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

Publisher finally gives up claims over world's most popular song in case highlighting broken copyright system: http://www.hollywoodreporter....

Feb 9 @ 4:39pm

Don't brood over that rejected FOIA. Nominate the agency for the Foilies. Deadline 2/15: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Feb 9 @ 4:32pm

Copyright shouldn't gave manufacturers a de facto monopoly on repairing their products. https://www.techdirt.com/arti...

Feb 9 @ 4:06pm
JavaScript license information