Radiohead 'Burn the Witch' video: Trumpton creator's family consider next step after 'copyright breach'

The family of creator Gordon Murray has claimed the video's similarities to the '60s animation is, "a tarnishing of the brand"

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 16 May 2016 09:37
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Radiohead's evocative "Burn the Witch" video harkened back to simpler times, of the sweet simplicity of children's TV shows in the '60s; Sunday mornings, and littered cereal bowls.

One thing - turns out, it looks a little too much like children's TV in the '60s, specifically the stop-motion animation style of Trumpton; which imagined a quaint English village filled with kind folk and neighbourly cheer. Not quite the same vibe espoused by Radiohead's music video, which sees an out-of-towner embroiled in sinister suspicion and death within the quiet settlement.

William Mollett, the son-in-law of 95-year-old Trumpton creator Gordon Murray, told the Daily Mail that the family see the video's resemblance as a copyright violation. "Radiohead should have sought our consent as we consider this a tarnishing of the brand," he said. "It is not something we would have authorised. We consider that there is a breach of copyright and we are deciding what to do next."

Indeed, Mollett claims the puppets in the video are directly based off Trumpton characters; specifically the Mayor, his chauffeur Philby, and Mrs Cobbit the flower-seller. Mollett continued that he would not be showing the video to Murray, as he "would be appalled".

The video, directed by Chris Hopewell, has been described by collaborator Virpi Kettu as a comment on the refugee crisis in Europe; with the band wanting to use their much-hyped release to draw attention to paranoia, anger and Islamophobia sparked by the, "blaming of different people… the blaming of Muslims."

Representatives of the band have been contacted for comment.

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