What the heck is going on here? An artist had hard time getting back in to the USA for a sketch of a crocheted SUV she was working on… For copyright infringement?
Keene Valley resident Jerilea Zempel was detained at the U.S. border this summer because she had a drawing of a sport-utility vehicle in her sketchbook.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers told Zempel they suspected her of copyright infringement.
She was released after more than an hour in custody at the Houlton, Maine, port of entry from New Brunswick, Canada.
Her release came only after she persuaded border guards she was an artist doing a project that involved a crocheted SUV as a statement against America’s dependence on oil and love for big vehicles.
“After going through my (laptop) computer, digital camera, cell phone, business cards, suitcase, reading materials, boxes of yarn and crochet tools, she returned with my sketchbook.
Zempel had drawn an SUV covered by a cozy, with its mirrors marked as “ears.”
“My sketchbook puzzled her,” Zempel said. “It was a cartoon sketch. They couldn’t understand what I was doing. She said, Ã‚ÂJust what were you doing in Canada? We think you’re engaged in some kind of copyright infringement.”