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June 12, 2007

Ghlaghghee at Mental Floss

The folks at Mental Floss are having a discussion of bacon on the Internet, and of course no discussion of bacon on the Internet would be complete without noting the time I taped bacon to my cat. So there's that picture of Ghlaghghee, bacon taped to her side. Truly a classic of Teh IntarWeebs.

I will note, however, that the Mental Floss people have snaked the picture without permission. Copyright violation! Copyright violation! I will sue them for every penny! Then I will own Mental Floss magazine! And then... well, and then nothing. It's not like I really want to own Mental Floss magazine. Too much work. Suing them is too much work, too.

Sigh. If only I weren't so damn lazy. I'd be a millionaire bastard.

Fine. They can show the picture. And they should give me a free subscription to the magazine. Yeah.

Posted by john at June 12, 2007 03:25 PM

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Corby K | June 12, 2007 03:54 PM

While I had heard of this photo, until now, I had not seen it. Call it lazy. Call it late to the party. Call it uninterested in mobile breakfast meats.

But now that I've seen it, Call it teh funnay.

Excuse me, now I must blog about it. With your permission, of course.

Gabriele | June 12, 2007 03:54 PM

Well, at least they said where they filched it from. I once found one of my pics on a site with no mention of to the source at all. Grrr.

John Scalzi | June 12, 2007 04:00 PM


Yes, uncredited filching is not cool.

To be clear, I'm not at all upset with the picture being borrowed by Mental Floss. I'm a big fan of my IP rights under the law, but I'm also a big fan of not getting worked up over things that don't actually present a problem.

Jim Wright | June 12, 2007 04:05 PM

Bacon Cat also known as The-Blog-Post-that-will-not-die. A thousand years from now, this picture will still be floating around the weebs.

I wonder, John, did you knowyou were making history when, in a moment of silliness, you taped bacon to your cat?

albo | June 12, 2007 04:06 PM

Congrats on your Intarweb fame. I'm proud to say I was the one who submitted the pic to Fark that day. Sorry!

Gabriele | June 12, 2007 04:27 PM

Lol, I guessed it was tongue in cheek.

If you want to sue someone, better pick a really rich guy like Dan Brown. *grin*

PixelFish | June 12, 2007 04:30 PM

Heh...I'd already been at a few of those websites. I found the Maple Bacon cupcakes while looking for my maple bacon ice cream recipe. Mmmm....

Robin Catesby | June 12, 2007 04:32 PM

My dog is feeling woefully left out.

I did however get our local paper to pay up after they filched a photo of my cat off my flickr account without permission. It's one thing when Mental Floss does it with link & attribution, but when the state's biggest daily does it with neither? That's when the cat gets revenge and I call a lawyer.

Patrick | June 12, 2007 04:59 PM

Uh, Robin, was there some reason the local newspaper needed a photo of your cat?

Nathan | June 12, 2007 05:18 PM

You do know Chang's gonna totally lose it when he sees this. We're talkin happy dance til Maine disconnects from the continent.

Eric Berlin | June 12, 2007 05:46 PM

Dude, I totally swear: A friend of mine noticed that a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in a recent Levenger catalog was one that I created. It was fastened to a fancy leather clipboard. I joked on my blog that this entitled me to that selfsame leather clipboard.

Two days later, I had that clipboard in my possession. I didn't ask Levenger for it -- do I look crazy? They found the blog post and offered it to me, probably out of amusement. Sixty dollar value! Way more than a magazine subscription. And I don't even own the copyright to that puzzle. There was really no reason at all I deserved this gift. So I say go ahead and hit them up for a magazine subscription. Or, now that you've mentioned it here, just sit back and wait for them to offer it to you.

Robin Catesby | June 12, 2007 05:46 PM

Apparently they needed a picture of a cat for a puff piece that included cat references. The Arts & Entertainment editor was, I assume, too lazy to obtain one legally, so he raided Flickr, not realizing that I was a local and would discover his misdeed.

I didn’t end up suing them, but it took quite a bit of haggling, public blog ridicule, and a few threatening letters on my part to get them to pay me more than a pittance. (It's too bad I hadn’t taped bacon to my cat at the time -- I could have raised my rate tenfold!)

Christian | June 12, 2007 06:04 PM

I'm no lawyer (just idly wondering here), if the cat/bacon picture would fall under "fair use", since the original, and now infamous - inbound link came from Fark. And Fark touts itself as a news site (though it's really a meta-news-site IMHO). I guess that wouldn't really put it in the public domain though.

Damn, the internet makes things all tricky n' stuff!

John Scalzi | June 12, 2007 06:35 PM


No, it's neither in the public domain, nor is Mental Floss' appropriation an example of fair use. For it to be fair use (going off the top of my head), they'd have to show only a small part (or possibly a thumbnail of the whole thing) and/or sufficiently transformed it from the original that it'd be, essentially, a new work. Neither of which applies here. Seriously, if I wanted to, I could get all in their face about it. I just don't want to.

chang, who is not chang | June 12, 2007 06:42 PM

Nathan, I fear you have confused previous Chang with me. I am not Chang.

Previous Chang lacks the correct and laudable rabid obsession with the Beauteous Ghlaghghee.

That being said, I have to admit my heart skipped a beat when I saw Her name blazing across the Whatever like a bolide. However, I find the whole bacon business beneath Her dignity and notice by The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club.

The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

MWT | June 12, 2007 07:11 PM

Wikipedia's definitions of fair use includes uses where no equivalent free image is available to provide the same information. Since there aren't any free equivalents of Bacon Cat, the one Mental Floss used would've qualified, at least by Wikipedia standards.

Christian | June 12, 2007 09:27 PM

No, it's neither in the public domain, nor is Mental Floss' appropriation an example of fair use.

Ok, rgr that.

Still, it's funny to think about Ghlaghghee's pic being posted on Fark, and then re-posted with multiple (and funny) variations on the same site. Similar to Paris Hilton Boo-Hooing in the back of the squad car - but Ghlaghghee is much fluffier, and not shaved.

Mary | June 12, 2007 10:43 PM

Well, she's not shaved yet. One of these days, John's going to run up against another deadline ...

Nathan | June 12, 2007 11:37 PM

chang who is either chang or who is not chang, who lives in Maine or does not live in Maine, who is the rizzle or is not the rizzle.

Which one are you dammit?

chang, who is not chang | June 13, 2007 08:47 AM

I am not Chang, not previous Chang.

The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

Bitter | June 13, 2007 11:02 AM

Dang, I missed it, the Bacon-Cat Photo has been removed from Mental Floss' blog. Looks like the outrage on the blogosphere got to them.

Matt | June 13, 2007 12:51 PM


Just let it pass. If you sue them for filching the photo, bad karma might follow and you get sued by PETA for cruelty to animals. Then your case might end up with the judge suing for $50 million plus for loss of his pants and it will be hell for want of a cat joke.

Buck | June 13, 2007 03:33 PM

As a complete side note, I just ran across the surname Gurgulighe. Any relation to your cat?

Hilary | June 13, 2007 07:06 PM

Tangentially, a recent fast food ad has some faux construction worker proclaiming "prime rib is the king of meats". I think, nay believe, nay insist we proclaim bacon as the king of meats. A riot is an ugly ting and it's about time we have one!

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