Paint Basket Member Art Forum

Other => Copyright Questions => Topic started by: ImBatman on May 17, 2013, 03:18:05 AM

Title: Well known characters
Post by: ImBatman on May 17, 2013, 03:18:05 AM
I thought that since the new section had been started I'd pose this question:

My niece turns 5 soon and absolutely loves Dora. Is there any copyright breach if I go and take Dora (who is lets be honest a few very set outlines with some colour) do a painting, not of a specific freeze frame or anything, but just my version of Dora and give that to her as part of her birthday present, does that breach copyright?

Or is it only if I take a particular image of Dora and do that where I cross the line? Or are we now talking Trademarks?

Batman.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Maryna on May 17, 2013, 04:34:21 AM
Gosh that is a good question. Dora is a trademark. But there are thousands of people who use her image on mugs, t-shirts, play-schools you name it. In my opinion I think that would be ok.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Germa on May 17, 2013, 04:42:45 AM
Dora is the property of http://www.mtvnetworksdigital.co.uk/about_us/offerings.php (http://www.mtvnetworksdigital.co.uk/about_us/offerings.php)
That's a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig company, I wouldn't want to fight with them.

But you could ask them, of course.

Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Northbound on May 17, 2013, 06:12:12 AM
If you're not putting the image into public spaces and is only being used as a personal gift, without the intention of making profit, I don't see how MTV would even know you did it, let alone care.   :)
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Germa on May 17, 2013, 06:26:34 AM
True, I don't think MTV goes worldwide to every child's bedroom to see if there is anything that's against the rules.

But hé, when your mom doesn't see it, you still aren't allowed to steel a cookie. ;)  :knuppel2:  :2funny:

The law says No, but whatever you do with the law, that's your own responsibility , but you can't show the result on the forum, by example, because the forum shares everything with facebook and believe me, facebook is being controlled by big companies.

Not to forget the problems Dennis and Nolan might get.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: ncwren on May 18, 2013, 09:47:15 AM
I think you are okay with personal use.  You could try painting your niece in a Dora outfit instead.  ;) Give her a little backpack and stuff.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Zach on May 20, 2013, 09:10:07 AM
I used to watch Dora when I was like 5 or 6, but then I quit cause I realized I was a dork for watchin a girls show.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: ImBatman on May 20, 2013, 10:16:31 AM
Nice idea Natalie, but she doesn't quite fit the Dora image, not with her blonde hair and fair complexion...

With my question I was really just checking on the legalities of using the character. Not a specific picture of her.

Batman.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Germa on May 20, 2013, 10:30:13 AM
The character is a brand and brands are protected by law.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: dennis on May 21, 2013, 12:33:16 AM
Just to let you know:
As per the section Forum Tech Stuff - Fine Print - Current Registration Agreement, any copyright infringement committed by any of the members of the Forum in the Forum is to the account of the individual committing the infringement and not the Paint Basket.

What happens outside of the Paint Basket is not our responsibility, but I would hate to see any of our member get into trouble. Remember the onus is on you to know the law. One of the biggest problems happens when someone does not like you and reports you through jealousy. Don't take chances.

Because I have commented so many times in various places, and have a section which explains the copyright Law in detail, I personally will not be adding any more comments re copyright in the future.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: ImBatman on May 21, 2013, 01:05:14 AM
Thanks for being so patient thus far Dennis.

I guess I now have to go and explain ridiculously convoluted laws to disappointed 5 year old as to why I can't paint the painting of Dora she wants.

An old saying says "There is nothing new under the sun." Humanity must have been breaching copyright forever.

Another thing I read about copyright was something along the lines of "the idea behind copyright, wasn't to guarantee an original author income from that work."  Or knowing legal terminology - about 5000 words longer to say the same thing.

Batman.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: jrhall036 on May 21, 2013, 01:12:16 PM
I'm pretty sure Germa is right about this issue. I had a friend who baked and decorated birthday cakes out of her home. She used to purchase her baking pans from Wilton Cake Decorating, a company that sells pans in the shape of Disney characters (Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Sponge Bob Squarepants, etc.), mostly for family members' birthdays and showers, but also for a small fee--$10, I think, just to cover supplies--to people outside the family. One of her friends posted a picture of the Disney birthday cake she made on Facebook, and a few days later she received a "Cease and Desist" letter in the mail from someone in the legal department at Disney, who threatened her with legal action if she didn't immediately cease baking and distributing cakes made from their characters. I hate to say it, but she ignored the letter because she thought that the only way she could get into trouble was if she charged money for the cakes.  Unfortunately, she was wrong. Disney ended up suing her for $30,000--a combined total from 3 infractions at $10,000 each time that she made a cake after they sent her that Cease and Desist letter, not counting her legal fees.  Last week she filed bankruptcy.  I don't know about you, but I wouldn't take the risk, 'cause I certainly don't have thousands of dollars to cover myself if someone inadvertently slipped up and posted a picture on a private page or told the wrong person about it. 
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Zach on May 21, 2013, 01:24:05 PM
Dang!
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Lillian on May 21, 2013, 04:04:51 PM
Jani,  :thankyou:  for this story.  The message rings loud and clear!
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: dennis on May 21, 2013, 08:42:58 PM
Thanks for that confirmation, Jani.
This is exactly what I don't want happening to any of our members.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Val on May 22, 2013, 04:05:29 AM
This is an eye opener .... those pans are sold everywhere. You can even buy those cakes at a lot of supermarkets.



Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Lillian on May 22, 2013, 04:31:39 AM
Perhaps those pans should come with a label giving a warning in large bold letters! 
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Maryna on May 22, 2013, 06:14:46 AM
Well all I can say is hmmmmmmm I hear everyone BUT yes the pans, the mugs, the t-shirts, the back to school stuff the stuff for characters is sold everywhere all over the world!

 ???
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: jrhall036 on May 22, 2013, 07:05:26 AM
My friend's situation was a real eye opener for me, too. Originally, I had thought about decorating cakes to make some extra money (and because I just liked doing it), but after this happened, I decided against it. Too bad I didn't come to this realization until after I had invested hundreds of dollars in cake pans! One of these days I'll sell back my pans on EBay--the same place I purchased the ones I have now.

Val:  Yes, these pans are for sale everywhere--grocery stores, online, cake supply shops, etc.  My local art supply store has now placed a sign in front of the pans informing customers of the trademark issues regarding these Disney character pans. The last time I looked at the Wilton website, they also printed a legal disclaimer on the Disney pans they have for sale on their site.

Maryna: Your question is a good one, and indeed one that came up in the court hearing.  There are hundreds of distributors that sell items with these characters all over the world, but these sellers requested permission from Disney and actually paid a fee to use the image in their artwork before selling their works to the public. From what I understand, the fee amount is contingent upon the number of works being generated that uses the trademark.

I get frustrated sometimes with this issue myself. For example, I am an author of several music reference books, which contain images of music manuscripts by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, etc. The intellectual and creative rights of these composers expired long ago, but my publisher still requires me to pay permissions to the archives, libraries, or private collectors who hold the manuscripts before I can publish an image of the manuscript in my books. I could understand this if the composers were still alive or if they had ancestors who could still benefit from the fees I pay, but this is usually not the case. Instead, wealthy archives and private benefactors receive large amounts of income every year just from owning these works, when they had nothing to do with the creation of the artwork. It just seems unfair to me.  The artists (or their ancestors) aren't receiving any monetary benefit from the fees; only big businesses are.  I also doubt that the artist who created the Disney characters receive benefit from any derivative works, either; the Disney Corporation does, however.

OK, now I'm off my soapbox!   ;D

Hugs,
Jani 
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Germa on May 22, 2013, 09:13:54 AM
Well all I can say is hmmmmmmm I hear everyone BUT yes the pans, the mugs, the t-shirts, the back to school stuff the stuff for characters is sold everywhere all over the world!

 ???

And from every item sold, the holder of the brand is getting a commission of the sale. When you go to our biggest harbour, there are a lot of companies, just inspecting illegal stuff, most made in China, most of the time it isn't possible to catch the Chinese firms who make this stuff, but it gets destroyed immediately.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: nolan on May 22, 2013, 12:25:44 PM
a perfect example of what we keep warning about. If you paint a copyright scene, you need to keep that painting for yourself. Don't even share a photo of it.

Eg. I painted a Disney scene with Winny the Pooh and friends for my daughter when she was small. She has since passed it on to her younger sister who loves it. It is happily hanging on the wall, but once they are big, then I will just make the painting disappear, ie., quietly pop it into the bin.
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Lillian on May 22, 2013, 02:33:52 PM
So, Nolan, you don't think you'll have grandchildren?  Wouldn't it be ok to keep it in the family?  I suppose eventually it could migrate from there.
What if you were to remove your signature?  Hmmmmm, I hate to see any of your great works get binned!  :(    :'(
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: Tony (ASM) on May 22, 2013, 10:14:50 PM
Nolan!  :o  A man with a plan! I think you maybe in future trouble! Cruising for a bruising from your daughter!
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: ncwren on May 24, 2013, 06:07:17 AM
 :o chilling story Jani!
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: nolan on May 24, 2013, 01:44:32 PM
By the time my kids have kids, the painting will have disintegrated already  ;D
Title: Re: Well known characters
Post by: ImBatman on May 25, 2013, 11:08:19 AM
Why Nolan, was that when you were still using Student Quality materials?
I guess it will make the copyright breach claim hard to prove... :2funny:

Batman.