The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has secured an important victory against U.S. Customs. Last November, the CBLDF filed a request for court action with U.S. Customs in Charleston, South Carolina concerning the seizure of issues of Stripburger that included the parody comics 'Richie Bush'by Peter Kuper and 'Moj Stub' by Bojan Redzic (see 'CBLDF Battles Customers Seizure'). Customs seized the books, which were en route to Top Shelf Productions, claiming that the parodies were 'piratical' infringements on existing copyrights.
This week Customs released the books without going to trial and will be refunding the $250 filing fee that Top Shelf placed to challenge the seizure. CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein was extremely pleased, saying, 'It's exactly the kind of victory we want, where reason prevails and no one has to go to court. It's always better to prevent a trial than defend a trial.'
Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros added: 'Despite the low dollar value of the books seized, the principle of this issue -- that of Customs overreaching its authority to judge what is parody and what is not -- was definitely worth fighting for.'