Dec 30, 2010, 04:55AM

From China, With Patriotism

A series of photos exploring the myriad ways Chinese firework manufacturers blatantly infringe copyright and appeal to the American customer.

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With the exception of a few basement tinkerers, the majority of fireworks are made in Hunan Province, China. The fireworks remain more or less the same from year to year, but their names and labels change. The Chinese artists who design these labels operate without threat of copyright restrictions. These are clip art collages, artifacts that provide a glimpse at how Chinese manufacturers appeal to the Southern American fireworks consumer. Here's a look at some of the more notable fireworks sold at Casey's Fireworks in Columbia, SC.


1) Copyright 1: Some of the labels lift their artwork from major motion pictures. V For Vendetta, Full Blast Brand


2) Copyright 2: Or popular TV shows. Battlestar Galactica, Full Blast Brand


3) Copyright 3: Or 1980s hair metal band logos. Scorpions, Dominator Fireworks


4) Copyright 4: Or Japanese video games. Laser Blaster, Full Blast Brand


5) Copyright 5: Or beloved books. This caption reads: "Red fish, blue fish, old fish, new fish / Fish in every type you wish / Some are fast and some are slow / Some are high and some are low/So if you wish for flying fish / that swish and swish just as you wish / then do not wait to get this cake / It's a swell new swish fish dish." One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Pyro Predator


6) Patriotic 1: Uncle Sam's Answer came out shortly after the invasion of Iraq. Uncle Sam's Answer, Brother's Pyrotechnics


7) Patriotic 2: These followed shortly thereafter: Patriot Dream, America's Focus, The Eternal Nation, and Patriotic Dominance (Brother's Pyrotechnics, World-Class Fireworks, Full Blast Brand, and Dominator Fireworks, respectively)


8) Patriotic 3: Then the political winds shifted. The caption to this label reads: "25 shots blasted 5 at a time that is louder and more colorful than a lame duck Texan ripping through D.C. in an M1 Tank." Road to Nowhere


9) American Living 1: Some of the labels appeal to our hopes and dreams. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere, World-Class Fireworks


10) American Living 2: Or to the ideal American. Joe 6 Pack, World-Class Fireworks


11) American Living 3: Or to our vices: Rock music, bullets, and fishnet stockings. Addiction, World-Class Fireworks


12) American Living 4: Some of them I don't understand. Chicken On A Chain, World-Class Fireworks


13) American Living 5: Some of them just make me uncomfortable. Jail Bait, Winda Fireworks


14) American Living 6: The rare labels are entirely perfect in every way. Truckin Home, World-Class Fireworks

  • how do these manufacturers escape copyright litigation? is there some kind of "firework aesthetic" clause on the books? that laser blaster one is great - the imagery is lifted directly from the classic Resident Evil 4

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