When Radiohead debuted its chilling, stop-motion video for “Burn The Witch” earlier this month, we remarked on its thematic similarity to The Wicker Man, as well as its seemingly Camberwick Green-inspired aesthetic. We’re far from the only ones to make the comparison, but the resemblance hasn’t sat well with the family of Gordon Murray, the creator of the Trumptonshire TV trilogy. Murray’s trio of British children’s shows includes Camberwick Green, Trumpton, and Chigley, all of which feature Murray’s copyrighted stop-motion animation. Now that copyright could make Radiohead’s “homage” the basis for a lawsuit.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, William Mollett said the Murray family isn’t thrilled with his father-in-law’s animation has been used to depict a witch-burning in an otherwise bucolic English town. The family hasn’t shown Murray the video, because they believe he would be “appalled.” And it’s not just the stop-motion animation that’s been recreated—it appears that some of the Trumptonshire characters make unofficial cameos. The Murray family’s now worried that Radiohead affiliation is bad for the Trumptonshire brand, so much so that Mollett told The Daily Mail that they’re considering taking legal action for copyright infringement.
“Radiohead should have sought our consent as we consider this a tarnishing of the brand. It is not something we would have authorized. We consider that there is a breach of copyright and we are deciding what to do next.”
As of the time of this writing, Radiohead hadn’t responded to Mollett’s statement. The band is about to kick off a tour in support of its latest release, A Moon Shaped Pool, which includes stops in Europe, North America, and Japan.