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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Comic Infringement in Nanotech Warfare
29 August 2002 (All day)
For $50 million, the U.S. Army has bought a supersoldier right out of the comic books. In March, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won a Department of Defense grant to build an Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology. Their hefty proposal included a vision of the future: a gun-totin' soldier babe in front of a hypermodern skyline.
Now, comic book writer and artist Ray Lai says that soldier is a rip-off of Valerie Fiores, the heroine of his company's Radix comic. "We first found out when fans in California found the image in a newspaper," Lai says. The company's lawyers sent MIT a "cease-and-desist letter," arguing that the institute is damaging Radix by implying their fantasy world is real.
In a written statement, MIT officials say the institute "was not aware when it received the cartoon of a woman soldier that the illustration had in any way been derived from another source." Although the statement expressed "regret" about the incident, MIT argues copyright laws on material used for education and research would allow use of the image.
In an interview published on 27 March at the Web site news.com, Ned Thomas, the head of the new institute, said the image in question was created by his daughter. "She did it in a couple of days," Thomas was quoted as saying, "and was just trying to illustrate what I had been describing to her."