Illustrator Dick Bruna 'miffed' as court allows web parodies

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Children’s illustrator Dick Bruna has lost a court battle to take down internet parodies of his world-famous cartoon rabbit, Miffy.

Bruna had demanded that websites remove parodies including “Nijn Eleven” (the title is a pun on the character’s Dutch name Nijntje) and another in which Miffy snorts cocaine.

But the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam ruled in favour of blogging community after they refused to take down the pictures.

The court judged that the purpose of the pictures was “unmistakably to cause amusement, which is not to negate the fact that many people will find the disputed pictures neither funny nor appropriate.”

The judgment went on: “The contrast is made stronger by the combination with the accompanying texts. Whereas the texts of Dick Bruna are extremely child-friendly and non-violent, the text accompanying the disputed pictures is largely crude and aggressive.”

The internet firm, which owns, said it had brought the case to protect creative expression and humour from commercial interests.

A spokesman said: “Bruna has been given a bloody nose. He wanted the Miffy jokes removed, but the judge has now ruled that ‘crude and aggressive’ Miffy jokes are allowed.”

Source: Uitspraak Gerechtshof: Parodieën op Nijntje zijn toegestaan
Photo by Alison

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