The Rod’s beautifully rod-drawn manifesto was still rejected by the NUS on the grounds of copyright. They cited the following legal advice:
Redrawings may well reduce the risk of copyright infringement but do not necessarily remove the issue. The redrawings may be seen as modifications of the original copyright works. For copyright there is no exception to infringement for parody or pastiche.
The lawyers are much more concerned about the issue of trade marks. From an initial search (very brief) there are plenty of Simpsons trade marks and we would expect that all the characters themselves are trade marks. Therefore irrespective of copyright any recognisable use of images including the characters – even if redrawn – is likely to be trade mark infringement. As with copyright there are no exceptions for parody/pastiche.
In any case, we knocked something together and this afternoon it was accepted. We are defiant to present: the best Inanimate Carbon Rod manifesto the NUS will actually print.