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'Hero for Hire' Could Tap the Public Domain

June 08, 1990

Re "Hero for Hire" May 25, Orange County Life: In an area of the country where intellectual property rights are frequently in the news (Art Buchwald, Eddie Murphy, etc.) I am surprised to find The Times praising a man (Tom Stewart) who appears to be stealing the intellectual property of others, i.e., the characters Superman, Batman, etc. Since The Times did not mention that Mr. Stewart has acquired the child birthday party rights to Batman, I assume that he has not.

I don't think it is necessary to blatantly steal to be entertaining, although it is probably more profitable.

Further, I can not imagine the owners of Batman being pleased to learn that their super hero "makes balloon animals, paints . . . faces with daisies and . . . orchestrates a round of duck-duck-goose."

On the other hand, perhaps it is behavior like this that explains the sudden disappearance of Robin.

Anyway, may I suggest that if Mr. Stewart wants to be active as a party entertainer he use public domain material, like Punch and Judy puppets, or create his own interesting and unique character, perhaps something like my idea--Captain Laguna--the Fundamentalist Environmentalist! For a dollar I will sell him kid birthday party rights to Captain Laguna.

MORRIS WERTENBERGER,

Santa Ana

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