Monday, July 14, 2014

When .@kraftfoods had a "Krazy" idea (Jim Bumgardner's copyrighted work ends up on a macaroni and cheese box)

Jim Bumgardner (a friend of Mark Givens) works at Disney Interactive Labs, and therefore most assuredly possesses both (a) a creative spirit, and (b) an appreciation of intellectual property law. When Bumgardner isn't doing software stuff for Disney, he's doing software stuff for himself. One of his passions is mazes, and he has a web page devoted to the mazes he has created. At the bottom of the page, the following text appears:

All puzzles ©2005-2014 Feel free to reproduce the puzzles for personal, church, or school use. If you would like to purchase new puzzles for a book or periodical, contact me at

Last night, Bumgardner was out shopping and noticed something in one of the grocery aisles - a box of SpongeBob Squarepants Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. What attracted his attention was a maze on the back of the mac and cheese box.

Looking at my website, I found the original pretty quickly. The artist took Maze #1 from Book #1 of my Intermediate Mazes, and turned it 90 degrees clockwise, and altered it in a handful of spots. Alas, he or she forgot to ask permission to use my design! They also failed to notice my copyright notice. I can only assume that they figured I wasn’t a consumer of Kraft Macaroni & cheese, or that I would never touch the SpongeBob variety that this maze appeared on (true – I prefer the classic elbow variety, which is getting increasingly hard to find for some reason).

If by chance you have never heard of Kraft before, I should point out that Kraft is not a church or school, and while Kraft is a "person" in some legal aspects, this does not qualify as "personal use."

Now perhaps Kraft will argue that I have been completely fooled by Bumgardner, and that he saw the box last night, immediately created an entire website, and is now trying to claim that he created something that was originally created by Kraft.

Somehow I doubt it.
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