Toola is Copyrighted

My writing partner Michael Mulllin and I were taken with the true story of Toola,”the world’s most influential otter.”

We thought it was an inspiring story perfectly suited for a children’s book. Mike wrote an outline and I comped up a cover and some character designs. Even my publisher was interested. It seemed like a great opportunity to share her story and promote the important work being done by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

We felt it was important to be factually accurate so we approached the aquarium to participate in the production of the book. This was the terse response we received from the aquarium’s communication department: “…we’re not collaborating on or supporting a children’s book about Toola, so can’t be of assistance with your project. Additionally we also would request that you not use Toola’s or the aquarium’s name and identity in the book, as that would require a licensing agreement.  I appreciate your cooperation.”

Can an otter be copyrighted?

So here is the cover of the book that never was. Hope I don’t get sued for showing it here.

Some character sketches.

 

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4 Responses to Toola is Copyrighted

  1. RC says:

    I’m so sad that this book was never published. Would’ve been a great Xmas gift for my niece.

  2. Maybe if you said that part of the profits would go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Rehabilitation center they might be more open to discussion…

  3. beerawr19 says:

    I know the book was never published but would it be okay if I were to print the cover and make a poster out of it?. Years ago I visited the Aquarium, and I fell in love with Toola and her story. So in love that I adopted a senior dog and named her Toola. She passed away this morning and it would make me so happy if I can have this up on my wall.

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