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Old 02-01-2012, 07:51 AM
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aaces aaces is offline
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question about copyright

Ok...I have an idea for a piece but it involves a toy
of a famous Sci-fi character.
what I want to know is am I infringing upon the copyrights of the toy company?
or even the creator of the original character?
Or is it clear seeing I am doing a completely original piece?
But it's not completely original because I am using their toy.....
Am I thinking too much? Or not enough?

Signed completely confessed and tired of wearing out my brain but doesn't want to have a huge lawsuit filed against me.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:54 AM
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fire angel fire angel is offline
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Re: question about copyright

I am pretty sure any likeness of a toy is a copyright infringement. I am not positive but I tend to be very cautious when it comes to copyrights.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:58 AM
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Harry Seymour Harry Seymour is offline
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Re: question about copyright

Allan,

I tend to agree with Greg, but you might contact the manufacturer and request permission to use the product for art purposes. There is a grey area here wherein you have a first amendment right to create your art and sell that single piece but it gets really fuzzy if you plan to sell copies.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:35 PM
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PaintDog PaintDog is offline
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Re: question about copyright

If it's a Disney toy, forgeddaboudit. They're really strict about use of their products.

Technically, using a toy in an art work is considered a derivative work.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Co...rivative_works (short version, with a helpful flow chart)

Long version, that'll put you to sleep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derivative_work
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:55 PM
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frannydales frannydales is offline
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Re: question about copyright

I wondered the same thing, when I wanted to do a painting with a picture of a book by a famous author. I wrote to the publishing house, explained my idea to incorporate books with covers clearly visible, in a series of drawings I was doing to offer for sale.

They said that as long as I was not using the book covers to sell the work, I could go ahead, and they wished me good luck. To this day I am not sure what they meant....

Of course I want the paintings to sell, and a certain author's title in the work might make it more appealing to my specific audience... so did that mean I was using his work to sell mine??? Apparently not, since I told them the paintings were being offered for sale, and they wished me luck.

(I still have never found the time to do that series, but I kept the letter, and some day when I can retire and paint full time, I will.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:02 PM
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aaces aaces is offline
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Re: question about copyright

I looked over ALL the info and when I woke up I came up with....
I can't use it. An action figure, is protected under copyright laws, which I can understand. Someone created it and wants to profit off it.
I guess that also means that If I do, say a portrait of my grandson, holding his favorite toy, Buzz Lightyear, then sold it, I could also be sued for infringement because Disney owns the Buzz copyright. (And in case you didn't know) They have PITBULLS for Lawyers!!! Bizarre!
It's a shame....It was going to be a still life that had a Lego's Stormtrooper in it. Oh well.
I could contact the company I guess, and ask for permission. Who knows, they might say yes. I have a feeling it would be doubtful though....with Lucas and the Star Wars "machine"
I might do the piece anyway and keep it for myself.
Just so I can say I did a still life
Thanks for pondering the thought with me and takin' the time to add the info
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:39 PM
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Re: question about copyright

Fran, I think what they meant is if the cover of the book is secondary to what you are portraying it is OK, but if it was the main focal point, you cannot use it. (like 'Man reading a book'......'Man reading War & Peace'). If your focal point is the man and he just happens to be reading that book, OK. But if you call attention to the book to sell the art, then it is not OK.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:42 PM
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Foxyheart2002 Foxyheart2002 is offline
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Re: question about copyright

Allan, is this a legos creation that they made (kit) or one that someone has made out of legos? I think that would be a main difference. Can you change it enough to look like you put the legos together instead of their particular kit?
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I always welcome C & C. Even if I have finished it and applied fixative, I can always apply your thoughts to the next one.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:11 AM
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Re: question about copyright

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxyheart2002
Fran, I think what they meant is if the cover of the book is secondary to what you are portraying it is OK, but if it was the main focal point, you cannot use it. (like 'Man reading a book'......'Man reading War & Peace'). If your focal point is the man and he just happens to be reading that book, OK. But if you call attention to the book to sell the art, then it is not OK.

Thanks Foxyheart. That makes sense. Then I guess I'm OK. I do mainly horse portraits, but was thinking of getting away from that, with some still lives, or scenes of the barn, tack room, mud room, etc. I need to get some more experience doing different things, different textures.

I thought a scene of old tack draped over a barn door, etc. would be interesting. Or just some overstuffed old chair that I've seen in the tack room of many a barn. But to keep the "horsey" theme going, I thought I'd have a paperback over the arm of the chair, as if someone had just walked away and left it there to mark the spot. And of course it would have to be a mystery by a well known author of books about the racing industry, because I have all of his books. I could do a lot of different rooms, with one of his books discreetly showing, but always sort of in the background. And the title of the piece would not mention the book at all. I think this would meet the criteria of being secondary to the work (eg. the chair, barn door, fireplace mantle, horse grazing outside the window...all ideas for different scenes...all still in my mind only. Some day I'll get them on paper/canvas/scratchboard, I hope!
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:50 PM
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Re: question about copyright

Sounds like a great series. Hope you can finalize it in your mind, I would love to see it on board!
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:58 PM
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Re: question about copyright

That does sound cool

As for the lego character, it is an actual "mini figure" that they make, not a kit.
Like I said though.....I might just do it for myself
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:31 PM
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Re: question about copyright

Yes, do it for yourself! If you aren't going to sell it you can do it. You could even show it, as far as I know. You just aren't supposed to profit by it or distribute it. I think it sounds like a great project.

(Sorry to highjack your thread earlier. )
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:53 PM
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Re: question about copyright

there aint no such thing as a threadjack to me
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:05 PM
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Re: question about copyright

Yeah, do it Allan and share it with us! We promise not to turn ya in to the copyright cops.
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