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Barney, the Purple Antichrist, Surrenders, Free Speech Restored

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Finally, the good guys win one. Stuart Frankel has been battling the prince of darkness (pictured above) and his lawyers for four long years. Frankel dared to put up a website poking fun at Barney, the PBS cash dinosaur. Lawyers for the owner–Lyons Partnership–sent at least four cease-and-desist orders to Frankel, accusing him of violating the company’s copyright. One e-mail, dated Feb. 11, 2002, accused him of using copyrighted images to describe

the use and threat of violence towards Barney.

Threats of violence towards the fictional? Where did these people get their J.D.?


Stuart went to the nonprofit group Electronic Frontier Foundation, which got involved and sued Lyons in August, asking the court to rule once and for all that the parody site didn’t violate copyright law.

But Lyons apparently wised up before the case got very far in court. Today, the EFF announced that Lyons agreed to settle the case by withdrawing its threats against Frankel and reimbursing him for the fees he spent defending himself.

FBLA thinks that if they had any wit, they’d make a Diablo costume for the big purple guy. Tie-in merchandising.

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