Mimesis Law
23 July 2019

Radiohead Accused Of Copying Trumpton (Not A Trump Post. Sorry.)

May 17, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Radiohead have been accused of copying a well-known and well-loved British children’s animation from the 60’s – “Trumpton” – for the video of their new single “Burn The Witches”. The family of the Trumpton creators claim that Radiohead should have sought their consent prior to the release of the video and have as a result tarnished their brand.

The video for Radiohead’s most recent single depicts a sadistic pagan village in the same stop motion style as Trumpton.  As well as stylistic similarities, several characters arguably resemble those created for the British show, such as Windy Miller, the mayor of Trumpton, and the florist, Mrs. Cobbit.

See the videos here below and decide for yourself –

 

As certain media outlets have been quick to note, while these parallels exist, the tone of the Radiohead video is clearly darker in tone and tells the story of human sacrifice; whereas the Trumpton trilogy was created for viewing by children and depicts an idyllic, cheerful town. Moreover, the animator behind the Radiohead video, Virpi Kettu, stated that the video was developed as a commentary on Europe’s fears over the refugee crisis. I’m sure no irony is lost on the very fitting Trump/Trumpton connection here…

Members of the Trumpton creators’ family recently announced that they believe the content to be an infringement of their copyright and are considering the appropriate legal action to take against the band. Radiohead are not the first band to turn upside down the tranquil Trumpton world however, little-known British satirical band Half Man Half Biscuit recorded a couple of songs in the 80s which alluded to the characters and even some of their well-known catch phrases – but interestingly no lawsuit ensued.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Laura
    17 May 2016 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Looks like animated “Wicker Man.”

  • jdgalt
    17 May 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    This is certainly a parody and therefore legal in the US. Which country is Radiohead in?