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Freddie Mercury-Inspired Gorilla Statue Removed for Infringing Copyright

This is why we can't have nice things, like a gorilla statue painted to look like the frontman from Queen.


Look, copyright law — I know you mean well, and you were designed to help protect artists and innovators. But when you do things like rob the world of the glory that is a gorilla statue painted to resemble Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, you’ve gone too far. This is why people avoid you at parties, copyright law. Because you hate fun.

The offending gorilla was part of an art exhibit taking place all over the streets of Norwich, England in which artists painted 53 life-sized fiberglass gorilla sculptures to resemble everything from pirates to bicyclists to the offending sculpture, which took its inspiration from one of the late, great lead singer’s iconic suits. While artist Mik Richardson claims he changed the look of the suit enough that it was “fan art” and should not be impacted by copyright, the Mercury Phoenix Trust disagreed. The AIDS charity, founded in 1991 in memory of Mercury, claimed that the gorilla’s getup was still close enough to the original suit to infringe the copyright on it, which they hold.

Likely looking to avoid a public spat with an AIDS charity, GoGoGorillas, which organized the exhibit, relented and had the offending gorilla removed. Here’s hoping Hasbro doesn’t get the same idea when they realize there’s an Optimus Prime-themed gorilla statue in the show as well.

(via BBC, image courtesy of Go Go Gorillas)

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