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COPYRIGHT ISSUES!!

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Hey i work on game art, but i also paint on my own. and i did a realy nice painting from a scinerio in Harry Potter. (yes i know im a complete looser. but i love those damn books) anyway.... i did NOT paint a frame from the movie, use any of the official Harry Potter artwork as reference, and it does NOT say Harry Potter anywhere on the painting. its a completely original image inspired by a scene in the third book. SO... would it be illegal to auction off the painting? if you know anything about copyright laws please post, If your going to ridicule me for being a Harry Potter fan... ok, you can post too. and if you had a transplanted baboon heart and your aunts name is fred, DEFFINETLY post. you wierdo!

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quote:
Original post by neonzero2
and if you had a transplanted baboon heart and your aunts name is fred, DEFFINETLY post. you wierdo!


What is the average age here anyway?



You should have kept quiet about it, guess their lawyers can now prove you used Harry Potter as a basis for the artwork


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Guest Anonymous Poster
Noooooo! What have you done? Don''t you know gamedev.net is being monitored by the US and Russian government(gamedev.ru)every second? Now everybody knows

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thanks for the info. im glad SOMEONE seems to know a little about copywright laws.
as for the rest of you i havent made i dime off anything, i could bring all my artwork to there office and give it away on the street and they couldent do anything about it

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It is possible (likely) that the likeness of Harry Potter has been trademarked, in which case using the characters in any form can get you in trouble. You would be clear of copyright violation, but not trademark infringement.

Ron Frazier
Kronos Software
www.kronos-software.com
Miko & Molly - Taking Puzzle Games to A Whole New Dimension

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Whenever someone creates an original image, such as Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse, Pokemons, etc., the creator has copyright protection, which gives him/her the exclusive rights to create works based on the character. If you painted a picture that clearly shows Harry Potter, then you are probably stepping on someone's copyright, probably held by Harry Potter's publisher, which also 'prevents' you from showing the painting in a public place, whether or not you make any money or not, although you probably won't get prosecuted. As long as the value of the painting is not increased by an association with Harry Potter, you're fine...an inspired scene seems ok.

Trademark would only cover this if you use the name Harry Potter, because trademark only covers the naming of products and companies. So you'd might run into trademark problems if you sold a children's book with a desceptive name, such as Harry Pooper.

[edited by - WoR on September 11, 2002 5:29:16 AM]

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quote:
Original post by WoR
Whenever someone creates an original image, such as Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse, Pokemons, etc., the creator has copyright protection, which gives him/her the exclusive rights to create works based on the character.

Trademark would only cover this if you use the name Harry Potter, because trademark only covers the naming of products and companies.


Sorry, but you are not correct. Copyrights always cover a specific work/body of art. They don''t cover derivatives of it. As I said, the likeness of a person or character can be trademarked. I tried to find a page on the USPTO site discussing likenesses, but the best I could find is this page, which points out how several celeberties have trademarked their likeness:
http://www.uspto.gov/go/kids/ponder4.htm

Try doing a google search for "Mickey Mouse trademark likeness" and you will find tons of documents discussing it. Same for Buggs Bunny, Superman, or any of your other favorite cartoon characters.





Ron Frazier
Kronos Software
www.kronos-software.com
Miko & Molly - Taking Puzzle Games to A Whole New Dimension

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As long as they can''t prove that it''s a painting of Harry Potter (which as long as it doesn''t look blatantly similar is hard to do) then you''re ok, as I understand it. As long as you don''t draw it exactly the same way they do.. Same goes for something like Superman. You can draw a flying man in with a cape and if he''s wearing a green cape with a letter U on his chest there''s no way they can say "that''s superman." That''s what I''m trying to say.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''m sorry LordKronos but you''re the one who''s wrong about copyright and trademark law. First of all, copyright law does cover derivative works and the characters in a copyrighted work. If you write a story involving Harry Potter you are violating the publisher''s copyright.

Unlike copyright law, trademark law does not cover the characters themselves (or at least it''s not supposed to), it can only prevent use of character names in certain contexts.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Correction: trademark law can only cover the use of character names and likenesses in particular contexts. If I use the likeness of Jesus as a logo for my game company I can prevent you from using Jesus as a logo for your own game company. This does not mean I can prevent you from using Jesus in your own stories.

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yea, tons of people have used "harry potthead" as parodies of the original. This guy looks exactly like harry potter (except for the blood shot eyes and bong) but they use his image freely.

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Copyright issues are very difficult. And they also vary from country to country! There is a lot of info available on the web, but when push comes to shove, you either have to consult a professional, or convince yourself that you are right.

It''s easy enough if your works are different enough (i.e. the original is Harry Potter and you created a pyramid with three arms and one eye) - then you don''t need a lawyer.

However, as you get closer to the original, the question becomes more difficult.

From your description I would suspect you have nothing to worry about, but of course I can not guarantee it (lawyers can''t even guarantee it). Even with the advice from a lawyer all you can do is proceed (or not) and hope they won''t sue you.

Even if you are right doesn''t mean they won''t. They might have a lawyer who disagrees with yours and recommends them they should sue. Then it''s up to the judge to decide...

Hope I didn''t scare you. It''s not as bad as it might look. Just read up enough info on the matter, and then make up your mind or consult a lawyer for more details...

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quote:
Original post by neonzero2
yea, tons of people have used "harry potthead" as parodies of the original. This guy looks exactly like harry potter (except for the blood shot eyes and bong) but they use his image freely.

Parodies are a separate issue and are allowed.

I am 99% sure that your picture is fine as long as it contains no copyrighted text or trademarked imagery.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
"[In 1982] a federal court of appeals heard a complaint by Groucho Marx Productions Incorporated against a dramatic production company that had used likenesses of the Marx Brothers in a Broadway play called A Day In Hollywood/A Night in Ukraine. Claiming that the deceased Marx Brothers had assigned the rights to their likenesses to the company, Groucho Marx Productions tried to enforce a perpetual monopoly on the characteristics of its namesake: the painted mustache, elongated gait, slick hair, cigar, and glasses. The court ruled against Groucho Marx Productions, but the case remains an example of how valuable the Marx Brothers are as commodities long after they have ceased being creators-- or borrowers." (From Copyrights and Copywrongs by Siva Vaidhyanathan).

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I recently read on another forum that it is illegal in the US to use the © symbol on a site\ product without registering it first, costing about $60. The same posts stated that you can freely do so without registration in Austrailia. This leaves me wondering how such a law is governed in a system like the internet. Do you use the copyright laws of the country the file is written in or the country it is hosted in? Or is there seperate international legislation, and if so, what is it?

If at first you don''t succeed, call it version 1.0

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Please, it''s just doodle... bloody taken username =P

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It''s legal to use the circle-C without registration in the US.

Maybe your ''other forum'' was thinking of the circle-R registered trademark.

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Just to add fuel to the fire, it''s easy enough to claim that your image is derivative enough not to infringe upon the Harry Potter likeness - which I''d be amazed if it isn''t copyrighted, btw.

However, if your painting has a boy with black-rimmed glasses and a lightning-bolt scar across his forehead playing a Quidditch match, or riding whatever model of broom he''s using these days with a Gryffindor flag in the background, then yes - you have infringed, damn your soul to hell and all that jazz.

There is a difference between Potter-inspired work and an "original" scene using copyrighted images. Even if you ditched the Harry Potter character, if you have a Snitch (? been a while) being chased by a broomstick-riding teenager in green robes...you''re on shaky ground, my friend.

You can create the works, but your real problem is selling them. Fan fiction/art abounds, as long as it''s not being sold as "original" work.

Tread lightly.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by neonzero2
yea, tons of people have used "harry potthead" as parodies of the original. This guy looks exactly like harry potter (except for the blood shot eyes and bong) but they use his image freely.


Satire is one of the areas of "fair use" under copyright law. So although it may look similar it''s satire, and therefore doesn''t have to apply to the same constructs as other non satire based images.

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