Maybe the Phillies should just pay off these people and be done with it.

Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison, who designed the original Phillie Phanatic back in the late 70s, are currently embroiled in a legal battle with the team over the use of the mascot, due to some federal law that allows artists to renegotiate the rights to their work after a 35 year period.

The Phils changed the Phanatic costume recently as part of the ongoing lawsuit, which resulted in this statement today from Erickson and Harrison, shared via Corey Seidman at NBCSP and Matt Mullin at Philly Voice:

“The Phillies lack of good faith in negotiating for an extension of the copyright assignment for the Phillie Phanatic is disappointing. But the unveiling of the so-called ‘new’ Phanatic on Sunday is an affront to our intellectual property rights and to Phillies fans everywhere.

“For more than 40 years, we have worked closely with the Phillies, making all the Phanatic costumes, providing artwork and ideas until June of 2018,” added Bonnie Erickson. “The Phanatic has performed successfully for the Phillies and the city of Philadelphia for decades. The ‘business decision’ by the Phillies to roll out this ‘new’ Phanatic is a transparent attempt to deny us our rights under of the Copyright Act. We would love to have the real Phanatic continue with the Phillies.”

They “would love” that, and so would we, so I think we’re all on the same page here. Let’s just throw some stupid money at these folks and be done with it.

Here’s the new guy: