Frankel v. Lyons (Barney)

EFF Sues Barney to Defend Online Free Speech

Barney the purple dinosaur may teach kids a lot about playing fair but his lawyers need a lesson in fair use. Now EFF is fighting back on behalf of one website owner to stop Barney's lawyers' abuse of copyright and trademark law.

On August 23 2006 EFF asked a federal court in New York to uphold Stuart Frankel's online parody of Barney as non-infringing protected speech. Stuart posted the parody on his website in 1998 and Barney's lawyers have repeatedly sent him baseless cease-and-desist letters over the last four years.

This isn't the first time Barney's lawyers have wrongly threatened web publishers. In fact they sent one of their unfounded threats to EFF in 2001 when we mirrored another non-infringing parody. At that time EFF sent a response which attempted to correct Barney's lawyers' prehistoric understanding of copyright and trademark laws. We also publicized their threats and sent out a call for others who had been threatened by Barney. That's when Stuart first contacted us.

EFF hopes this case will help put an end to Barney's unfounded threats once and for all and serve as a lesson to other overreaching rights holders.

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Good news: Virginia now requires warrants for drones. Bad news: @GovernorVA vetoed license plate reader limits. https://eff.org/r.xpit

May 6 @ 3:48pm

Libraries and HTTPS go together like 323.445 Freedom of information and 005.8 Data security. https://eff.org/r.s2d1

May 6 @ 1:17pm

How John Deere and a bunch of major car manufacturers use DRM laws to undermine the idea of ownership https://eff.org/r.m1pq #DayAgainstDRM

May 6 @ 12:59pm
JavaScript license information