Questions of copyright is our monthly feature (previously named The List) in which we share some of our questions and concerns about how and where cartoons from Cartoon Movement are used without our permission.
Last month, the burkini ban in France inspired many cartoonists; it also inspired many media outlets to publish galleries of the cartoons that were created. Most media circumvent any issues of copyright by publishing embedded tweets (as we explained last month), such as this gallery by Buzzfeed.
Another big media outlet that ran burkini ban cartoons was the BBC. Instead of embedding pictures they ran the pictures on their website, including one cartoon by Khalid Cherradi that was originally published by us (pictured above). Although we were properly credited, we did wonder why no one contacted us or the artist to ask for permission to run the cartoon.
So we sent them an email to raise the issue. We received a very polite reply stating: ‘We did in fact contact your organisation via Twitter to ask permission to use this cartoon but it appears we did not receive a reply.’
Although technical glitches are certainly not unheard of, this would in fact be the first time since we began our Twitter account that we missed a message on Twitter. However, the most surprising thing to us is that, although they did not receive a reply from us, they went ahead and used the image anyway.
We’re not well versed enough in copyright law to know if the concept of ‘silence implies consent’ is legally sound, but we do know we do not agree with the practice.