Intellectual Property

Communists for Intellectual Property

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This is a bit old, but I don't think it's been mentioned on Hit & Run yet: Che Guevara's children are irked by the unauthorized use of the Argentina-born Cuban revolutionary's name and likeness on products such as T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, and vodka:

Aleida Guevara, the eldest of Guevara's four children by his second wife, Cuban revolutionary Aleida March, said the commercialization of her father's image contributed to tension between rich and poor in some countries.

"Something that bothers me now is the appropriation of the figure of Che that has been used to make enemies from different classes. It's embarrassing," she wrote during an Internet forum sponsored by Cuba's government ahead of what would have been her father's 80th birthday on June 14….

"We don't want money, we demand respect," wrote Guevara…

But Cuba's communist government also has worked hard to make money off of the revolutionary's image, stocking tourist shops with T-shirts, postcards and other trinkets bearing his face and three-letter signature.

Here's a win/win proposal: The Cuban government can retain all rights to Che's name and likeness if it lets Cubans freely own, transfer, and use other kinds of property.

Michael Moynihan on the cult of Che here. Kerry Howley on the commercial sullying of Genghis Khan's good name here and here

[Thanks to John Kluge for the tip.]

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  1. Does he still have a copyright on executing peasants?

  2. I’d hate to think that the Che Guevara commemorative collector’s plate I bought off QVC is unauthorized.

  3. HA!!!! The invisible hand strikes again! God I love capitalism.

  4. Franklin Harris,

    Remind me again what ROFL means.

  5. What if the use was aimed at, say, merely encouraging people to attend church?

    (original 1999 version; similar 2005 version)

  6. Naga Sadow,

    Rolling On the Floor Laughing.

  7. “I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain…. His belongings were now mine.”

    Che’s family should be happy that people are merely using his likeness. At least they aren’t being shot in the head.

  8. Che’s image is one argument in favor of strict copyright laws, because if there were a single owner of the image, you’d never see it and it wouldn’t have any cultural relevance or economic impact.

  9. Get the Mickey Che shirt, the image used in the article, at http://www.BureaucrashContraband.com
    Please forgive the blatant self promotion.

  10. Thanks Harris. I own a Blackberry Pearl, and I’ve gotten out of texting due to fact that the Pearl sucks!! Getting an iphone in about a week from a friend.

  11. I’m just glad the dirty, murderous, war criminal commie is dead.

    http://errolflynn.my-king.com/cuba/s_che_dead.jpg

  12. Is Che’s sun still trying to make it as a rock star? He has, in the past, been a pretty vocal critic of Cuba, iirc.

  13. I just saw “The Motorcycle Diaries” and thought, just because Che helped a few lepers that did not give him absolution for torturing and executing peasants a few years later.

  14. Alberto,

    I liked the movie, but found the ending disappointing because it did not explore nor even raise the question of how he went from helper to murderous bastard…even if it hinted at his motivations for those future actions in a few scenes.

  15. “I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol.”

    Early Cuban health care.

  16. So, anyone care to take bets now on how vile Steven Soderbergh’s Che biopic is going to be?

  17. “I liked the movie, but found the ending disappointing because it did not explore nor even raise the question of how he went from helper to murderous bastard…even if it hinted at his motivations for those future actions in a few scenes.”

    Thanks for saying it better than I. I too liked the film.

  18. Vile-o-meter

    14. 300+ pound chick on a moped
    15. Orlando Bloom’s genital warts
    16. Steven Soderbergh’s Che biopic
    17. Hank Moody’s bed linens
    18. Faygo Diet Grape Soda

  19. I still love my “Viva La Ignorant Rich White Kids” t-shirt (from rightwingstuff.com) with an image of Che and the beret star replaced with a $. Guess that wins the what shirt to wear for the weekend workout through the National Mall this weekend contest.

    Favorite Che trinket I ever heard of is still the watch that says “Revolution” on a transparent disk attached to the seconds hand drive.

    Marxism: the opiate of dumbasses.

  20. Well, TallDave, executing peasants was probably the middle ground, like you explained on the thread where you defended the terrorism of the Contras.

    TallDave | June 25, 2008, 9:34am | #

    Certainly there must be some middle ground between flowers and terrorists?

    The terrorists were the middle ground between flowers and a totalitarian mass murdering Soviet-backed Communist state. Most on the right just wanted to defend their property rights.

    Helping those that sometimes employed ruthless and immoral tactics might have soiled our lily-white consciences, but cleaner hands often mean dirtier consequences.

    I’m sure Che agreed with you about the need to get your hands dirty sometimes. For the greater good.

  21. If ever there was a warning phrase, “for the greater good” would be it.

  22. I’d still put it below, “It will be different when we do it, because we’re the good guys.”

  23. Get the Mickey Che shirt, the image used in the article, at http://www.BureaucrashContraband.com
    Please forgive the blatant self promotion.

    I think when your image is used in a post, it’s all cool to promote your t-shirts.

  24. “So, anyone care to take bets now on how vile Steven Soderbergh’s Che biopic is going to be?”

    I’m guessing it’ll be a sort satirical neo-conservative romp in the jungle. All the characters are played by talking chimps, a la Lancelot Link, Private Chimp.

  25. Why does everyone keep calling Che a “revolutionary”? George Washington was a revolutionary. Thomas Paine was a revolutionary. Che Guevara was a mass murderer.

  26. I’d say it’s because he took part in several revolutions, and revolutionary movements.

    The two terms are not mutually exclusive.

  27. Most revolutions are exercises in mass murder.

    It was the relative decency of ours that made it, and not the Cuban revolution, the exception.

    Revolutions generally suck.

  28. “Why does everyone keep calling Che a ‘revolutionary’? George Washington was a revolutionary. Thomas Paine was a revolutionary. Che Guevara was a mass murderer.”

    No, Che Guevara was a revolutionary. Terrible person? Yes. Worthy of adoration? No. Symbol of the revolution? Absolutely.

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  30. This is not even funny who ever made this picture must be 9 years old and an ignorant bratt

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