Questions of copyright - La Presse

Beirut BlastCartoon by NEMØ, published by La Presse

A few years back, we ran a regular series on our blog titled Questions of copyright, in which we addressed unauthorized use of our cartoons. We discontinued the series, not because our cartoons weren't stolen anymore, but because we just did not have the time to track and report on a regular basis.

We still do not have the time to do this, but we will post now and again when our cartoons are used with blatant disregard for copyright. Cartoons are more popular than ever, and widely shared. We do not mind this sharing when it is done by individuals. We do, however, mind it when our cartoons are used by other media organizations without permission or payment. This still happens far too often. After oppression and censorship, we think this is the biggest threat to the future of editorial cartooning.

The newspaper that caught our eye this month is La Presse in Tunisia. La Presse is a large-circulation French-language daily newspaper published in Tunis. Since a few months, we have noticed them using our cartoons to illustrate their articles. Although they give proper credit to the artist and even link back to Cartoon Movement (not many do), they have still taken cartoons without asking us. We have a quite noticeable 'Purchase' button beneath every cartoon, and journalists of all people should know that content isn't free.

This kind of free use is especially detrimental to a younger generation of cartoonists. They have no regular newspapers yet, and with this culture of free use it becomes almost impossible for them to generate an income out of their cartoons. The result: fewer and fewer professional cartoonists and lower quality cartoons as a result.

We will try to contact La Presse and will follow-up if there are any developments.

Update August 11: We received an apology from La Presse with the promise they will not use our work without prior consent in the future.

Locked in Kashmir


CRNI has posted a comics journalism piece by cartoonist Suhail Naqshbandi to mark the first anniversary of the repeal of Article 370, India’s suspension of the Jammu & Kashmir region’s autonomous status and the subsequent degradation of civil liberty, including one of the world’s longest internet shutdowns.

We recommend you read this essay by Suhail first, describing his experiences prior to the repeal of Article 370. The you can read the full comic here.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam - in cartoons

Cartoons are mostly meant to illustrate and comment on the news you already know, but sometimes they inform you about a subject you did not hear about. We follow multiple sources of international news every day, but somehow we missed recent news about the Renaissance Dam until cartoonists from the MENA region stared sharing cartoons about it.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd), which has been in construction since 2011, is now filling up with water. Egypt is opposed to any development on the Nile upstream that could reduce the amount of water it receives from the river and has regarded the Ethiopian project as an existential threat.

The first cartoon that spiked our interest was this one by Emad Hajjaj, who portrays the dam a powerful geopolitical tool of force in the hands of Ethiopia:



Other cartoons take a similar stance, warning that the dam will give Ethiopia the power to control the amount of water flowing up the Nile, like this one by Derkaoui:



And in the end, it will be the common people that suffer, like farmers in Egypt that will suffer from a lack of water, illustrated here by Ahmad Rahma:

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While most of probably visit our platform to see satire about the news you already know, do take the time to check out the cartoons you don't immediately understand, because you might learn about issues you did not know about.

Summer break

200526 Summer seasonImage by Tjeerd Royaards

We will be taking a summer break for the next two weeks. We will not publish new cartoons on our homepage during this period and our social media channels will be more quiet. Don't worry though, we'll be back at the end of the month with our daily cartoon. In the meantime, if you're going on holiday, have a great time and stay safe!