An artist, a ladybird and a dung beetle


An artist who was asked by a publisher to stop selling her satirical book because of a copyright row has found a way round the problem without breaching the rules.

Miriam Elia was asked by Penguin publishers to destroy her self-published book We Go to the Gallery because they said it represented an infringement of their Ladybird brand.

They sent Ms Elia a "cease and desist" letter in February but, thanks to a copyright exemption for parody that came into force on October 1, her book is now safe.

Ms Elia's book was a satirical take on the Peter and Jane Ladybird books from the 1960s.

The original series portrayed the lives of "Mummy, Peter and Jane" as an introduction to reading for children.

Ms Elia said her novel was "a homage" to the Ladybird version designed for grown-ups with adult content.

One scene in her book shows the character Peter smiling uncomfortably in front of a photograph of a man smoking a cigarette and wearing a dress. The caption next to the image says: "The man is a woman the woman is a man. Peter is excited. Peter is confused. Peter doesn't know what he wants."

Ms Elia has now changed the names of her characters from Peter and Jane to John and Susan and replaced the ladybird logo with a dung beetle in order to comply with the new parody regulation.

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