A much commended Tumblr called This Charming Charlie, which paired Morrissey lyrics with Charles Schultz’s Peanuts cartoons, with surprisingly good results, may go offline after Universal Music Publishing Group, which represents The Smiths songs catalogue, started issuing takedown notices.
The graphic designer behind the Tumblr, Lauren Loprete, has posted: “The Smiths licensing company (Universal Music Publishing Group) has started requesting posts be removed from This Charming Charlie. So far six posts have been removed, and it is increasing every hour. If you like the page, please save copies of the comics to your own computer”.
It’s possible that under US copyright law there would be a fair use claim to allow the cartoons to continue to be posted without the approval of Universal or the Peanuts company on parody grounds; though that’s probably not a battle its worth fighting for Loprete.
But either way, given the popularity of the Tumblr, Universal would probably be better advised collaborating with the designer and Peanuts Worldwide LLC on a series of Smiths/Peanuts merchandise. Christmas is coming after all.