Back to forum
image
rss 163 weeks ago
I am confused by copyright law, i get the basic, don't steal peoples stuff, but for these tee's i often find myself using an asset of a logo, or character

Example: mewtwo

here i did not use anything but the character and his pose, i did however use reference images and a trace of his outline to fine tune my edges, and curves. and with this and many other designs i've shows friends they all get up and on about me being sued for copyright infringement. so i'm just curious to know how exactly this works out, i mean i know there is laws in place but how do i avoid crossing them and have i crossed them?

any advice would be nice (not asking for binding legal advice just know how from the designers in this community)
8Comments
  • image
    163 weeks ago
    Copyright issues come up only when its perfectly clear you only hit copy and paste and submitted the image as your own. When you take artistic measures like drawing and use it to recreate the image, then you have nothing to worry about.
  • image
    163 weeks ago
    thanks man, i'm tired of my friend hating on my work because its "unoriginal" and "using other work as my own" really helps me out to hear this man! thanks.
  • image
    163 weeks ago
    It's called parody.

    Check out this link about it as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Copyright_issues
  • image
    163 weeks ago
    Actually, that's not true. I have an etsy store, & in said store, last year i was selling my own Doctor Who wrapping paper. It was all my own original artwork, drawn by me, in photoshop, hours slaving away over my pen tool creating perfect little seamless tiles of daleks & tardises & things.... i thought the same thing. I thought it was my own art & i wasn't stealing anyone else's work or images owned by the BBC. BUT. One day i opened my inbox to find a letter from etsy, relaying a message from the BBC, that i needed to stop selling the Doctor Who wrapping paper, as it was what is called "Trademark Infringement", & if i continued to sell it i would be sued. Every single shirt here is taking that same chance. Let's just hope that when George Lucas finally has enough of us nerds hedging in on his merchandising profits he's at least kind enough to issue a cease & desist before suing the pants off of people.

    christy_s25 said: Copyright issues come up only when its perfectly clear you only hit copy and paste and submitted the image as your own. When you take artistic measures like drawing and use it to recreate the image, then you have nothing to worry about.
  • image
    163 weeks ago
    FuzzyLogic is correct, the designs that TeeFury prints are parodies :)

    Parodies are legal. Your wrapping paper likely caused problems because it was not considered parodic by BBC.
  • image
    103 weeks ago
    There is a fine line between parody and satire. The former is fair use, the latter is not. From Suess Enterprises v Penguin and Dove:

    "The Court pointed out the difference between parody (in which the copyrighted work is the target) and satire (in which the copyrighted work is merely a vehicle to poke fun at another target): "Parody needs to mimic an original to make its point, and so has some claim to use the creation of its victim's (or collective victims') imagination, whereas satire can stand on its own two feet and so requires justification for the very act of borrowing.""
  • image
    103 weeks ago
    (Sorry for the double post)

    Parody must also be sufficiently transformative from the original work in such a way that is creatively distinct and holds the original up to ridicule. If the original is instead used to merely garner attention or avoid the drudgery of creating new works, it does not qualify as parody.

    As much hard work as this wrapping paper was, it's not derivative enough from the original to be considered parody.

  • image
    103 weeks ago
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

    I got this link through fuzzy's link

    I would not use exactly "mewtwo" as that is probably trademarked (that's why you never see "Star Wars" or "Dr. Who" on any of these shirts.

    Your art itself looks close enough to the drawings used by the Pokemon creators that you could potentially be sued if you used this outside the fair use context. So if you sold it.

    This is not to say that you are not artistic or that your art is not any good. But yea, what HappyGoCrazy said.

    Also, people will sue you for anything they can. :D


Back to Top