How did Heathcliff get past the copyright of Garfield?

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Did he come out fist and Garfield got lucky? Some weird clause? Did the created of Garfield give a blessing? I’ve always wondered how papers accepted Heathcliff spots knowing the concepts were so similar?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Heathcliff predates Garfield by 5 years yes. Garfield originally focused on Jon and was a local publication then found national distribution when it became about his lazy cat. Other than the fact that they’re both about orange, striped cats they’re really not all that similar and considering that orange striped cats are a real and common thing, you can’t really copyright that concept.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’m not aware of anything either property did that violates the copyright of the other. Can you elaborate?

And yes, for the record, Heathcliff came first.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Heathcliff was actually created and published before Garfield.

Heathcliff debuted in 1973, Garfield in 1978. Garfield found more success and is just more well known. There are enough, significant differences between the two I don’t think there were ever any claims of plagiarism.

Garfield is always just Jon’s pet and typically remains in the house. Heathcliff has adventures out of the house quite often. Heathcliff is also a single panel cartoon on weekdays vs Garfield’s strip format. Heathcliff did have a strip format for Sundays.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Copyright is about copying.

Nobody can mistake Garfield for Heathcliff and as such there is no copyright or trademark case to be made.

Copyright does not prevent or protect any creative work from being made that is SIMILAR only that which is so similar one can be confused for the other by the public, as determined by a judge.

You can knock off literally anything completely legally as long as it is an obvious knockoff.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Copyright does not prevent the coexistence of two versions of an archetype. Copyright prevents copying.