COPYRIGHT VIOLATION IN MINNESOTA
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On 3/17/2019 at 9:58 AM, the blob said:

Your image is itself a copyright violation

It's not a copyright violation if her didn't copy that work directly from something else. At best it would be a trademark violation. 

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6 hours ago, shadroch said:

Does Star Trek meets Elfquest count? Because that has been done. How about publishing a book titled X-Men, and claim it is pronounced zmen? That's been tried. 

Star Trek met Elfquest? Was it in Mundens Annual or an actual crossover? That sounds awesome and lame at the same time. Something IDW would do

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1 hour ago, dupont2005 said:

Star Trek met Elfquest? Was it in Mundens Annual or an actual crossover? That sounds awesome and lame at the same time. Something IDW would do

Wonderful! Now I can properly describe life in 2019! Thanks for the wording idea!

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4 minutes ago, NoMan said:
27 minutes ago, dupont2005 said:

Star Trek met Elfquest? Was it in Mundens Annual or an actual crossover? That sounds awesome and lame at the same time. Something IDW would do

Wonderful! Now I can properly describe life in 2019! Thanks for the wording idea!

 

2wd50e.jpg

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The Air Pirates case was far more complicated, and in no way should my interpretation in a single sentence sum up the protracted legal case that went on for two decades, but O'Neill didn't help his cause by bringing attention to the works, swiping the cover of BLB 731 for his first issue, and then not listening to the courts banning all future printings/sales, when he published a second issue to raise money for his legal bills.

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Two issues of Elftrek came out in 1986. Available from Mycomicshop at $1.70 a pop.

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15 hours ago, lizards2 said:

I have never heard of her.

A few here could use some Church'in up. just sayin..... 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Tony S said:
16 hours ago, lizards2 said:

I have never heard of her.

A few here could use some Church'in up. just sayin..... 

Did you see my last sale?  She can wield the knife at the next one.  Old time religion.

 

Edited by lizards2

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:17 PM, Tony S said:

It's not a "separate issue". It's Disney -who owns the copyright and trademark to both Mickey Mouse and Darth Vader - deciding when they feel they should protect said IP rights. 

So what people have been saying here is that Disney doesn't seem to want to shut down artists at con's eking out a living selling sketches and prints of characters Disney owns to fans.  Disney COULD sue those artists  if they wanted. But are choosing not to. BUT>>> if one of those artists sued someone else for copying their work  - work which actually features Disney owned characters,  Disney might well decide they had to step in and make it clear ONLY DISNEY owns Darth Vader and any likeness. NO ONE ELSE is allowed to enforce any IP claims. 

 

Excellent posts, as per the usual. 

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3 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Excellent posts, as per the usual. 

Yup, everyone 'thinks' they are sure of what they can do as an artist and what parody is until someone starts making and selling prints of Donald and Minnie engaged in inter-species, BDSM, cartoon sex. Then watch when Disney lay down the hammer. 

Because even IF it is considered parody.  I can promise you one thing.  Disney can and will outspend you.  Disney can and will force you to settle the case even if you in the right.  You will happily accept that settlement so you do not bankrupt yourself in legal fees. 

At the end of the day Disney owns the characters.  It is not that they turn a blind eye.  It is that the artists that use the characters in this way are beneath their notice OR they are using the characters in a way that they currently do not care about, such as drawing one off commissions at comic cons. These people are the ants that are crawling through the grass.

However, every now and then though an ant gets brave and wanders into territory that they shouldn't.  Once they are noticed, they are immediately squished.  It just so happens that Disney happens to have a big boot. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Buzzetta said:

Yup, everyone 'thinks' they are sure of what they can do as an artist and what parody is until someone starts making and selling prints of Donald and Minnie engaged in inter-species, BDSM, cartoon sex. Then watch when Disney lay down the hammer. 

Because even IF it is considered parody.  I can promise you one thing.  Disney can and will outspend you.  Disney can and will force you to settle the case even if you in the right.  You will happily accept that settlement so you do not bankrupt yourself in legal fees. 

At the end of the day Disney owns the characters.  It is not that they turn a blind eye.  It is that the artists that use the characters in this way are beneath their notice OR they are using the characters in a way that they currently do not care about, such as drawing one off commissions at comic cons. These people are the ants that are crawling through the grass.

However, every now and then though an ant gets brave and wanders into territory that they shouldn't.  Once they are noticed, they are immediately squished.  It just so happens that Disney happens to have a big boot. 

The adult nature and depiction of Disney characters which arguably might mortify and make Walt roll in his grave, is certainly what Disney wanted most to go away with the lawsuit. But there's a reason why people say this case set parody laws back by twenty years, and it would be inaccurate to blame it entirely on the way Disney characters were engaging in adult behaviours and consuming drugs. It ultimately came down to O'Neill being ill-informed, but especially his defiance which made a case for parody an impossibility. Namely, he was so eager to be sued that he had a board members son smuggle in copies of Air Pirates into a meeting, swiped the cover to a copyrighted big littlle book (BLB 731), kept the name "Mickey", and then his later decision to defy the court's restraining order, and banning of future sales/reprinting, by publishing a second issue (which also swiped art from a copyrighted Disney strip). These decisions would eventually estrange him from the "pirates", who found him to be reckless, and the long, dragged out legal case, a barrier to them being able to get work again. This is more a case - unquestionably the most famous one of all - of someone going about parody the wrong way, and learning a hard lesson from it.

Edited by comicwiz

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39 minutes ago, comicwiz said:

The adult nature and depiction of Disney characters which arguably might mortify and make Walt roll in his grave, is certainly what Disney wanted most to go away with the lawsuit. But there's a reason why people say this case set parody laws back by twenty years, and it would be inaccurate to blame it entirely on the way Disney characters were engaging in adult behaviours and consuming drugs. It ultimately came down to O'Neill being ill-informed, but especially his defiance which made a case for parody an impossibility. Namely, he was so eager to be sued that he had a board members son smuggle in copies of Air Pirates into a meeting, swiped the cover to a copyrighted big littlle book (BLB 731), kept the name "Mickey", and then his later decision to defy the court's restraining order, and banning of future sales/reprinting, by publishing a second issue (which also swiped art from a copyrighted Disney strip). These decisions would eventually estrange him from the "pirates", who found him to be reckless, and the long, dragged out legal case, a barrier to them being able to get work again. This is more a case - unquestionably the most famous one of all - of someone going about parody the wrong way, and learning a hard lesson from it.

I never knew all the details of the Air Pirates case.  I can tell you that between stint 1 and 2 with working for Disney 1994-1996 and then again in 1998 in some capacity that their rules concerning their protection of intellectual property became what can only be described as more intense.  I had to basically sign an agreement in 98 that any type of doodle I made while on the phone became their property.

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22 hours ago, SBRobin said:

It's not a copyright violation if her didn't copy that work directly from something else. At best it would be a trademark violation. 

No. The image is Darth Vader, which is owned by Disney. There is no "copy directly" requirement in copyright law. Copying directly simply makes the case much easier to prove. You can also be sued under the trademark law. MAYBE you avoid a copyright violation by getting rid of a bunch of distinguishing Vader features.

https://www.aspectlg.com/posts/copyright-in-characters-what-can-i-use

https://statuteofryanne.com/2015/06/12/fictional-cartoon-characters-protected-by-copyright/

Chances are nobody goes after you and/or you avoid liability by obeying a cease and desist letter. But you never know. Some companies are VERY aggressive. Disney might not be so aggressive over small scale stuff because paying an army of lawyers to harass small time sellers over their vast IP holdings is expensive. In a different context in my prior life I sued someone who had made $1000 in sales selling copies of books he figured nobody cared about because the other was long dead. But his kids were not. It wound up costing him $700,000. So relatively small sales can result in a big judgment. (He could have settled for very little initially. He told us to F-off.)

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4 hours ago, comicwiz said:

The adult nature and depiction of Disney characters which arguably might mortify and make Walt roll in his grave, is certainly what Disney wanted most to go away with the lawsuit. But there's a reason why people say this case set parody laws back by twenty years, and it would be inaccurate to blame it entirely on the way Disney characters were engaging in adult behaviours and consuming drugs. It ultimately came down to O'Neill being ill-informed, but especially his defiance which made a case for parody an impossibility. Namely, he was so eager to be sued that he had a board members son smuggle in copies of Air Pirates into a meeting, swiped the cover to a copyrighted big littlle book (BLB 731), kept the name "Mickey", and then his later decision to defy the court's restraining order, and banning of future sales/reprinting, by publishing a second issue (which also swiped art from a copyrighted Disney strip). These decisions would eventually estrange him from the "pirates", who found him to be reckless, and the long, dragged out legal case, a barrier to them being able to get work again. This is more a case - unquestionably the most famous one of all - of someone going about parody the wrong way, and learning a hard lesson from it.

I was unaware of the full backstory behind air pirates.  

Disney is very protective of their IP though and perhaps things have changed to the point that they will go after things that they did not in the past.  I would not underestimate Disney as a litigious entity. In this case I feel as if the OP is opening a door that he will not be able to close and it will backfire on him.  He can search and find as many people that will pat him on the back and tell him that he is right but at the end of the day I honestly feel as when the shoe drops it will be quite a fall. 

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