There was consternation in Great Heaving today as lawyers from several sides sprung into action in an alleged copyright breach involving the image rights of famous local scientist, sportsman, author, artist, diplomat and space traveller Professor Brian Thrupiece. Ownership of the rights, which passed to Mrs Edna Whisky McNightly, after a prolonged legal process following Professor Thrupiece's "disappearance" from a from a Swiss hotel room in 2005, was subsequently reassigned to a joint venture company owned wholly [10:90] by Mrs Whisky-McNightly and the Threadbone Corporation whose President, Chair, CEO, CIO and general factotum Mrs Amanda J Threadbone has been the most active developer and protector of what has come to be known as "Brand Thrupiece Ltd" ever since.
The recent furore involves a Little Bredy novelty figure manufacturer Magnetic Heroes Ltd whose stock-in-trade is the production of miniature fabric likenesses of the rich and famous which purchasers can attach to any metal object [refridgerators are specifically recommended] to brighten up a space and perhaps even their humdrum lives. "We've been doing it without issue for nearly two years now" says company owner and chief designer Ripp Orff, "and built up quite a catalogue of well known and much-loved characters including Jimmy Young, Alvar Liddell, Freddie Grisewood, Winifred Atwell, George Robey, Will Hay, Andy Stewart, Chick Murray and Eamon Andrews etc and for the younger market Micky Dolenz, Tony Blackburn, Timmy Mallett and Valerie Singleton. None of them have complained - that we know of - and I am sure they would have - especially the ones still alive. To be honest we were gobsmacked when the police said we had to suspend trading - it came out of the blue so to speak".*
* more accurately the boys in blue [Ed].
Speaking on behalf of Mrs Whisky-McNightly and the Threadbone Corporation, Mr Joshua Threadbone of well-regarded and much-feared Great Heaving solicitors Messrs Threadbone, Threadbone and Threadbone said that this was one of the worst cases of flagrant copyright breach he had encountered in a long career of corporate-based litigation. "This is one of the worst cases of flagrant copyright breach I have encountered in a long career of corporate-based litigation", he said.
It is understood that the Professor Thrupiece Novelty Magnetic Figure went on sale more than a year ago, but its market presence and alleged breach of copyright was not noticed until late last month when an employee of the Threadbone Corporation was offered a discounted example in the snug of The Blinded Cockerell public house in Evershot. "I knew that at the price I was offered it they couldn't be paying a royalty to the image rights owners - that would have put at least £100 on the price", Threadbone Corporation employee of the month for March Mr Rowten Sneak said. "So, I reported back to HQ and sure enough it was dodgy." Thereafter, it seems, all hell broke loose as Mrs Amanda J Threadbone herself became involved in the matter.
Having complied with the order to cease selling the Professor Thrupiece Novelty Magnetic Figure [Stock Item Number 675] and having witnessed his remaining stock being taken in to police custody, Mr Orff is dismayed. "It was an honest mistake. We found that our Any Warhol and Alfred Einstein Novelty Magnetic Figures [Stock Item Numbers 32 and 47] just weren't selling, so we thought re-badging them into Professor Thrupieces might just shift some stock. Ok, so it was a bit daft and I regret any offence we might have inadvertenly caused and any laws we might have unwittingly broken. But I will never regret the fact that we sold more than 12 in a year including 3 of them through our arrangement with The Blinded Cockerell - though in retrospect the latter was probably one too many. Still, forty-five quid is forty-five quid and they can't take that way from me".**
** Our legal expert, Affie Dayvitt writes: "they probably can and almoist certainly will".