French seaweed farmers to sue Hanna-Barbera for breach of copyright?
In Brittany collecting seaweed off the beaches and out at sea for use as fertiliser on fields has a long tradition.
In the early 1960s, the job of collecting seaweed was given a major mechanical boost with the invention of the “scoubidou“, a corkscrew-like tool that is used for the commercial harvesting of seaweed, consisting of an iron hook attached to a hydraulic arm. Its invention is credited to Yves Colin and it is largely used for gathering oarweed.
A scoubidou can be seen in action below.
Let’s fast forward to the USA in 1969. At animation company Hanna-Barbera, a character in the shape of a male Great Dane called Scooby-Doo has just been invented and becomes the eponymous hero of an animation series featuring amateur detectives.
The franchise proved very successful with the cartoon series being shown all around the world, culminating in a feature length film in 2002.
News has now emerged that Breton seaweed harvesters, also known as “géomoniers“, might now be considering suing the animation company for copyright infringement.
Breton seaweed harvesters’ spokesperson Avril Fouelle has commented: “It’s only right that we seek recompense. If it hadn’t been for those darn kids in Hollywood stealing our terminology for financial gain, Brittany’s géomoniers would today be living more comfortably than they do.”
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