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December 19, 2006

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Michael Risch

Apparently there is some dispute about the role coca-cola played in popularizing our current version of Santa -

Compare
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heritage/cokelore_santa.html

with
http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/santa.asp

The interesting copyright question is just how much detail must one have in order to differentiate one Santa from another in order to have an original work.

Under Gracen (Dorothy on a plate), there can be no copyright in any Santa drawing because they must all be based on the "original" - but something doesn't seem right about that viewpoint.

James

It doesn't qualify as holiday iconography, but I think much of the Paul Bunyon mythology was introduced by a corporation, in this case a lumber company. This article mentions it in passing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bunyon

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