This Charming Charlie, the Tumblr that rose to prominence earlier this year for juxtaposing angst-ridden Smiths lyrics with Peanuts strips, has overcome its copyright troubles with Universal. The site received a trio of takedown notices from Universal last month for using Morrissey-Smiths lyrics, which led some to condemn the label and claim Smiths frontman Morrissey was a "fun vampire." Morrissey answered the accusations noting that he is no longer represented by Universal, although the label does jointly own the rights to some of the artist's back catalogue.
Morrissey is "delighted and flattered" by the strip
In a statement given to Morrissey fan site True to you, the artist says he is "delighted and flattered by the Peanuts comic strip with its use of Morrissey-Smiths lyrics," adding that he "hopes that the strips remain." Without Morrissey's support, it would be difficult for Universal to file a full lawsuit against the strip. This Charming Charlie creator Lauren LoPrete has now informed the world that the label has decided to not pursue things further, with her lawyer adding that Morrissey's "generous approval removes any litigation threat."
On her Tumblr, LaPrete writes that she's "deeply honored that Morrissey spoke out on behalf of This Charming Charlie, although not surprised. Noting that Morrissey is "not a stranger to fair use," LaPrete says she's "glad he is able to see the humor in all of this, even if lawyers could not." She hopes that "this example will set a precedent for copyright laws in the future, and encourage others to express themselves and enrich our culture through free speech, parody and social critique."