Mickey The Pirate

Pirate 01

I wonder if the creators of this Mickey Mouse Pirate T-shirt “get” how many levels this works on. Anyone that has seen Lawrence Lessig, the famed copyright crusader, speak about Disney. Let me just quote the professor here:

The story goes like this: Walt Disney was a great creator in the tradition of great creativity: his creativity was to rip, mix, and burn popular culture. Even Mickey Mouse, who was born as Steamboat Willie (released in 1928), was a rip, mix, and burn take-off on Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill (released in 1928).

But I hadn’t realized just how true that was until I opened my very cool set of Disney “Treasures” – a special DVD release of the early Black and White Mickey Mouse films that Disney is now selling (comes in a cool tin case, with a serial number pressed into the tin). The DVD is a great collection of the early cartoons, with some “bonus” features including the script for Steamboat Willie. Here’s a screen shot of the first page of the script. Notice the direction from Walt: “Orchestra starts playing opening verses of ‘Steamboat Bill.’” Try doing a cartoon take-off of one of Disney, Inc.’s latest films with an opening that copies the music, and see how far your Walt Empire gets.

I highly recommend you go and watch Proffesor Lessig’s speech at oscon, it has been called one of the 10 best presentations ever.

Now I wonder what would happen if we took a creative commons approach to t-shirt design, would there be less pissing and moaning about rip off t-shirts if “attribution” was required? Sure I think some instances of companies coming in and ripping off designers is a horrible practice, but surely there is a happy medium between trying to control where designs show up, and the concept of inspiration with attribution?

Update:
Wow, I can’t believe BoingBoing posted this this afternoon, 8 hours after I posted it and I didn’t get a link back

9 Responses to “Mickey The Pirate”

  1. Cory OBrien says:

    I agree. I’ve noticed Boing Boing does a lot of ‘thanking’ without giving a link back to the original source.

  2. Jesse C says:

    I would bet that someone submitted the link to Boing Boing, directly. They have their nice little email submission form, which would explain the lack of link backs.

  3. Andy says:

    Jesse’s probably right, they said thanks to ‘integer poet’ (IIRC), so that person probably sent them the link without mentioning you.

  4. Clutch says:

    I posted about it too after I saw it on Boing Boing.

    Clutch
    ~tshirtwebsites.com

  5. [...] Love this t-shirt from Nuda tees and even better it’s $8 (as are all their shirts currently), can’t beat that. Reminds me very much of the Mickey The Pirate from a month or two ago.           0 Vote digg_url = ‘http://tcritic.com/archives/i-need-to-get-this-toilet-paper-its-like-lawrence-lessig-loo-roll-on-sale-for-8/’; digg_title = ‘I need to get this toilet paper – it’s like Lawrence Lessig Loo Roll – On Sale For $8′; digg_bodytext = ‘ Love this t-shirt from Nuda tees and even better it’s $8 (as are all their shirts currently), can’t beat that. Reminds me very much of the Mickey The Pirate from a month or two ago. ‘; ( function() { var ds=typeof digg_skin==’string’?digg_skin:”; var h=80; var w=52; if(ds==’compact’) { h=18; w=120; } var u=typeof digg_url==’string’?digg_url:(typeof DIGG_URL==’string’?DIGG_URL:window.location.href); document.write(“”); } )() Filed under T-Shirts and Geek T-Shirts.  | Tags: DRM, piracy, pirates, RIAA. Related Entries [...]

  6. [...] $8 (as are all their shirts currently), can’t beat that. Reminds me very much of the Mickey The Pirate from a month or two [...]

  7. integer poet says:

    Yeah; it was my fault, not Cory’s. I bookmarked the shirt site for later perusal, and by the time I realized Cory would love it I had lost the link lineage. I’d feel much worse if I had gotten something out of this, but I’m still sorry.

  8. karl says:

    LOL, no worries Integer, I feel vindicated that I was the source :-) I can’t complain, those guys sent me one of the shirts so I did all right.

  9. RSRV says:

    Mickey's a pirate?
    Nice shirt huh?..
    At first glance, it really looked like a pirate sign.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.