Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Copyright v. Facebook

August 9, 2011





Westercreek, Circuit Judge, writing for the court:

Marjorie Thoroughgood is the daughter and personal representative of the estate of her mother, Mildred, who sued the three defendant corporations and one individual for copyright infringement. The district court threw the case out, granting summary judgment to the defendants. Mildred has since died and her estate appeals.

Mildred was a professional photographer who made – or took1 – a famous photograph which her daughter alleges was stolen by the three defendants. Mildred was driving one afternoon on U.S. Highway 84/285 north of Espanola, New Mexico, when her eye was caught by a cemetery on the side of the road in the village of Hernandez. It was almost sunset and a full moon was rising above cemetery and mountains behind. Mildred threw on her brakes, pulled over, and grabbed for her camera. Jumping out of her car she immediately realized that the sun would be setting in moments and that the sunlight on the crosses in the cemetery would soon be gone, ending the chance to make the photo. She also recognized that she would have to expose for the full moon, otherwise it would be nothing more than a solid, boring, white circle in the resulting photograph. (the luminance of the moon – 250 c/ft2.)

Mildred was a photographic Luddite who refused to use the pervasive photo-manipulation computer program known as “Photoshop.” In her eyes it was not only pervasive, it was pernicious; a view which, as we shall see, is relevant to this appeal.

Mildred quickly set the manual controls on her digital camera for the proper exposure for the moon and snapped the picture. She planned on making more exposures but it was too late. The sunlight was off the crosses. Hers was the only car that stopped and she was the only person who photographed the scene.

Excited, Mildred hurried to her hotel room in Santa Fe and downloaded the photo to her computer. The results were more that even she had hoped for. It was the best photograph she had ever made. The moon’s exposure was perfect and all the photo needed was some “burning and dodging”, a standard photo-development technique.

Mildred wanted to share the photo with her friends, family, and professional peers so she uploaded a small digital copy to her Facebook page. (She also put a watermark copyright notice across the face of the photo, thinking she was protecting her copyright, we suppose. We would show you the photo, but we’re afraid Facebook might sue us.)

The very next day a new employee of Facebook’s marketing department was trolling around the site, looking for photographs that Facebook could use in a new advertising campaign. The employee, Hazel Smithers, stumbled on the photo which Mildred had already named, “Moonrise, Hernandez N.M.” Young Smithers immediately recognized that it was a fine photo that, because of its scenic value, religious iconography, and astronomical interest, would appeal to Facebook users and the general public. But the digital file of the photo was too small for Facebook’s advertising department and it had that troublesome watermark copyright notice splayed all over it.

Without notice to Mildred, Hazel Smithers ran the photo through the “Photoshop” program that Mildred hated and completely removed the watermark. Then she ran it through another computer program which increased the file’s size so that it could be used in digital and print advertising. Facebook then launched an advertising program prominently featuring Mildred’s photo.

Not only that. Subsequently Facebook was contacted by Google which put the image on a line of coffee mugs, tee shirts, bookmarks, and pens in one of its advertising campaigns. Google paid Facebook one million dollars plus change for a sub-license to use the photo.

Then a vice-president of defendant ExxonMobil got one of Google’s coffee mugs with Mildred’s photo on it and thought the photo would make a wonderful addition to ExxonMobil’s latest advertising campaign encouraging Americans to get out on the “Open Road” using ExxonMobil’s gasoline. ExxonMobil paid Facebook two million dollars for the use of Mildred’s photo.

Eventually Facebook sold the rights to the photo to Simon Legree, a hedge-fund manager, for ten million dollars. Legree has since sold more than 1,000 copies of the photo at an average price of $5,000 per print.

Remember that Mildred knew nothing about these corporations using her photo or Legree selling it. They told her nothing and they paid her nothing.

She found out when her daughter showed her ExxonMobil’s full-page “Open Road” advertisement in the New York Times which was consisted only of her photo, a short caption, and a corporate logo. Up until that time the only people who ever saw an actual print of the photo were patrons of the small art gallery where Mildred showed her work.

It is well-settled American law that a copyright attaches to a work of art the instant it is created. (The defendants do not dispute that Mildred’s photo is a work of art so we save for another day the vexing legal question of whether photography is art.) So Mildred’s photo was copyrighted the instant she clicked the shutter on her camera. Putting a copyright notice on the small version she uploaded to her Facebook page was quaint legal surplusage. Not surplusage was Mildred’s registration of the copyright of the photo. She sent the government $35.00 to register the photo, necessary if she ever wanted to sue for statutory damages. Frantically Mildred tried to tell the defendants and the world that the photograph was hers. She held press conferences to which no one came, she blogged about it furiously, wrote hundreds of letters to editors, posted notices on her Facebook pages, tweeted on her Twitter page, set up her own web site, and bored anyone who would listen with her tale of copyright infringement. No one cared, least of all the defendants.

So Mildred added up the money the defendants made on her photo (About eight million dollars, not including the revenues each corporation earned from the advertising campaigns, but we’ll see that the actual amount doesn’t matter.) and asked for the money, but defendants ignored her. She sued, but as we saw, the lower court threw her case out.

Broke, starving, depressed and in despair, she threw herself in the path of a speeding ExxonMobil tanker truck, was run over, and killed.

The Constitution of the United States, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, gives Congress the power to enact copyright law. Congress has used the power to preempt state law entirely. 17 U.S.C. § 301(a) Exclusive jurisdiction of copyright disputes in vested in the federal courts of which we are one. 28 U.S.C. § 1338. No creator has a complete natural right to prevent others from copying or exploiting her invention so copyright law steps into that void by giving a time limited protection to creators of works that are copyrightable. Promoting progress by stimulating the creation and publication of as many works of art, literature, music, architecture, copyrights afford to creators a limited property interest in their creations, although that interest is subordinate to the public good. By creating her photograph Mildred became a person protected by the copyright laws of the United States and, unless she otherwise forfeited the right, could sue anyone, including these defendants for money damages for infringing her rights. Title 17, U.S.C. Section 504. Not only could she get the money she lost, she could also force the defendants to disgorge to her all the money they made using her photograph. Title 17, U.S.C. Section 504. Not only would these defendants owe her eight million dollars, they would also owe her all the profits made as a result of their advertising campaigns.

But remember that Mildred, rest her soul, uploaded the photo to her Facebook page. That, it turns out, was a mistake. Facebook is a social networking computer site privately owned by defendant Facebook, Inc. The service is free to the more than 750,000 benighted souls who use the service. But the service, like lunch, isn’t really free. Users must agree to a contract before they can use Facebook and Mildred agreed to Facebook’s usage terms before setting up her account. She made a binding contract with Facebook. That contract included this provision:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission . . . : you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).

For a contract written by a lawyer, that one is fairly clear. In return for using Facebook’s service Mildred gave to Facebook an absolute right to use any photograph she uploaded. For free. Not only that, she also gave Facebook the right to sell her uploaded photos to anybody it wanted to. Also for free. Google, ExxonMobil, and Legree bought the rights directly from Facebook, sold to them in perfect harmony with the binding contract between Facebook and Mildred.

The contract contained another provision, adding that the license she had granted to Facebook ended when she deleted her content, “unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

When Mildred discovered what she had done by uploading “Moonrise” she immediately deleted the photo and had all her friends do the same.

Too late. She bore the burden of proof that all copies had been deleted from computers all over the world and this she cannot do. Not that it matters. She shared the content with Facebook and it certainly hasn’t deleted her content. The owners of Facebook know a gold mine when they see one.

So Mildred must lose her case. Her contract with Facebook trumps the Nation’s copyright laws.

That leaves only the defendants’ requests for costs and attorney fees. Section 505 of the Copyright Act permits courts to award costs and reasonable attorney fees to the winners of copyright litigation.  The learned district judge looked over defendants’ cost bills and attorney fees and awarded them a total of three million dollars for costs and fees. Finding no abuse of discretion, we affirm the award and order Mildred’s estate to pay up.

The laity may grumble about this result in this case, thinking it unjust. They might think that defendants stole millions of dollars from Mildred and they may well be right, but it was all perfectly legal.


1“Professional” photographers like to use the verb “made” when referring to their photographs. Presumably this is an effort to distinguish themselves from the rest of us who merely “take” pictures. But everyone owns a digital camera these days and six billion photos have now been uploaded to just one photo-sharing site, so the “professionals” are swimming upstream. The semantic dispute bores this court and we take no position on it, other than to warn the “professionals” not to give up their day jobs.


Drifting into Divorce

March 20, 2011

Justitia by Cranach the Elder - 1537

For pure, raw, unadulterated emotion, nothing beats a courtroom in which a divorce or child custody trial is in progress. Lawyers and judges who specialize in such work often burn out. The ones who last over the long haul tend to be people able to use their senses-of-humor to maintain a little distance from all that emotion that erupts in their courtrooms.

One such judge presides over domestic relation matters in Ontario’s Superior Court. In a recent case a couple – Catherine and Larry – were duking it out in a particularly nasty divorce. Catherine had once attempted to drive over Larry in the family van.  According to Judge Joseph Quinn, “ This is always a telltale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart.”




Humor and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

June 10, 2010

It is difficult, if not impossible, to find anything humorous about this NASA photo of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven humans and thousands of other sentient beings have lost their lives and millions of other lives have been disrupted and permanently damaged. Millions of gallons of raw crude oil foul the Gulf and its shorelines, notwithstanding Mississippi Governor Barbour’s claim that only a few tar balls have shown up on the state’s shores. Perhaps that is his idea of humor?

Nonetheless, some humorists are making the effort and we report on two here.

First, here is Robert Mankoff, the New Yorker cartoonist, comparing BP to King Canute.

And here we present Bryan Clarke and John Dawe, the Australian humorists who appear on Australia’s ABC news at 7:30 Thursdays nights in Australia. (Because people in Australia are upside down, does that mean the news show is on at 7:30 A.M.? And what is Thursday upside down?)

A comment about this piece. Humor can’t be analyzed too closely. As E.B. White once wrote, ““Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging. . .”

So we won’t dissect this piece beyond telling you that Brian Clarke pretends to be an interviewer and John Dawe pretends he is a clueless BP executive being interviewed about the oil spill in the Gulf. The piece is humor at its best, showing us our own foibles. Here is a conversation humanity is having with itself about our addiction to oil.

Personal Ads

December 28, 2009

Apparently the London Review of Books now twitters its famous personal ads. If you’ve never run across the ads before, many are hysterically funny. And, if this really is the Review’s twitter account, we in the Colonies no longer have to buy a subscription and wait for weeks while the hard copy of the Review makes its way across the Pond to us.

Just for fun, while we wait for New Year’s, are some examples:

Cold? Sexually hostile? You’re my PhD supervisor or my ex-wife. Good day to you both. The rest of you can say something nice to box 3678.

You’re all invited to my wedding! One lucky Male will also be picked as groom! Clutching Female,41. Not getting any younger/thinner/more fertile.

Nepenthes rajah: insectivorous pitcher plant with a trap so large it digests rats. I find it a continual source of inspiration. Female, 34.

There are 289 species of octopus. I can, and will, name them all during the act of love. Male, 58. Box no. 6759.

Should any of my readers feel an urge to respond to any of these personals, I’ll be happy to forward them for you.

More News You Missed

December 17, 2009

This news from the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Hugo Mendoza-Terrazo,20,no address given, was arrested on suspicion of DWI after a deputy observed fresh damage to his vehicle with a tree branch attached to it.

The Inauguration of President Barack Obama

January 24, 2009

Today I turn this blog over to Dick Cavett.  I’m sure this is copyrighted so don’t you dare copy it without giving credit to the best intellectual comedian of our age.  And pray for me if Mr. Cavett or the New York Times comes after me for copyright infringement.

Never mind.  I don’t have enough capital to help the New York Times and Mr. Cavett seems far too nice a man to sue me.  Besides, I am about to make a fair comment on the piece: John Roberts is not the “Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States;” he is the Chief Justice of the United States.  No matter how badly the Chief Justice screwed the oath, one must not screw the Chief Justice.


Dick Cavett

Dick Cavett

I’m Not Weeping; It’s an Allergy

These foolish drops do something drown my manly spirit.
– Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”

I had neither planned nor expected to cry.

If it’s true, as some maintain, that men who cry are pantywaists, then I stand condemned.

Not being one of those whose tear-production is either quick or voluminous, I was amazed at how many times, watching the all-day spectacle, I lost it.

And it wasn’t just at the easy times like, say, during a sudden close-up of a tear-streaked elderly black face in the crowd, but also at moments that were just plain “for the country.”

“Historic” and “historic moment” and “historic day” were repeated mercilessly, but remained true. Only a zombie could fail to feel the truth of it.


It seems, doesn’t it, that there are two kinds of tears?

There’s the kind produced by the death of your dog (which just happened to me once again, and about which I always offend someone by asserting that the reason the death of a pet is worse than the death of a human is that you have mixed feelings about all people), or by the loss of a loved one. And there’s the almost opposite kind — but still tears — produced by watching Astaire and Rogers, the young DiMaggio and the young Ali, a sudden Picasso, Ol’ Blue Eyes’s voice, the 23rd Psalm, or any performance by Meryl Streep. Or Obama’s grin for his daughters.

Music bypasses the brain and goes straight to the heart. I wish my life had more of it. Once, years ago, I was taken along to Tanglewood for a concert by the great Zino Francescatti, a name scandalously unknown to me the day before.

Somehow we were in the front row. I was not on TV yet or I would have been even more embarrassed when, repeatedly and to my total amazement, the virtuoso violinist caused me to, as suddenly as a hiccup, give forth with an audible, gurgling sob. Beauty tears, I guess you could call them. Tears of joy.

Aretha can make me cry. So could Ella, and Etta, and Ruth and Billie, and Carmen and Lena, and, and . . . the list goes on and on of female black singers who have unlimited access to my emotional innards.

And yet somehow I was never moved — a limb confronts me and I am about to venture out upon it with a dangerous confession– by the sanctified Marian Anderson.

Her affectations and regal bearing I found embarrassing. It takes a heart of stone not to be moved by just about anybody’s rendering of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” but her choosing to make “hand” sound too much like “hahnd,” and her queenly personal use of the royal “we” and “our” in both speech and writing sort of put me off. (Sorry to those for whom this admission will place me beyond redemption.)

The refreshingly robust delivery of “Amazing Grace” by Wintley Phipps last Tuesday got to me big-time. And I always worry for that great song, fearing it might grow stale through overuse. It gets trotted out to give instant depth of feeling to mediocre dramas that can’t otherwise spur emotion. One year, it was the theme music of three feature films.

I find most “sacred music” pretty dismal. I don’t have a strict policy of “nothing sacred.” Once past the overly familiar “Mine eyes have seen the glory” stanza of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” at least a dozen lines in the sublime later verses — even just reading them — can make me gurgle and (since I don’t own one) ask for a hankie.

At least a dozen lines and passages in it simply cannot be read impassively, from “I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel” to whole stanzas like:

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

One moment in that stirring hymn never fails me. Though not much of a believer, I have only to think and hum the first line of one of the less familiar stanzas to induce instant throat stricture:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free
While God is marching on.

Why was Julia Ward Howe not forced to turn out at least 20 more hit singles?


I felt bad when George Bush was booed.

But only briefly. My sympathy for that man has a half-life of about four seconds.

There was a surprising number of outpourings of sympathy for his having to sit there and, as it was too-often described, “take it on the chin.” Was there ever a chin more deserving of taking it?

“You have to feel sorry for him,” someone cooed. “No. You do not!” I shouted at the screen. I know he “tried” and he “did what he thought was right.” But so does the incompetent surgeon.

What does that excuse?

His brief discomfort “sitting there” can’t have been less endurable than the discomfort of the young soldier describing on the news how he watched helplessly as his gut-shot buddy bled to death on the sands the smirking Texan sent him to.


And a hearty sayonara to that other fellow.

Do freshman philosophy classes nowadays debate updated versions of the age-old questions? Like, how could a merciful God allow AIDS, childhood cancers, tsunamis and Dick Cheney?


As with all good entertainments, there was unintended comic relief.

Not since Robert Goulet forgot the words to the national anthem has there been a moment to rival the chief justice’s blowing his lines, turning The Oath of Office into an Abbott & Costello “Who’s-on first?” routine.

The giggling schoolboy side of me thought it laughable as hell. What would the funny man do next? Drop the Lincoln bible on his foot?

Yet the increasingly curmudgeonly side of me frowned and found it inexcusable. It isn’t as if some tipsy, third-rate actor did it. It was the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States!

And he was playing to perhaps the largest audience in world history.

Nerves? Stage fright?

How nervous could a man in his position possibly be? As one of the dozen remaining people in the country with job security — and for life — oughtn’t he be at least relatively calm?


All in all it was, to put it feebly, a day to remember.

And, remarkably, I heard, the mobs of millions produced not a single arrest. All kinds of history was made that day.

What this — as Tennessee W.’s Blanche DuBois says, “young, young, young man” can do for the country and the world is yet to be revealed.

But for starters isn’t it nice having someone in the Oval Office with smarts? And class?

And syntax?

Footnotes in American History

December 3, 2008


We know that certain conceits are involved in our “Footnotes in American History” project here at the Golden State.   First, scientists tell us that we are in the sixth great extinction epidemic of earth’s history and there is no biological or geological evidence to suggest that our species, unlike the 99% of all species which have lived and gone extinct here, is extinction-exempt or even special.  The odds are as much against us as they were against the Dodo.

The second conceit is that anyone will be reading about the United States in 500 or 1,000 years.  It’s possible, of course, but certainly not guaranteed.  As the historical evidence is against the survival of the species, so too is it against the long-term survival of the United States.  Empires come and go with astounding regularity.

Those two facts actually fold into one: Just as we discovered that our planet does not occupy any special place in the universe; likewise, it is unlikely that we do.



Which is the point of the “Footnotes” series.  We are sentient beings which can conceive of a “future” and can even imagine and plan for it. By imagining a long view — and we’ll probably turn out to be wrong almost as often as there are things to be wrong about — we hope to make a tiny contribution to a shift toward a healthy human humility and an American one.  That is our only hope to avoid the fate that awaited most of life on this planet.

The Dodo

The Dodo

And with that long wind-up, here is today’s footnote:

32– In early America a game called “feetball” was popular.  Millions of people attended to the games and some even entered the popular mythology of the time. Entire books were written about individual games.  One college game, between Harvard and Yale, is still remembered today.  (Harvard won, 29-29.)

The athletes who played were lionized and wealthy members of society.  However wealthy and admired they may have been, however, some weren’t smart.  For instance, we have a criminal record of one such athlete who went to a bar with a loaded hand-gun in the waist band of his sweat pants.  The weapon slid out of the waist band and the athlete made a grab for it and shot himself in the leg.

His case reached the United States Supreme Court in the year 2011.  Because the state (An old political subdivision still extant in those days) of New York had a law against carrying concealed weapons in public the athlete was sentenced to a mandatory jail sentence of 3 years.  Because he was a big star and wealthy he claimed that the New York law violated his 2nd Amendment right to “bear arms.”  In Burress v. New York, the Supreme Court agreed and held that Americans had the constitutional right to carry concealed guns wherever they wanted.

That remained the law for only a few years.  In 2015 Justice Scalia, by then an old, cranky man, asked a lawyer appearing before the Court a sarcastic question.  The lawyer took offense, reached in his suit coat, pulled out a pistol and shot the Justice dead.

Soon after, the Supreme Court discovered that the 2nd Amendment only protected Americans’ right to bear arms when they were on militia duty.

The Financial Crisis Explained

March 28, 2008

In two minutes, this video explains the current financial crisis. We offer it as a public service.

UPDATE April 28, 2008

We invited Mr. Clarke and Mr. Dawe back to explain the legal situation at Guantanamo, Cuba.


February 3, 2008

We’ve been way too serious about grammar around here lately. In view of the fact that we’ll be getting back to the 2nd Amendment’s grammar this week, we thought it time for a short break.

On CBS this morning was a story about a nature artist we like, Charley Harper, who was a fine punnist, if we may be allowed to coin a word. A good blog, FatFinch, posted this piece about Mr. Harper which we offer here to lighten your day. It is cold and cloudy here so we felt a need. We use it with their permission.

Punning has an undeserved unsavory reputation. Alexander Pope thought that a man who puns also picks pockets. O.W. Holmes, father of the famous United States Supreme Court justice, accused people who pun of being like wanton boys who put pennies on railroad tracks. (Holmes obviously was stealing from King Lear, “As flies to wanton gods. . .” )
Never mind. We agree with Charles Lamb who opined that a pun is a noble thing and that those who dislike them are “ill-natured.” Boswell thought them among “the smaller excellencies of lively conversation.” Shakespeare used them so often that Samuel Johnson accused him of having the vapours.
We recently re-watched the movie Master and Commander — your author is a great fan of Patrick O’Brian and has read the Aubrey-Maturin series twice already. Here from the movie:

  • Captain Aubrey: “Do you see those two weevils, Doctor?…Which would you choose?”
  • Dr. Maturin: “Neither. There’s not a scrap of difference between them. They’re the same species of Curculio.”
  • Captain Aubrey: “If you had to choose. If you were forced to make a choice. If there were no other option.”
  • Dr. Maturin: “Well, then, if you’re going to push me. I would choose the right-hand weevil. It has significant advantage in both length and breadth.”
  • Captain Aubrey: “There, I have you!…Do you not know that in the service one must always choose the lesser of two weevils?”
  • ________________________
    pub_crow_snow.jpgYou have to love a man who, after creating this crow in a snow field, says of it:

    Crows are black birds and blackbirds are also, but a crow in the snow is so much the more so. If you’re pro-crow you proclaim his intellect, his resourcefulness, and the visual poetry of his somber silhouette on the calligraphy of the cornfield. But if it’s your cornfield, you have good caws to compose creative crowfanities when he arrives. Think of it as sharecropping: he gets the grasshoppers, you get the corn, and the few ears missed in the harvest are held in, well–escrow.

    We sell his cards in our store and many of them have similar funny, punny descriptions.

    Ready to send your Valentine’s Day cards? Here is “Vowlentine.”


    Or how about “Herondipity?” On the back of this card we learn that male and female herons are almost identical which means it is easy to be “herroneous” when guessing their gender.


    Here is his “Wings of the World.” If you are a birder, see how many you can identify. If you are not a birder, see how many you can count. Birder or not, you can revel in the art.


    If you are interested, follow the instructions on this poster, “Visit Our Website.”visit-my-web-site-u.jpg

    Mr. Harper was an artist of nature, most often birds. He died last year. Mr. Harper got his full quotient of years on the planet, dying at the age of 84 and leaving behind a large body of joyous, modernistic nature art.

    He was John J. Audubon and Louis Agassiz Fuertes, updated. Calling himself a “minimal realist,” he reduced his subjects to the simplest visual terms he could. He said of himself that he counted only wings, not feathers when he drew. According to him, he was a lousy birdwatcher.

    I found a bird guide by Don Eckelberry and realized that was all I needed–those birds didn’t move. I’m the world’s worst bird watcher. That’s my dirty little secret. I do all my bird watching in bird guides.

    Which is better than shooting them, like Audubon did, you have to admit.

    Born on a farm in West Virginia, he spent most of his life in Cincinnati. His publishing career started in the 1950’s when his illustrations appeared in Ford Times. His writing started at that magazine as well when he took over the job of captioning the little magazine from E.B. White.

    He put his art in the service of nature. Here is a poster he did for the National Park Service.

    Here is “We Think the World of Birds” a work he did for the Cornell Ornithological Laboratory.


    Of this piece he said,

    It occurred to me that I could make the world the shape of an egg, and then make the trees upside-down eggs–a visual pun. After that, there was just the matter of putting in the birds.

    According to an interview at the Cornell site, this was one of the works of his life that most pleased him.

    You can find examples of his work on our web site, on the web and in Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper, 1994, Flower Valley Press, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

    We were blessed to have him. Here is his 1982 serigraph Tern, Stones, and Turnstones
    Terns and Turnstones

    Here is what he said about it:

    If you’re terned off–I mean, “turned” off–by puns, don’t go away. The ol’ punster has terned (make that “turned”) over a new leaf. I promise not to punctuate this paragraph with such punishments as no stone unterned, no U-terns–no more awful puns. Just the facts: a Roseate Tern and some Ruddy Turnstones share a pebbly beach along the ? WAIT! I CAN’T STAND IT ANY LONGER! Ternabout’s fair play. No terning back now. The ol’ punster has passed the point of no retern.

    He has indeed. For the rest of us, his death was a tern for the worse.


    Update: Febuary 3, 2008. CBS did a story about Charley Harper and Todd Oldham this morning. We posted the link here.