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Keyboard Cat wins a settlement with maker of the game “Scribblenauts”

Spokane's Keyboard Cat creator Charile Schmidt has settled a copyright infringement suit filed against Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and 5th Cell Media.

 
Schmidt was joined in the suit by Christopher Torres, creator of the popular web creation Nyan Cat.
 
The settlement, in U.S. District Court for Central California, provides no details on the compensation paid to Torres and Schmidt.
 
In April the two sued Warner Brothers, the publisher of the game Scribblenauts, alleging it included images of the cats without permission or compensation. The software development firm 5th Cell Media was also sued.
 
Neither company acknowledged wrongdoing. A statement issued by a representative for Nyan Cat said Warner Brothers recently signed agreements to continue using the two cat characters in the game.
 
Both Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat have become Internet memes — popular figures or images that have been cited, repeated and linked to by millions of web users.
 
U.S. copyright law requires anyone making money by reusing the copyrighted images of an artistic creation must first go through a licensing agreement with the owners.
 
Schmidt’s cat, Fatso, became a web sensation in 2007 when a New York web user posted a video of the animal playing an electronic keyboard. That marked the start of the frequently repeated “play him off, Keyboard Cat” meme.
 

Spokane creator of Keyboard Cat approves a plush toy version of Fatso

Oh lord, Charlie Schmidt! You had to sell out, didn't you?

Schmidt is the Spokane graphic artist behind Fatso, the web meme cat of “Keyboard Cat” fame.

Today, Fatso, who's in feline heaven, must be rolling angrily in his catnip.

Sadly, Schmidt allowed a toy company to make a plush animatronic toy version of the cat. Really, and for only $34.99.

I suppose it could be worse; like perhaps, Keyboard Cat Litter..

Spokane’s Keyboard Cat gets top billing in Google Chrome app’s promo

Charlie Schmidt, one of Spokane's most viral artists, got a nice little early present from Google this year.

The search giant and software company used Schmidt's legendary web-craze Keyboard Cat in an online promo for the JAM app used with the Google Chrome browser.  See that promo at the link here. The app lets people from different computers play music together.

We didn't ask how much Google paid him to use the cat and cat tune in the promo. It's probably a decent figure.

Spokesman.com reporter Tom Sowa wrote about Charlie Schmidt's continuing effort to patrol the web and find offenders who use Keyboard Cat without compensation to him. Here's that story.

Wait a minute. It’s not Charles Schmidt. It’s Charlie, just plain Charlie

We can't quite call Spokane performing and visual artist Charlie Schmidt by any other name.

He's Charlie, always has, always will.

So it was odd seeing Bloomberg pick up a story on last week's announced settlement between Schmidt and a Chicago company, which made T-shirts under the Threadless brand.

Here's the Bloomberg language, with the very serious reference to Mr. C. Schmidt.

Keyboard Cat’ Video Maker, Clothing Company Settle Dispute

The maker of the “Keyboard Cat” video that has been viewed almost 26 million times on Google Inc.’s YouTube video- sharing website settled a copyright infringement suit against a Chicago-based clothing maker.

Charles Schmidt of Spokane, Wash, sued SkinnyCorp LLC’s Threadless unit in June 2011 for putting images of the keyboard cat on T-shirts and cases for Apple Inc.’s iPhones without authorization.

Schmidt said in his filing that he has licensed the images and sections of the video to companies including Microsoft Corp., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Nokia Oyj. The video is also being used to promote pistachio nuts, according to court papers.

Get interactive with Spokane artist Charlie Schmidt, for a good cause

Today's SR had a story on two artists, Charlie Schmidt and Ken Spiering, who have an active campaign to  hunt down online infringers of their copyrights. Schmidt protects his well-known Keyboard Cat image and video; Spiering his well-regarded Riverfront Park interactive sculpture — properly referred to as “Childhood Express.”

You can get interactive with Charlie this Friday during the August First Friday activities.

He's doing an interactive art event at Cup of Cool Water, a nonprofit business that helps teens get jobs and earn incomes. It's at 1106 W. Second. And the Facebook page for the event is here.

SR writer Chelsea Bannach wrote about the business, which helps train young people how to work on bikes.

The FFF (First Friday flyer) describes Schmidt's gig this way: 
Cup of Cool Water Interactive Opening! There will be large canvases being painted at the show. Grab a spray can or marker (provided) and join in the fun! Live music and eats. Charlie Schmidt will tag full blast with partner Stow Miller and show a few of his Keyboard Cat paintings. Don’t miss it. Proceeds go to helping Spokane’s homeless youth.

Fri. fun video: A tie to Spokane

This is from a Web site that offers up a video of a new song every day. This one is interesting for two reasons:

1. It has an excellent message about the Internet.

2. It flashes on a Spokane “celebrity” about a 1 minute into the video.


Thanks to alert reader, former correspondent and longtime friend Reiko Tateya for bringing this to our attention.

Can’t get enough Keyboard Cat?


Now there’s a painting.

Plus, the video clip was used in a bit on the MTV Awards last weekend.

Why does Spin Control care? Well, we wouldn’t except for the Spokane connection.As colleague Doug Clark reported last month,  Keyboard Cat video was made by Spokanite Charlie Schmidt, back in the ‘80s.

And yes, sorry to tell you but Keyboard Cat, whose real name is Fatso, went to that great litter box in the sky many years ago….

Saturday fun video2: Still more keyboard cat

Hard to say where all this attention to Fatso the Keyboard Cat will go, after he showed up on The Daily Show this week. Here, he’s a parody (or possibly a double parody?)


And no, this isn’t political, it’s just your typical Spokane vortex weirdness, because Fatso was, afterall, from Spokane.

Really. Spin Control does not make these things up. Just ask Doug Clark.


Today’s fun video: Spokane’s keyboard cat makes it big(ger)

Readers of Doug Clark’s column will recognize the Spokane connection to Monday night’s  Daily Show closer. (The video comes direct from Comedy Central, which means it has a 30 minute commercial before the 1-minute bit. Sorry about that).

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Daily/Colbert - Keyboard Cat
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