design is OBVIOUSLY inspired by this page, but it’s not exact. It’s just so fucking lazy that the emily artist barely even changed the composition or anything, mostly it’s disrespectful to original illustrator.

    I would sue just out of pure anger that someone took my work and turned it into some hot topic tween goth bullshit.

  • silverbullet69

    Not a big company??? From Wikipedia:

    “Emily the Strange first appeared on a sticker, a freebie distributed at concerts, record stores and skate shops to promote Cosmic Debris, the clothing line founded by skateboarder Rob Reger and racecar driver Matt Reed…

    Since then, Cosmic Debris has grown into a multi-million dollar firm with dozens of employees. Cosmic Debris has most recently moved its operations to Berkeley, California, and plans to open an Emily retail store there soon”

  • Dear Silverbullet69

    Dead silverbullet. Cosmic only has 6 people working there, my fiance is one of them. Once there were a bunch of employees and im not sure who wrote that wikipedia entry about it being a multimillion dollar company…

    Before you try to claim something as the truth, you might want to be solid on your facts.

  • WTF!!! I’ve always loved the Nate the Great books (I was really into mysteries as a kid) and Rosamond was my favorite character. LEGAL ACTION PLEASE.

  • “Rob, Buzz, and the whole Cosmic team have always been supportive of the unfamous artist community and have helped many along the way, mostly in ways that do not get publicly acknowledged OR make good copy.”

    that company used and exploited a ton of talented artists and kids and paid them crap, while they all live in their big nice houses. that’s some crap for sure. they suck the life out of people and then toss them aside. anyone who knows the history of that company or lived in the bay back then knows that.

    the party is over. (good riddance.)

  • Gayle Hagerty

    I know Rob Reger, Cosmic Debris and many of the numerous artists that he employed over the last many years. Many of these artists were paid well and given a huge platform to launch their independent artistic careers from. Rob is a person with integrity and someone I am proud to have worked with. Everyone that has worked with Cosmic Debris that I had the pleasure of meeting were individuals of unique and talented qualities. The Emily the Strange brand enabled numerous persons to provide for themselves while gaining enormous industry experience (artists, designers and professionals alike). This hate mongering is really sad and disgusting. What Emily’s origins may have been, they certainly were not and are not what Rob and his creative staff have crafted Emily to be. Rob has provided a vehicle that is meaningful to many people and those who are entertained by the darkness of this issue really need to look hard at their own self before wishing such ill on the Emily brand and Mr. Reger. I am forever his loyal and devoted champion. I believe in his message and his goals. AND FOR THE RECORD, he is not a multi-millionaire as those of you might think. I hope all you mud-ruckers can find other things to keep you entertained.

  • ahem…

    like i said….good riddance.

  • and…

    first of all, you worked with them waaaay late. and weren’t even there at the beginning. (yes, i know who you are…).

    second, all the people who worked there were talented to begin with. they didn’t reap any rewards from their experience and everyone who was with them from the get-go, aside from maybe 2 people, deems that experience an awful one.

    you’re clearly wacked. you have no right to speak for anyone who helped them get rich (yes….they did get rich…).

    the people who succeeded post cosmic experience did so because they were talented. not because they got anything from that place. EVERYONE from the bay back then knows that.

  • I would like to state again, for the record, that I do not deny that Emily is now a totally different entity from Rosamond. I do not think that Emily is an invalid character or a wannabe-Rosamond. I can see that she has branched off and has become something else.
    My problem is that, undeniably, Emily would not exist in her current form if not for Rosamond. It is plain to see that, quite objectively, Emily obtained all of her most key identifying characteristics (hairstyle, wardrobe, 4 cats, “strange”) from that one single page that she was originally copied from. These characteristics were a driving force in causing Emily to become a brand, and remain the things she is most readily identified by.
    The above are my reasons for believing that Emily is partially indebted to Rosamond in terms of her success as a character. I do not think that Cosmic Debris is completely devoid of integrity, but there has certainly been some covering-up that needs to be addressed.
    Rob Reger says he never received complaints by those associated with Nate the Great, but he never bothered to contact them either once learning that the original Emily drawing was, in fact, HEAVILY inspired (likely partially traced) by the Rosamond page. There are also omitted parts of the story that I would like to hear, such as Nathan’s entire role and what he had to say if he was ever confronted with this evidence. I would also like to know more about how Rob became aware of the infringement and what his reaction was, aside from phasing out the one design.
    The bottom line of all this is, regardless of whether you love or hate Emily, Rosamond, Cosmic, anything or anyone involved in this thing, Emily still has debts to Rosamond’s original creators that must be paid. They deserve, at the very least, some kind of credit–not an neurotic asterisk on each and every Emily image, but some permanent mention of acknowledgment on the website and wherever else Emily the Strange information can be found. It is my personal belief that the original creators also deserve more compensation than simply that, but of course none of this is for me to decide. Hopefully the legal department of Simont and Sharmat’s publisher takes appropriate action.
    That’s as plainly as I can say it. Thank you for reading.

  • from that other rad blog…

    # suckers wrote,

    it was a direct bite. direct designs taken from the book itself. how can he actually say, “i wasn’t aware of it…” when some of the earliest designs are exactly the same concept, cats, et al. furthermore, feminism? is it a good company that exploits a little girl that he ripped off from a good old fashioned story book to make money and claims it’s his universe. it’s not a girl with cats. it’s not a girl with long black hair and bangs and skinny tighted legs. no. not at all. she’s not strange. no direct hits at all.

    whatever. it’s so wonderful that we can see what it is now. poor emily.

    Comment on December 8, 2008 @ 10:53 am

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  • Did anyone else see the Emily Jones Soda add on this article? I don’t know if irony is the right word…

    http://note.aimeeisdrawing.com/blogimg/20081208.jpg

  • Gayle Hagerty

    Dear toodamsad

    In reference to your mean spirited comments;

    First of all, I have worked and known the company and their employees for 5 years. I can only state what I know from my experience and working knowledge. (And, I know who you are too). You are someone who is hateful and afraid to stand behind your comments and use your own name.

    Second, I never said that the people did not come with talent; I said they gained meaningful experience. It’s interesting that you think you know ALL the people who worked there and their experiences. I have had the pleasure to meet many original artist that have had good things to say. No one was indentured. Anyone who did not like their job was free to leave and left. Many employees (from the beginning) worked 6 or more years with the company. Why would they stay on that long?

    Third, regarding your point that “I’m clearly wacked” well thank you for noticing. I take it as a compliment, I’m wacked and strange, and odd and I felt like I fit into something that was strangely fantastic. I worked for a company that promoted strange and thank God for it! Regarding your point that I “have no right to speak for anyone who helped them get rich” well,… I have just as much right to speak as you do TODAMSAD. And for the record, you have no idea as to the financial rewards or costs. Rob Reger and his then partner Matt worked for years without drawling a paycheck.

    And yes EVERYONE that I know and/or have heard of who “succeeded post cosmic experience” were and are to this day enormously talented and experience if nothing else, is its own reward toodamsad. Experience is something I think you could use a little of. I have no interest in your return comments and will not debase myself replying to you again.

    For the record, I found the company and the brand Emily the Strange, all their past employees (that I have known), Rob Reger and all affiliates to be an enormously rewarding working and life experience. But what can I say, I’m wacked and strange and odd.

  • Stop Stealing Artwork

    So we have someone who claims to have worked for them and claims that they’re all great people with so much *integrity*. Let me ask you something…if this guy has so much integrity why did he NEVER MENTION the original book as being a source of inspiration? Is LYING THROUGH YOUR TEETH considered integrity for you? He makes up BS about how Dr. Suess is one of his influences yet conveniently leaves out the one that his company copied from?

    And then in his response in this thread, he claims the two characters are *readily distinguishable* so why does he say he tries to seperate them? If they really were so distinguishable he wouldn’t need to follow up with anything. Looks like he put his foot in his mouth there. And he really hasn’t changed Emily much from Rosamand from what I understand. Do you think it would be okay for someone to copy Spongebob Squarepants and call him a different name and then change his story a little bit?

    I think everyone will stop supporting this company and stop wearing their clothes. Do you want to support and publically display to others what looks to be copyright infringement?

  • dude. i know a lot about her. you can’t really listen to her. she came in way late and none of the originals were there when she was there. i have no idea why she’s defending rob reger. i don’t know anyone who helped that man that has one ounce of love for him. he has some good qualities. but he milked everyone i know.

  • and, honestly, the internet wasn’t what it was back then. i don’t think he ever thought this would happen. karma is awesome.

  • also, if anyone knows sheperd fairey, they know he’s the nicest guy ever. and he gives credit to everything. he does not hide. AND he’s originally a street artist. not some schmuck who just wanted to start a company to rip off tween girls. you can’t place both in the same park.

    as far as going after nathan…he did one measly image for a board a long ass time ago. he didn’t start an entire company….

  • Of course, to quote the retired wrestler The Rock,

    “IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!!” …whether the company is a good company or whether Rob is a good guy or a slave driver. The copyright laws apply to everyone, and that does matter.

    What else matters? That the initial image of Emily is a literal mirror image of a specific Rosamund page, complete with mirror image cats and stolen text as well.

    Anything that happened after that initial theft does not mitigate the problematic nature of the Strange Origins of a Certain Emily.

    Of course, it’s compounded by all the marketing copy about Emily hating people who copy other people, isn’t it? But the real issue is the simple and obvious theft of an image and text.

    Rob may be nice. Rob may be an exploiter. Rob may just be Strange. But none of it matters. Just look at the picture.

  • Gayle Hagerty

    Well toodambad if you know (alot about) me then you know one person “that has pounds of love for him” You should to stick to the issue and not attack me you silly thing!

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  • Chelseamca…
    I’m sorry, but your comment “At first she was just a mouthpiece for typical Hot Topic tee slogans (”I WANT YOU to go away,” “Problem Child,” etc. etc.)” Is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

    It seems to me that you either are too young to remember Emily pre Hot Topic or more likely you are not on the West Coast and/or familiar with the skater scene on the West Coast in the 1990s. I do, I am and I was.

    Emily started out very small in the early 90′s and Hot Topic did not get their grubby hands on her until many years after. You can read about my unique perspective, as someone that sold Emily tees in a little mom-and-pop retail store “way back when”, years before Hot Topic even knew she exsisted. For convenience click the link on the above trackback…or use this link: http://dysmindseye.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/hi-its-emily-isnt-it-or-maybe-rosamond/

  • So, I think that Hottopic is ripping many independent stores and clothes makers, including me. Have you seen the “petticoat” they sell? Well orinally they called it a “tutu”. Weirdly enough, they didnt start selling these untill my step mother designed a skirt that is black and red with may layers and it very poffy. I wore it to my 8th grade grad night. During the summer I visted family in Colorado, and I wore it there, I was in Hottopic fequently and the workers would always ask where I got it and all that stuff. After a few weeks, I noticed that they were selling, what looked like a very cheap thing of what i was wearing. People are always asking where I got it and telling me that the ones at Hottopic are nothing compared to mine,I honestly think that Hottopic ripped me off. My step mom was at Hottopic today, Christmas shopping and asked the lady who desgns the tutus and started a conversation about them. She tried to get my step mom to buy one and she told the lady no and that I wouldnt like that one bit because i dont like the idea that Hottopic ripped my style off.Anyway the lady told my step mom that she would be able to talk to the owner of the store and get her a deal, as long as i wear my tutu and work at hottopic. So i wouldnt doupt that Hottopic ripped Emily The Strange off from some one else, becasue if they are willing to ripp off a tutu from a teenager, they will be willing to rip off many people, and they have.

  • http://www.uni.uiuc.edu/library/blog/blog_images/emily.jpg

    how appropriate is that image for this situation

  • I met Rob and he comes off as a nice person but I also know from several artists that he uses his lawyers to threaten to sue any artist that has a cat in their design even if it’s not goth related. If he is trying to say Emily is a derivative then why go after all the different cat designers that don’t look similar to his or Nate’s cats.

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  • An obvious plagiarism. Pattern recognition must be the privilege of the intelligent. For example, the coldplay rip of Kraftwerk’s ‘Computerworld’ or Broadcast’s rips of Al stewart, Mort garson and a plethora of other ‘obscure’ ’60s bands. Even Jennifer Lopez ripped the Yellow Magic Orchestra’s ‘Firecracker’… Everyone’s at it to some extent, thinking that ‘the kids won’t have heard this before’… to the downfall of originality. Pah.
    Hexenfinger.

  • hexenfinger…
    I’m not one to usually quote the Bible, pagan that I am, but I just cannot help it here, because this “ripping off” is not any different that what has been going on for thousands of years and is even described the Old Testment, in Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11

    9: That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done.So there is nothing new under the sun.

    10: Is there anything of which one might say,”See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us.

    11: There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance Among those who will come later still.

    So, part of it is ignorance of what came before and pulling something out of one’s subconcious, or the Collective Mind…so it is possible that it may not necessarily be intentional at all. Similar to how two books or movies that come out at almost the same time, with very similar plots, and both were totally under wraps/hush-hush.

    I think people tend to pick up vibes from the air or space or whatever…we’re a very impressionable bunch, you know…

  • for dyrici:

    Here, here…nothing new under the sun and entropy keeps on keepin’ on.

    ‘Prison We Choose To Live Inside’ by Doris Lessing, a gem of a book exploring like mindedness amongst individuals and she has cats too.

    Merry Mass Consumption and Happy Do-It-All-Over-Again!

  • chek out ruby gloom

  • But… Emily the Strange ISN’T Rosamond. So he isn’t copying the character. Emily doesn’t act like Rosamond. Rosamond is weird, but not rude.

    http://www.kimbawlion.com/rant2.htm

    That is Kimba. Fans were outraged at the similarities. Did it matter? Nope. Bottom line is ‘The Lion King’ is NOT ‘Kimba’. Different stories, different characters. Both are lions. Both lost their dad. Both had an evil aunt/uncle but does that make them the same character? No.

    The original image (now discontinued, mind you) was obviously inspired by Rosamond, but the character is entirely different.

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  • I know this is going to sound crazy to you guys, but it might just be coincidence/ collective unconscouisness that lead to the Emily/ Rosamond similarities. Why would I theorize this? Because my name is Emily (really); I’ve always had long, dark hair; I was a Smiths/Cure/Clash loving goth chick in the eighties (yes, I AM that old); I had a song published that the first two lines are “Think more often, and think for yourself. Expand your mind to free your soul”; the tagline of my first personal ad was “I’m not your typical ANYTHING”; etc….and this was all before I’d even HEARD of Emily the Strange.

    I actually got introduced to Emily the Strange by a guy who thought “Emily” was just my sceen name on Match.com. He thought my tagline was all a part of my copying the Emily persona. I had no idea what he was talking about. Not a clue. Being older (and thankfully having enough money to shop for REAL goth stuff, not our local mall’s equivalent), I had never been in Hop Topic. Kinda glad, too. When I was in high school, there was no “goth store”. Nobody marketed to the freaks. I think it made for less posers that way. Anyway, enough about that. I also had to walk to school in nothing but black tights, uphill in the dirty snow, both ways. Ahh…memories.

    Just some food for thought…..

  • Did I mention I used to have four, yes, four black cats (Charcoal, Quinton, Duffy, and Wilbur); my favorite colors have always been red and black-together; and through high school I religiously wore black-n-white striped leggings (from an old ballerina costume)? I could go on and on….I might have been influenced by Rosamond (being born in 1973, the timeline would fit), but what is just as likely (at least in my particular case), is that all of “us” tapped into the same general feelings of disgust for the boring normal assholes we came across in school, and the goth aesthetic appealed to us instead. They even called my girl scout troup “the dead scouts” because we all wore black and liked Bauhaus. As 12 year olds…

  • fuzzyhamster, it’s good that you used Simba/Kimba as an example because it just proves that big companies steal. The only reason that didn’t go into a lawsuit was because the original creator was scared. Here is a bit on it:


    Yoshihiro Shimizu, of Tezuka Productions, which created Kimba the White Lion, has refuted rumours that the studio was paid hush money by Disney but explains that they rejected urges from within the industry to sue because, ‘we’re a small, weak company. It wouldn’t be worth it anyway… Disney’s lawyers are among the top twenty in the world!”

    See, the reason why he didn’t sue was because he thought Disney was a big company and he was too “weak”. Hopefully the creators of Rosamond will not be bullied by this Emily the Strange company. Emily the Strange has racked up lots of money by copying their image. All anyone has to do is look at the placement of the cats, look of the girl, as well as the rip-off of the words underneath it to see this was plaigerism.

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  • Speaking of appropriation;

    “… look here brother
    Who you jiving with that cosmik debris? ” –F. Zappa, 1974

    irony much?

  • psr, The Lion King was originally going to be a remake of Kimba the White Lion. Then the creator of Kimba said “no”. They had done a lot of work on the story already, not wanting to toss that out, reworked it so that it was not Kimba.

    Emily was reworked so it was not Rosamond. Those first images are no longer in print. They changed it. Emily no longer acts like Rosamond.

  • wow! i mean i have no problem with artists being *inspired* by another piece of work, but completely ripping it off??? he should have gotten permission before creating Emiy.
    …and to draw the same picture minus ONE cat and change “did not” to “didn’t” and “hungry or sleepy” to “tired or happy” thats total bullsh!t.

    ps, Rosamond is way cuter anyway. She totally has a Tim Burton look.

  • Rebecca L. G.

    Wow! Thanks for posting this! I’m a… kid who likes black. I’m still young so I had no idea about the Nate the Great books. I just found out about Emily Strange and I almost told my friends about it. I’m glad I didn’t!(things catch on fast at my school) Thankfuly Emily is strangly(no pun intended) absent from my school.

  • I don’t care if Rosamond was ripped off. I always thought she was cute. Theres nothing wrong with being inspired by her.It’s not like he ripped off her name and picture and said they both belonged to him. I don’t know this guy so Im not sure so Im not going to judge him. You did a really exellent job at noticing this and posting it. I appreciate it alot.

  • Imitation is just flattery.
    I think it’s pretty cool that they used the slogan from Nate the Great. But I don’t like that they didn’t credit the author.

    Sad to say, I like Emily the Strange way more than Rosamund the Strange. ):

  • i still like emily, i like the name “emily”, i agree with sunny^, too bad they didn’t credited the author.

    me too. i like emily way more than rosamond^^

  • I ALWAYS knew that Emily was a rip-off, having read the Nate the Great books all the time as a child. He solved neighborhood “mysteries” and ate pancakes when he needed to think. Man, those were some great books.

    Do yourselves (and the original author) a favor and go to a bookstore and ask if they still print these books. Then buy them – read them to your kids, your nieces and nephews, your dogs and cats, whoever. Pretty soon it’ll be obvious to the entire world who’s ripped off who – and a new generation of kids will get to know Rosamund…

  • Breton, your understanding of copyright law is painful. I wouldn’t normally bother to respond to the litany of posts from people defending this as reasonable use, but it’s dangerous for people to live under these misconceptions. Take a course in basic IP to learn a little nuance here. You can quote the statute as much as you want, but you’re missing the meaning of half the words, which are not “plain meaning” as you seem to be implying, but are specific legal terms with defined meanings. You’re also failing to take into account the way those words have been interpreted by federal courts. Honestly, I don’t have the time or energy to pull those cases for you, but find someone with access to Westlaw and ask them to.

    First of all, an action doesn’t accrue until the plaintiff becomes aware of the harm. If someone had copied your work and you were never in a position to see those works, would it be fair to run the statute from when they created that copy? What if they just distributed it to 100 people and waited for the action to lapse, THEN published worldwide? Of course not. The harm has to be known and real to you.

    There is an substantial likelihood that a judge would find that image derivative. The layout of the characters is almost identical, they are wearing almost identical shoes, they have very similar hair, posture, and despite there being one less cat, they are designed almost identically, if in mirror image.

    The text is the most painfully telling trait. Every sentence is exactly the same length (assuming we can agree using a conjunction doesn’t qualify as “original” thought”). Only two words are actually different, and those two words are even similar to the original words used.

    These things dramatically reduce an assumption of independent creation. The chances of the wording being that similar are extremely low. Having art nouveau cats with almost identical positions, colors, eye shapes, even perspective, is even less likely. When considering a derivative work, you look at it as a whole, not as individual elements. That said, Emily isn’t even an element here, she IS the infringement. We don’t allow copyright in works that are too short specifically because of the possibility of independent creation. There is no doubt in my mind that here, however, this work was copied. Hard to prove? Maybe if “Nate the Great” was an obscure writing that Emily’s creator had little chance of coming in contact with, but with a world-renowned series? Mickey Mouse with five fingers and blue pants with red gloves named Jane Doe is still Mickey Mouse. Standing on his head? Still the same. How about peeing? His back’s turned, so you can’t see half of his recognizable features…
    Take a look at Mr. Watterson’s seminal character, Calvin:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes#Copyright_infringement

    The hard part will be proving the damages. That’s where the lawyers will spend all their time arguing. Saying “it’s just the first work” is not enough; all works following that were based off of that idea. They’ll spend forever arguing over where the truly independent work begins. Is this overly complicated?

    For the record, and for everyone planning to argue, I’m not an armchair lawyer. I actually have a law degree and, amazingly, an LL.M. in Intellectual Property law. I might even, possibly, know what I’m talking about as a result of 5 years of legal education. We covered cases like this constantly. My specialty is video games, but there’s very little difference when it comes to images and text.

  • I’ve never understood how people can justify such malfeasance with an apparent argument that, despite reproducing someone else’s original ideas and passing it off as their own, they claim a ‘greater good’ because it’s helped people.

  • four star daydream

    “Money, it’s a gas.” – Pink Floyd

    http://start.cortera.com/company/research/k3m6kqq6l/cosmic-debris-etc-inc/

    COSMIC DEBRIS ETC INC is in the Men’s and Boys’ Clothing and Furnishings industry in OAKLAND, CA. This company currently has approximately 10 to 20 employees and annual sales of $1,000,000 to $4,999,999.

    People at this Company
    Name Title
    ROB REGER OWNER

    Start with this free report on COSMIC DEBRIS ETC INC that provides the basics. Then, if you need to dig deeper, access our premium insights for COSMIC DEBRIS ETC INC including enhanced demographics, executives, business hierarchies, payment behavior & scores, public records and more

  • four star daydream

    “The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates.” – David Foster Wallace

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_11/b3924446.htm

    How To Knock Out Knock Offs
    Fending off copycats is costly but necessary

    Emily the Strange, a taciturn teen who dresses in black and whose favorite phrase seems to be “Get lost!” is an original character created by Cosmic Debris Etc., a 25-employee company in Oakland, Calif. Featured on popular merchandise such as T-shirts and backpacks, Emily is also a tempting target for the rip-off artists who’ve put her image on a host of unlicensed goods the world over.

    In 2003, when the 10-year-old company discovered Emily knockoffs in German and Australian stores, it decided enough was enough. The company then hired a private investigator, who traced the items back to stores in Taiwan. Cosmic Debris called a law firm and police in Taiwan. The result: a raid and about 40 cartons of confiscated merchandise.

    Protecting your intellectual property — including your inventions, ideas, processes, logos, or images — can be crucial to your company’s success. Without such protection, cheap imitations of your products can quickly eat up profits. Copycats using your catchphrase or logo can muddy your brand in consumers’ minds. Plus, legal protection of your property is key to securing licensing deals and venture capital. “We invest in companies selling products that can be protected,” says Howard Anderson, senior managing director of Cambridge (Mass.)-based YankeeTek Ventures, which funds early-stage technology companies…….

    THE BATTLE AGAINST COPYCATS doesn’t end once you have a patent or other protection in hand. You’ll have to keep monitoring the market for violators. That can include examining competitors’ products at trade shows or hiring a trademark-search firm to seek out possible conflicts. Cosmic Debris makes use of its customers’ eyes and ears. It encourages loyal customers to supply information about possible knockoffs and enlists employees to act as watchdogs…..

  • Having eyes in the front of one’s head is qualification enough to judge this case.

    In addition to the picture comparison, lack of remuneration, and dearth of artistic credit, all one needs are the two dates: [Rosamond: 1978]; [Emily: 1991].

  • If Emily was fashioned after Rosamond, that shouldn’t be a big deal.. That’s mere inspiration. However, the similar texts are what get to me.

    “She looked like she always looks. Strange.”

    That’s not coincidence nor is it “inspiration,” that’s quoting and plagerism.

  • Wooo, I read this whole page. You all suck for getting soo cought up in this and I suck for wasting an hour reading through it.

    So anyway, what happens if I turn this entire blog into a screenplay that I then turn into a crappy slice of life film where the characters (based on you lot) are sitting in a big room discussing where Emily the Strange originated from?

  • @ Sabbath
    That would be awesome- you have my permission. But if you didn’t ask my permission I would have been pissed & tracked you down. all you have to do sometimes is ask permission and people are often flattered into giving you permission.

  • i prefer marc simont’s version much more.

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  • Hi guys. I just wanted you all to know, that while copyright infringement is horrible and all, this would be even worse than, say Tetris attempting to sue everybody who made some cheap knock-off clone. Pong suing the creators of Arkanoid (Breakout maybe to you), Mario sueing Super Marisa Land, or anything with Super World. Or sueing Bros. I have 3 other points
    1 – Nobody has yet given an explanation of ‘When Rob Reger got the bumper sticker, someone else had made it, and he had asked for the concept from him, not knowing the original source’
    2 – You can’t sue any text that looks similar. That would be like Michael Jackson sueing Weird Al for ‘Eat it’, (which is clearly a cheap, but funny knock-off of Beat It). Or any video game that included famous quotes from previous ones (“all your bases are belong to us”), or suing for usage of 42 as the life, universe everything, and also sueing generally every spoof in existence.
    3 – The amount of money they made is entirely irrelevant. Whether they had made a penny or a billion dollars, the legal situation does not change.

    Also, in case nobody noticed (I’m a video game nerd ><)

    And, geez, its a freaking FICTIONAL character, no need to get so damn worked up about it.

  • idiocy aboundeth

    Jesus H. This is like an Artists’ Bizarro World, these insane responses.

    Yes, the character is FICTIONAL. And plagiarism is REAL. And ACTIONABLE.

    Both the publisher and the author/illustrator have been ripped off illegally in that “iconic” Emily illo. Ignorance is no excuse. This company is, quite rightly, going to have to compensate the original writer and artist no matter how much you kids wuv “Emily”.

    Marc Simont drew an ORIGINAL character. He gets ALL the credit, every bit, for this design, period. For her utterly ripped text, the author too deserves the sole credit. That’s what “credit” is. ffs. That’s why “originality” has any value or meaning.

    Live and learn, fanboys and girls. i assure you you’d understand and feel differently if YOU had written/illustrated “Nate the Great”. Don’t be douches about it. Grow the fuck up.

    Signed, a real working illustrator.

  • I wouldn’t give a damn. Anybody could have thought of something as generic as a girl with black hair, cats, and other black attire, and being strange, and if you’ve never seen a reference to previous works before that involves changing certain things, than I don’t know what to say.

    Btw, who is Emily anyway…. I’ve never actually read a book before.

  • idiocy aboundeth

    This wasn’t “changing things” or “referencing”, John lee, it was plagiarism. If you can’t see that, then you better stay out of the “borrowing” business. Because it will and should bite you in the arse as it has this company.

    Have a nice day.

  • Ew. You called me by my first name.

    Anyway, ok, I totally believe you and you have me entirely convinced. You have inspired me to get the makers of ‘Astro Boy’ to file a lawsuit against ‘Rockman’. Rockman, did after all, start off as an Astro Boy, but for whatever reason, they couldn’t use him due to copyright issues, and recolored him to get Rockman (Megaman, for the less knowledged)

    Also, a lot of things could be considered plagiarism. I’m kind of feeling stupid about starting this argument, because I just remembered, the only people who talk in these things are those hard-headed people who have a rebuttal to everything, brush off good evidence as being stupid, use endless sarcasm, make off anybody against them as stupid, and cannot be convinced no matter what you do. It’s like trying to make an Atheist, christian. EXTREMELY difficult. And plus, this argument goes on in a suprising number of other places, so my attempts are futile…

    MEGAMAN SUCKS, ASTROBOY OWNS!

  • *full name
    not first name. ew.

  • So I decided to look at this from your point of view, and realized how angry I would be (based on my experience of meat boy)

    So I agree, I was probably wrong and you were right. I hope that we can let by-gone be by-gones now and be friends :)

    ~ Regards, except I’m prob not coming back – John

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  • Like to watch Stargate Atlantis episodes and also Lost. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • rosamond kind of looks like those twins on the simpsons…look out matt!

  • common sence not so common

    the truth is that nothing is origonal. romeo and juliet is almost identical to another story writen in ancent greece.insparation can come form anywhere. now they ether got a little to much insparation from in at first, they may have just the insparation from the same places, or they may have just thought it looked god on a skateboard and it took off,but alot of diffrences haved developed and there not the same. also there are millions of people on this planet what are the odds that noone would think of something similar. one is a random character off of a 5-year-olds book that fuw have even heared about till now and the other is a popular logo and teen book. if all esle fails at lest emily is ALOT better drawn that rosamond. JohnLee is one of the smartest people on here. and U R Wrong ner the top of the list can stick a lit firework down his pompus throat

  • I know that this court case is over, and it kind of pisses me off that they both agreed on their “original” characters… I love Emily the Strange, but this news is making it really hard for me to hold on to her strangish bowels any longer.

  • Респект & уважуха блоггер.

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  • I cant help but be aggrivated at the situation in hand.

    but given much thought, how many classics are being in use to recreate.

    its going to show, we have no more trive for ideas or roaming imagination of our own.

    how sad.
    honestly.

  • Очень четко написано, очень понравилось. Не жалею что прочитал

  • Спасибо. Прочитал с интересом. Блог в избранное занес=)

  • EMILY IS THE BEST!!!!!

  • I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

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  • Oh, Roger KNEW exactly what he was doing. I hope all of his fortune goes right down the shitter. And his shades too…

  • Coming up with an idea that’s never been thought of before isn’t possible, it just can’t happen in a statistical sense. It’s not that much of a stretch for me to believe that these two sets of people could have come up with similar ideas. If you really want to start attacking him for coming up with a girl that’s ‘strange’ and has four cats, then let’s sit down and pick apart other major characters and find out how ‘original’ the rest of your favorites are.

    There’s no such thing as an original idea anymore, only original applications of ideas. Brood on that a little.

  • Kat DoomKitty Strange

    Emily is much more better than the dumb Rosamond…shes like from the 80′ and emily is from the 90′ . . . . and emily is better,stranger and everything higher than..the “goth” caracter…emily has fans over the world…and Rosamond…well,how obout we say 60 OF THEm…absolotley!ROSAMOND STINKS

  • Kat DoomKitty Strange

    actually rosamond stinks,not her preses kittyes..THE ONLY THING THAT IS GOOD,whatcha gonna do?Kittyes alwayse rule..the rosamond isnt bad but emily IS SOOO MUCH BETTER,so emily would say ROSAMOND STINKS,not me..i only get sometimes strange ..im sooo like emily

  • Kat DoomKitty Strange

    Rosamond doesn’t stinks she is cute,but why does emily have more fans?

  • Kat DoomKitty Strange

    ok,im totally strange…

  • wow i hope that dude who ripped them off gets sewed!!!

  • Kat DoomKitty Strange, simply put, you’re a dipshit and you should get a life.

  • Very nice site! [url=http://apeoixy.com/xqqass/2.html]is it yours too[/url]

  • nice site

  • “The irony is this, if they have negotiated an agreement, then has this site (and it’s owner/author) committed a tort (defamation) against the party holding the right to use the character (the Emily the Strange people)? Now that’s an outcome that would be fun to watch!

    ALL OF YOU….GET OFF THE INTERNET AND GO GET AN EDUCATION.”

    If you spend your time getting a JD instead of internet lawyering, maybe YOU might have something better to do with your time.

  • Hey!!! People, Listren up!
    Emily, is, has, and will alsways be the best. I’m sure it was an accident, because tthings like these happpen!

  • Ummmmmm has anyone thought that the only thing stolen was. A bumper sticker in the nineties?????? There is no resemblance between rosamond/Emily except for her appearance after that time!!!!!!!! The only thing he could be sued fir is that bumper sticker and the
    profits etc off it!!!!!! GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Also if you look at any novel, there are going to be similar elements to other things, there is no escaping it because there aren’t that many different stories!!!!!!! Do go tell Phillip pullman to sue jk rowling fir using dementors which are like specters from his dark materials!!!! Or tell JRR tolkein to sue Christopher Paolini for saying in Eragon that the elves sung the world into existence, just like in Lord of the Rings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These Are allo great novelists Who used elements from other great novelists to further their own books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Аноним неутомим

  • U r all haters, y do u hate Emily enough to 2 waste even a second of ur lives trying 2 kill her when that’s obviously not going to happen? Emily rocks!

  • Interesting. Thanks for this info; it explains a lot. Emily is one of those characters that I should have liked but didn’t.

  • Строительные услуги и ремонт киев и область.

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  • Lifestyle brand Emily the Strange has pitched itself headlong into the Be Yourself Movement, an italian artist movement!
    Encouraging its fans and all people to be themselves and be free about expression, the Be Yourself Website features a cityscape dotted with blank billboards and advert spaces that visitors can graffiti however they like, using the tools provided: by saving them, banners user generated, go online in the planned website network!

  • I am a Emily Fan. I was at a daycare, and happened to see a “Nate the Great” Book. I picked it up, and sure enough, i saw the similaritys between Rosamond and Emily. It may be copyright, but dont you think, that if the auther of “nate the Great” Was bothered by this, some sort of action would have allready happened? Even if somthing did happen, i would still be a fan of Emily, and nothing will change that. I will not deny that copyright is wrong, but, it is all about what you preffer. The two authors are still getting money, so what does it matter? “starwars” And “startrek” Are almost the same too, but you dont see hate sites online, Do you? Get over selves and,

    GET LOST!

  • LOL, someone must have posted this article on a “i fucking love emily the fucking strange because I am an emo nobody” fan site. That would explain on the recent comments…

  • Kait the Great Fan of Nate

    I loved the Nate the Great books as a child, especially the character Rosamond. I could relate to her. Why would this cause me to resent Emily? Teenagers are able to identify with Emily, the way I did with Rosamond. It’s like, double the strangeness.

    Sure, it was lame of the artist to copy the page in Nate the Great. Really lame. But the first time I came across Emily Strange while shopping with a skateboarder, she reminded me of Rosamond, even though I didn’t see any page copies. They’re a lot alike. But they’re not the same.

    I like Rosamond. She likes Emily. He likes both. Whatever. Two strange girls with cats are better than one.

    Besides, the whole intellectual property theft idea is being questioned in some circles lately. Not that it’s cool to pass some else’s work off as your own or anything…If anyone is interested, there are several articles on the topic at mises DOT org.

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  • Surprisee adminstrator , i love w/ u article. LOL Please come to my blog

  • BrooklyntoBay

    now there is a movie coming out?!
    i knew a few people who worked for that prick…
    no appreciation for the artists or others ideas
    why do money rats like this get anywhere in life on the shoulders of others talents?

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i07a95797894eac5624cffd8f0227d2f9

    http://www.examiner.com/movie-in-los-angeles/chloe-moretz-is-emily-the-strange

  • anything that is mass-produced and sold at hot topic is pretty much worthless, with a few exceptions (gir from invader zim, and even he’s getting stretched a little thin).

  • 20 Feb 2008 … This was…well, very interesting indeed! Ask me sometime about how a mild attraction to birds has turned into an obsession

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  • Guys, you’re all arguing about the same thing, what you need to realize is, everything today is unoriginal. Everything has been done.
    You’re not going to walk into a book store, clothing store or turn on your television without seeing something that resembles something else.

    I can see the obvious similarities that Emily has to Rosamond, but Reger took Emily and aimed to make her, her own because her gave her, her own world.

    ‘Cosmic Debris contended that Emily and Rosamond both drew from a tradition of similar characters including Vampira and Wednesday Addams, and argued that while the text of the initial Emily illustration was nearly identical with Sharmat’s text, that illustration had been withdrawn in 1998 and the statute of limitations had therefore run out.
    On August 12, 2009, creator of Emily the Strange and the creators of Nate the Great jointly announced an agreement resolving all disputes between them. Each side agreed to give up all claims against the other as part of their settlement. “We recognize that Emily and Rosamond are both unique and original characters, and we are pleased that we were able to resolve this dispute,” said Marjorie Sharmat and Marc Simont. “We wish Rob, Cosmic Debris, Emily and her fans all the very best.”‘

    Thats something from Wikipedia, and i know that site isnt always correct, but Sharmat and Simont never copy righted that phrase, and when it says ‘the statute of limitations had therefore run out.’ it mean that that phrase was older than twenty years, because ‘Nate The Great Goes Undercover’ came out in 1974 that meant the limitations went up in roughly 1995. Yes, that’s long after the bumper sticker, but by now, anyone could use that phrase.

    So if tomorrow a new character came out, and some one used a the same text, but changed the name, would you sue them?

  • Woh I your articles , saved to fav! .

  • I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

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  • lots of character’s are based off of other things like how momiji from fruits basket was the bases for Hunny from Ouran high school host club, they are very similar ( they even look alike) but Hunny has become a very different character. Also the franchise doctor who has used monsters based on slender man. I thing Emily is awesome … the bumper sticker is very incriminating though. But the stories in the books have nothing to do with that other one and are completely original … the designs on the other hand I’m not so sure about :(

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