Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mr. Yuk is Mean. Mr. Yuk is Green

Even Mr. Yuk isn't safe from the heartless, soulless lawyers anymore. That's right. It turns out Mr. Yuk, the scowling green poison control symbol, has lawyers -- and they don't look happy about what's happening in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, Minnesota.

Local City Council member Paul Bakken has put Mr. Yuk-like faces on lawn signs opposing an upcoming vote to amend the city charter. Attorneys for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which holds the copyright on Mr. Yuk, weren't amused.

"It's just that this guy is using Mr. Yuk inappropriately and illegally. He's broken copyright laws. . . . It's clearly a violation," said Dr. Edward Krenzelok, the jerk who doubles as director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, which is affiliated with the medical center.

He said Mr. Yuk was created more than 30 years ago to warn children away from dangerous substances. He said that his role as Chief Jerk of the Pittsburgh Poison Center has compelled him to asked the medical center's lawyers to straighten things out, for a nominal fee.

"It doesn't hurt us," Dr. Krenzelok acknowledged. "It's just inappropriate use, and we have to control the use to maintain our copyright." Jerk.

Mr. Bakken, a lawyer, defended his use of Mr. Yuk. He said federal law allows some use of copyrighted material for satire or academic criticism. He said he found Yuk-like images spread across the Internet.

"It appeared to be in the public domain," he said. "If this is genuinely harming the good work that they do, I sincerely apologize."

Fie on the Dr. Krenzelok and his fellow jerks at the Pittsburgh Poison Center.

Even Pittgirl at the Burgh Blog should agree with me on this one.

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