Chuck Wendig Intimidates T-Shirt Merchants With Empty Lawsuit Threat

Online lawsuit threats are a dime a dozen, but always amusing.


Chuck sucks the soy out of everything.

The obviously satirical website, Faking Star Wars, offered up a T-Shirt lampooning Chuck Wendig’s tendancy to block anyone on his Twitter account who disagrees with him, or who has a critical response to his public comments. Faking Star Wars is run by two hilarious chaps, Willybobo, and Link Voxmillian.  They offered this satirical T-Shirt lampooning Chuck through their online teepublic shop.

Chuck’s previous unhinged antics can be read about hereherehere, here, and here.

The T-Shirt in question had a picture of Chuck Wendig, which is available on his public Twitter profile, and the caption read “If you’re not blocked by Chuck Wendig…you’re doing something wrong.”


Chuck didn’t much care for this satirical T-Shirt, and so he took to Twitter to intimidate the T-Shirt merchants into taking down the fine product like a petty despot.




Chuck’s loyal followers were ready to volunteer their expert legal help.


Confusion filled their tiny progressive pea-brains, as they struggled to comprehend satire.


The “culture jamming” crowd was thoroughly disgusted.


Chuck himself, seemed to have his own legal expertise.


Unfortunately, the hollow intimidation worked, placing everyone who sells satirical T-Shirts in jeopardy.


Fortunately, the bullying didn’t affect Faking Star Wars’ fantastic sense of humor.


Snowflakes were triggered by the apparent lack of a “report button” that they could frantically press.



So here’s the deal.

Chuck Wendig is a public figure.  Speaking publicly on Twitter.  He’s a well known writer for the world’s largest IP in cinematic history, Star Wars. This makes him fair game for satire and parody.  Yes, that’s fair use.

The First Amendment protects satire and parody as a form of free speech and expression.

Section 107 of the Copyright Act is the section that provides for fair use, a doctrine which allows certain actions which otherwise would amount to copyright infringement. The Section lists several examples of fair use, including uses of copyrighted works “for purposes such as criticism [or] comment.”

Both parody and satire employ humor in commentary and criticism, but the key distinction, and the reason that parodies are more likely to be considered fair use than satires, is the purpose each serves. Satire is defined as “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.” Compare that to the definition of a parody: “a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule.”

While both parody and satire use humor as a tool to effectuate a message, the purpose of a parody is to comment on or criticize the work that is the subject of the parody. By definition, a parody is a comedic commentary about a work, that requires an imitation of the work. Satire, on the other hand, even when it uses a creative work as the vehicle for the message, offers commentary and criticism about the world, not that specific creative work. Therefore, parodies use copyrighted works for purposes that fair use was designed to protect.

As the Supreme Court explained in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., “Parody needs to mimic an original to make its point, and so has some claim to use the creation of its victim’s (or collective victims’) imagination, whereas satire can stand on its own two feet and so requires justification for the very act of borrowing.”

Nonetheless, every attempt at a parody is not created equally, and in each instance the particular parody would need to undergo the four factor fair use analysis to determine whether it constitutes a fair use. For example, an attempted parody of a song that borrows too much of the original composition and lyrics, and as a result sounds too much like the original, is less likely to qualify as a fair use.

Additionally, Faking Star Wars altered the original image, therefore changing its inherent meaning.  The work by Faking Star Wars qualifies as parody in the three areas that courts look at:

the parody must be obvious: the audience should not have to struggle to figure out what is being made fun of.

It doesn’t get much more obvious than being sold by a company named “Faking Star Wars.”

the parody must take no more of the original than necessary to make its point. So changing just the words in a chorus of a popular song, while leaving the rest of the song intact, is likely not fair use.

The entirety of the original image was not used.  Only a cropping of Chuck’s soy face was used.  Additionally, the publicly available image that Faking Star Wars used was altered so as to change its inherent meaning.  Some people might call that “culture jamming.”

Finally, a parody cannot pose a direct threat to the market for the original work. Think of it this way, would people buy the parody instead of the original, cannibalizing sales of the original?

It would be extremely difficult to prove in a court of law, that people won’t buy Chuck Wendig’s books because of Faking Star Wars’ satirical T-Shirt.


Can you imagine how Chuck would react to Donald Trump suing The Daily Show for use of his likeness for profit?

Chuck Wendig suing either Faking Star Wars or Teepublic, would be equally as ridiculous as Jerry Falwell suing Hustler Magazine.  And of course it’s equally as petty too.

I respectfully request that Teepublic defy these bullies and restore the satirical T-Shirt to Faking Star Wars’ shop.  I encourage my readers to do the same respectfully.

Let Chuck stomp his feet and flap his arms like the toddler he is.  He’s probably just angry that he can’t put his hair up in a man-bun anyway.

Fem Film Flam

Dirty Harry must have one heck of a lawsuit brewing.


Fans who may have been blocked by Chuck’s Twitter account, but who would still like to respond to Chuck’s public statements and intimidation tactics with feedback, can respectfully contact him through his website, his Facebook account, his Instagram account, his tumblr account, his Flickr account, his Google+ account, his MySpace account, or his email address, terribleminds [at] gmail [dot] com.  You can also comment on his blog, or at his YouTube Channel.

13 thoughts on “Chuck Wendig Intimidates T-Shirt Merchants With Empty Lawsuit Threat

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