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AP threatens Web artist over Cuban lad parody

Honk if you hate Elian :-)

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A parody Flash animation satirising the Elian Gonzalez melodrama and using images owned by the Associated Press has drawn a most humourless threat of legal action for creator Sean Bonner who published it on line, though he has since been bullied into withdrawing it. The clip takes aim at the entire cast of characters, from the so-called 'fisherman' (actually a janitor and mere joy rider in the boat with acute ambitions to follow in the noble media-nuisance footsteps of Kato Kaelin, according to his cousin), to 'dynamic entry' maven Janet Reno, to the well-preserved Generalissimo Castro, to the hysterical snivelling cousin Marisleysis, to the little Cuban Christ-child substitute Himself. By not taking sides but satirically brutalising everyone in sight equally, Bonner's clip has earned The Register's highest esteem. Not so the Associated Press, which has risen to arms over the little joke. AP hatchet man David Tomlin e-mailed Bonner, warning that he risked exposing himself to "liability for copyright infringement that can include both fines and possible criminal penalties". "We'll go for whatever it takes to get our material out of your hands," Tomlin added. Bonner promptly removed the clip, explaining that "for now the threat of being sued, fined, imprisoned, set on fire, yelled at, spit on, kicked in the shins or what ever else their lawyers could do to us in the blink of an eye is too scary". However, several mirrors were still up at this writing. In the solemn interests of impartial journalistic integrity or a few cheap yucks, whichever is greater, The Register is of course obligated to reveal them: One; Two; Three; Four; and Five. We trust that our beloved readers will cherish and respect the AP's copyrights, and resist the childish temptation to propagate this contraband material any further on the Web. ®

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