It turns out Mr. Yuk, the scary green poison control symbol, has lawyers and they are not very happy about whatâ€™s happening in St. Paul.Â Â Local City Council member Paul Bakken has put Mr. Yuk-like faces on lawn signs opposing an upcoming vote to amend the city charter. Attorneys for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which holds the copyright on Mr. Yuk, werenâ€™t amused.
â€œItâ€™s just that this guy is using Mr. Yuk inappropriately and illegally. Heâ€™s broken copyright laws. … Itâ€™s clearly a violation,â€ said Dr. Edward Krenzelok, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, which is affiliated with the medical center.Â Â He said Mr. Yuk was created more than 30 years ago to warn children away from dangerous substances. He said he has asked the medical centerâ€™s lawyers to straighten things out.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t hurt us,â€ Krenzelok acknowledged. â€œItâ€™s just inappropriate use, and we have to control the use to maintain our copyright.â€Â Â Bakken, a lawyer, defended his use of Mr. Yuk. He said federal law allows some use of copyrighted material for satire or academic criticism. He said he found Yuk-like images spread across the Internet.
â€œIt appeared to be in the public domain,â€ he said. â€œIf this is genuinely harming the good work that they do, I sincerely apologize.â€Â In my opinion lawn poison is still poison so I am not sure what the problem is, watch the vintage commercial from 1971 to see Mr. Yuk in action.