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EditPhish
02-28-2006, 11:05 AM
Kinda thought this was important enough to deserve it's own thread. :happy:

For the fest:

Can you use known superheros and villians (e.g. batman, superman, the joker, lex luther)

What are copyright laws/rules when it comes to spoofing a known character?

Are there any superheros that are considered public domain? (anyone know?)

Blaine
02-28-2006, 11:12 AM
Why should copyright infringement be acceptable in one fest and not in another?

Barry_S
02-28-2006, 11:12 AM
Fair use *generally* allows you to use copyrighted material for the purposes of parody or satire, but I'd much rather everyone avoid the use of copyrighted material altogether.

http://www.publaw.com/work.html

J.R. Hudson
02-28-2006, 11:13 AM
Especially when there things of value that are gained off of use ! (Prizes !)

NO COPYRIGHT infringement !

EditPhish
02-28-2006, 11:21 AM
I asked because while *I* know you can't make a movie about Batman because it's considered copyright infringement, I'm not sure EVERYONE knows that.

A lot of people see copyright infringement as taking the actual music or the actual footage and trying to use it in your own film... not everyone realizes that dressing up as Batman and acting out your own scene is copyright infringement.

And... HERE'S a question...

someone in sci-fest used 3D models from a well-known movie, and it was NOT satire. When are you crossing the line into copyright infringement. For example, if someone downloaded a 3D model of Gotham City... is that permitted to be used??

Not so simple...

wcs
02-28-2006, 01:32 PM
For example, if someone downloaded a 3D model of Gotham City... is that permitted to be used??

Shakey ground on that one. I'd tell them to use another city model.

I'd say we need to make it very clear from the get-go.. if it smells like an infringement, stay a million miles away from it. This is going to be a big question for this fest, and we should inform people right away that they should be working on original characters in an original universe unless they have specific authorization. I think it'd be good to strongly word this one in the official rules.

Good topic, man... get this stuff outta the way early so that people won't waste their time with stuff they can't use.

RyanT
02-28-2006, 05:14 PM
Good topic, man... get this stuff outta the way early so that people won't waste their time with stuff they can't use.

Yeah, really good topic. The thought of a mockumentary crossed my mind and I never thought that having people dress up as superheros would be copyright infringement. Glad I found this now!

snodart
02-28-2006, 05:19 PM
If DVXuser.com is planning on selling DVDs, then I would think that the whole gig would have to be original.

pmark23
02-28-2006, 06:40 PM
Holy crap!

There's no reason for the paranoia or going overboard in censoring others' creativity.

Fair use is extremely broad. You would have to deliberately try to deceive an audience into thinking that your "Batman" is the real thing. That is NOT going to happen in this contest.

Don't fall for the Hollywood propaganda. They would love a complete lockdown on their "property", and by displaying this excessive paranoia you're playing into their hands.

I wouldn't mind seeing some well-done parodies or spoofs.

WilderWorks
02-28-2006, 07:26 PM
If we worry too much, you have to consider that, if you're too successful, they'll go after you for Arachno-boy, once he starts stealing sales from Spider-man. So let's just use common sense: don't pretend you're making your own installment in an existing character's universe, and don't lift images and materials from existing characters, and you're safe. Which means references or true parodies should be fine.

Daniel Skubal
02-28-2006, 08:07 PM
I may be doing a reference in mine, I haven't decided yet. It wouldn't be explicitly stated though, only implied visually.

Merchants of Dreams
02-28-2006, 08:08 PM
O man, this is gonna be fun.

wcs
02-28-2006, 09:33 PM
I started typing a full reply... but then I reread wilderworks, and I'd just like to agree with his assessment.


So let's just use common sense: don't pretend you're making your own installment in an existing character's universe, and don't lift images and materials from existing characters, and you're safe. Which means references or true parodies should be fine.

It's not paranoia I preach, it's caution. Other people's trademarks can be used, but 'true parody' is the key phrase. Fair use is a fuzzy line that people misunderstand. If you're going to use their characters, be darn sure you know what you're getting into.

You can't copyright ideas. Just change the name, and give him a new outfit, and you're good. Angst is angst, even without a batsuit. I respect copyright law in as far as it respects culture. Don't try to glean off of other people's sucess. Be creative, and honest, and then you can forget that you ever heard of copyright.

As I said, let's get this out of the way early.

Beat Takeshi
03-01-2006, 06:19 AM
I didnt use the ending scene in my Sc-Fi short because I thought I would have problems using the name Clark Kent.
Besides, how hard can it be to come up with your own superhero.

David Jimerson
03-01-2006, 06:25 AM
Besides, how hard can it be to come up with your own superhero.

I dunno . . . ask Rob Liefeld. All his "creations" are scarcely-concealed ripoffs.

pabloabad
03-01-2006, 07:22 AM
someone in sci-fest used 3D models from a well-known movie, and it was NOT satire. When are you crossing the line into copyright infringement. For example, if someone downloaded a 3D model of Gotham City... is that permitted to be used??

Not so simple...

I don't know who you're talking about :) , but I asked the owners of the site where I found the models:


I wonder what are the terms to use the sci-fi3d models in a short movie with non-comercial purpose.
Do the creators od StarWars have any copyright about the models shown here?
Besides the credits, of course, should I add some lines about StarWars?

Thank you
Pablo


And their answer:


It's all in the Agreement Form that you click on and "agree" to before you download any file.
All models are owned by the authors. To use for any commercial purpose you have to have
a liscensing agreement with the copyright holder. But the model itself is owned by the author.
It's up to you if you want to add anything about Lucasfilm. They are pretty liberal about it and
allow the fan film community to do what they want.

Anyway, thanks for caring so much for me :love4:
Pablo

Beat Takeshi
03-01-2006, 07:32 AM
Every super hero is a rip off of another in some way. Most can fly, have super strength, and wears tights. Its that one little thing that makes the different like
pantie girl. She can throw.... errr never mind that one was lude.
HUDSONMAN, able to create 10 posts in a single click. Able to ban at a moments notice.
Who, disguised as wild mannered John Hudson
saving the forum from political discussions and rude remarks.
Look up on the web, its a film maker, its a father, ITS A MOD!!!
its HUDSONMAN!!!

:)

I dont remember seeing Gothem City in any of the shorts, which one?

JTyner
03-01-2006, 07:42 AM
Pablo,

I think you make the point of the question.

If you win a prize for example....that then makes the use "commercial".
If the film is then put on a DVD by DVXuser.com and sold.....that then makes it "commerical".

"To use for any commercial purpose you have to have
a liscensing agreement with the copyright holder."

From what *I* understand this sentence (and believe you me.....copyright issues can be TREMENDOUSLY confusing .....and I think sometimes for a reason).....the minute one of the two above scenarios happen you have violated the initial agreement if you have not requested and more importantly SECURED that liscense.

I may be wrong because Im only going by what you have typed here, but it sounds like a typical situation.

Thanks!

snodart
03-01-2006, 08:16 AM
These guys have been doing it for a while now. Not sure if they are having contests or selling DVDs though...

http://www.theforce.net/fanfilms/

http://www.theforce.net (http://www.theforce.net/)

I don't think the contest involves enough $ for anybody to sue or make a stink, but I guess you never know who is lurking around the corner and has a grudge against broke indie filmmakers.

I'm doing everything original, but I do like the controversy of this topic. :)

JTyner
03-01-2006, 08:22 AM
Snodart,

Thats another good point. WILL anyone enforce the infringement (if any of course) :)

I just think it is something to be conscious of....especially if they end up on a commercially available DVD (which can happen after the fest on this site)

pabloabad
03-01-2006, 09:15 AM
From what *I* understand this sentence (and believe you me.....copyright issues can be TREMENDOUSLY confusing .....and I think sometimes for a reason).....the minute one of the two above scenarios happen you have violated the initial agreement if you have not requested and more importantly SECURED that liscense.

I understand your point, JTyner, but, well, I modified the models, changed colors and wasn't the only one who used imagery from movies.

Who's completely free?
Do the Greys From "Close Encounters of a Third Kind" have copyright? :)

http://homepage.mac.com/pabloabad/alien.jpg

Just joking, JTiner, but the line is not so clear

Cheers,
Pablo

pabloabad
03-01-2006, 09:39 AM
I have to explain, though, that I had the models prepared for a parody about Starwars. Besides, modelling all the props I needed for this script would've been absolutely impossible in this short time, I'm working on my own robot and city for the long version.

Anyway, we didn't expect to win, just being about the top ten, so we had no commercial intentions :).

I'm only dissapointed by the fact that Special FX didn't count for the final score. There were too many nights sleeping three hours to get it done. Now, 60% of my body is coffee :)
And Kaz's work was my second favourite, I wish he'd won with the help of FX score.
Pablo

JTyner
03-01-2006, 09:43 AM
Pablo,

Im not trying to point a finger....promise! :) Im really adding to the convo in generalities.

Unfortunately, there are SOOOOO many grey areas when it comes to copyright, fair use, licensing, distributing etc.... and when ya throw in the fact that they may end up on DVD's and sold.....that makes it even greyer.

pabloabad
03-01-2006, 09:53 AM
Im not trying to point a finger....promise! :) Im really adding to the convo in generalities.

JTyner, I understood it, don't worry :)


Unfortunately, there are SOOOOO many grey areas when it comes to copyright, fair use, licensing, distributing etc.... and when ya throw in the fact that they may end up on DVD's and sold.....that makes it even greyer.

When I said "the Greys", I meant the alien race represented with that mask, they're called like that.

I hope my words didn't sound defensive, I'm not that kind, but I knew you were talking about my short and wanted to add my point.

In Spain we say "Buen rollo", it means something like "friends, OK?"
:)

Pablo

pabloabad
03-01-2006, 10:04 AM
... and when ya throw in the fact that they may end up on DVD's and sold....

If there was a DVD, the profit wouldn't go to my pocket, am I wrong?
So it keeps being with non-profit intentions :)
Pablo

JTyner
03-01-2006, 10:12 AM
Pablo,

No hay ni un poquito de problema :)

EditPhish
03-01-2006, 06:58 PM
Look, as JTyner already said, copyright law (and licensing) gets a bit confusing. It doesn't matter if YOU are getting money or not... letting someone else make money off it is the same thing... it's commercial use (for example, you give Jarred permission to put your film on the DVD and you've essentially given HIM permission to sell your movie, which includes artwork that you do not have permission to use for commercial purposes). Now whether it's significant enough for the original artist who made the 3D model to sue you, or for LucasArts to come after you is open for debate, but it's still a violation of the agreement... and copyright law.

I know you meant it good-heartedly, but just FYI, as per a friend of ours (who is obsessed with horror and sci-fi films), he had that mask custom made for him... and I don't think the term "greys" is copyrighted by anyone :happy:

Back to the original point... if you cannot make a movie about Batman without being into the area of copyright infringement, I don't think you can make a movie that includes Gotham City without being in the area of copyright infringement. I could be wrong, but I think it's pretty safe to say you'd need the permission and licensing from DC comics, and whoever the artwork came from.

Blaine
03-01-2006, 08:38 PM
Think of it as an opportunity to start YOUR OWN Super Hero franchise. :beer:

Filmjunkie677
03-01-2006, 08:42 PM
Think of it as an opportunity to start YOUR OWN Super Hero franchise. :beer:


exactly. Originality always wins out. Create your own characters.:Drogar-Evil(DBG):

MattC
03-01-2006, 08:49 PM
Besides, how hard can it be to come up with your own superhero.

I've been thinking for days with three other people and we've got bupkiss, so, for me at least, it's hard!

EditPhish
03-01-2006, 08:53 PM
I don't know how original we're being (though we're trying!) but we have a basic outline, structure, and props, location and actors list going already. Actually bought our first wardrobe prop tonight :shocked: hehehe

MattC
03-01-2006, 08:54 PM
Look, as JTyner already said, copyright law (and licensing) gets a bit confusing. It doesn't matter if YOU are getting money or not... letting someone else make money off it is the same thing... it's commercial use (for example, you give Jarred permission to put your film on the DVD and you've essentially given HIM permission to sell your movie, which includes artwork that you do not have permission to use for commercial purposes). Now whether it's significant enough for the original artist who made the 3D model to sue you, or for LucasArts to come after you is open for debate, but it's still a violation of the agreement... and copyright law.

I know you meant it good-heartedly, but just FYI, as per a friend of ours (who is obsessed with horror and sci-fi films), he had that mask custom made for him... and I don't think the term "greys" is copyrighted by anyone :happy:

Back to the original point... if you cannot make a movie about Batman without being into the area of copyright infringement, I don't think you can make a movie that includes Gotham City without being in the area of copyright infringement. I could be wrong, but I think it's pretty safe to say you'd need the permission and licensing from DC comics, and whoever the artwork came from.

Maybe you're takin' this a little far?

EditPhish
03-01-2006, 08:56 PM
Matt,

Well, when the rules and mods say NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, and it's possibly going out on a DVD to be purchased, I think the terms need to be clear. Trust me, I've no intention of violating any copyrights, but not everyone understands what that means. Don't mean for any of it to come across snotty at ALL (if that's how you're reading my tone)... but if you see above, not everyone realized you can't make a movie about Batman (for example) without being in the area of copyright infringement.

Blaine
03-01-2006, 09:01 PM
I've been thinking for days with three other people and we've got bupkiss, so, for me at least, it's hard!
Matt, I just watched After the Gig. There's your character, by night a jazz musician, after the gig Super Crime fighter noir style. :thumbsup:

pabloabad
03-03-2006, 07:42 AM
Trust me, I've no intention of violating any copyrights, but not everyone understands what that means. Don't mean for any of it to come across snotty at ALL (if that's how you're reading my tone)... but if you see above, not everyone realized you can't make a movie about Batman (for example) without being in the area of copyright infringement.

I don't know who you're thinking of :), but, as you can read above, in LucasFilms they are very liberal about fan films which use their characters and props, why aren't you? They are the creators of it. You can see tons of fan films about StarWars Universe with its characters represented.

I'm trying to be kind, but this beguin to look like a kind of prosecution. You haven't said anything to kaz, who uses the three-legged ships from "War of the worlds". Did I do something to you in other life? I haven't even critisized your short.

Somebody has even asked you if your not taking this too far.

Anyway, you don't have to worry anymore, I draw comics since I was 14, so I've created over 50 ORIGINAL characters with super-powers since then. I can even give you one or two, for free, you can choose.

Pablo

MattC
03-03-2006, 09:21 AM
I'll take one.

pabloabad
03-03-2006, 09:44 AM
I'll take one.

A girl, I guess :) Super-Heroine or Super-Villain?

I got Palsy, a super-villain girl who can accelerate or decrease your hart beat by touching you :)
Or Spiritist, a boy who can invoke the spirits at his will (not allways the spirit he wants)

I'll have to take the dust off my old books...
Pablo

Kholi
03-03-2006, 09:53 AM
I don't know who you're thinking of :), but, as you can read above, in LucasFilms they are very liberal about fan films which use their characters and props, why aren't you? They are the creators of it. You can see tons of fan films about StarWars Universe with its characters represented.

I'm trying to be kind, but this beguin to look like a kind of prosecution. You haven't said anything to kaz, who uses the three-legged ships from "War of the worlds". Did I do something to you in other life? I haven't even critisized your short.

Somebody has even asked you if your not taking this too far.

Anyway, you don't have to worry anymore, I draw comics since I was 14, so I've created over 50 ORIGINAL characters with super-powers since then. I can even give you one or two, for free, you can choose.

Pablo

Those shortfilms aren't being sold for profit, as far as I know. And if they are, I'm sure that a few people whom would LOVE to know about it DON'T.

Can't wait to see your entry, though. Especially if you've been drawing and such since fourteen. I'd reckon your style and concepts got a lot better since then.

=)

Norm Sanders
03-05-2006, 12:41 PM
A girl, I guess :) Super-Heroine or Super-Villain?

I got Palsy, a super-villain girl who can accelerate or decrease your hart beat by touching you :)
Or Spiritist, a boy who can invoke the spirits at his will (not allways the spirit he wants)

I'll have to take the dust off my old books...
Pablo

Hey Pablo,

You should post a thread stating all the chracters you've got available. Seriously ... work out a simple licensing agreement with the film makers, and you've got potential credit in a LOT of films ... if some of them do very well, there could be cool things ahead for you.

You've got some good ideas, from the sounds of it.

EditPhish
03-06-2006, 08:14 AM
Pablo,

I DID say something to Kaz... I said in my original comments to him that his "tripods" looked a bit too wars-of-the-worldish -- but he also modeled them himself, he didn't use fan art from a fan site. And I don't think he set out to "copy" War of the Worlds.

I've got no problem with the fact you used Stars Wars models, and it ISN'T a prosecution -- but don't change the facts. Your download agreement said you couldn't use the models for commercial purposes. Letting someone sell it on DVD (if it is picked) is a commercial purpose. There's a really shady grey area about film fests, since, in theory, they can be considered an avenue for furthering your career -- hence, possibly commercial. I've seen a million Star Wars fan films, and know Lucas Arts is pretty darn liberal -- but I'm talking about the rules HERE.

When the mods are yelling NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT in this thread, THIS is why I bring it up. Honestly Pablo, I don't really care that you used Star Wars models, but personally I also don't think it's fair to compare models you downloaded from a website/famous movie vs. someone who created everything themselves (Kaz). I also think that since it's from a HUGE movie, it doesn't matter if Lucas Arts is okay with Fanfilms or not... it seems to me it goes against the "no copyright infringement" rules here... but maybe I'm wrong.

Please mods... do correct me if I'm off base! It's why I'm ASKING. Please be really specific about the no copyright infringement rules. I am NOT trying to be snotty here, I really just want the clarification. If a concept like a character can be copyrighted, isn't the same true for movie-specific/comic book locations (such as "Gotham City")? If someone offers a 3D model of Gotham City on a website for a film maker to download, and their download agreement says "go ahead and use it however you like, except for commercial purposes" does that mean it's okay to used here? And when does it cross into becoming copyright infringement?

Kaz
03-06-2006, 11:02 AM
My three-legged aliens have nothing to do with War of the Worlds. That was an homage to my favorite PC game Half-life 2 (which, by the way, if you've ever seen my actual model, looks nothing like either of them).

If you're gonna blame me for infringement, at least get the facts right first! :)

Filmjunkie677
03-06-2006, 11:29 AM
Why should the mods have to be clear about copyright infringement??!!

It's common sense. You're publicly exhibiting a film to everyone in the world, you don't use other people's ideas/and or characters, etc.....And why would you want to, be original, show your creativity.

This is a waste of time for the mods and a pointless discussion, IMO.

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 11:34 AM
Agreed. Let's stop accusing people... and move on :)

Kholi
03-06-2006, 11:35 AM
Why should the mods have to be clear about copyright infringement??!!

It's common sense. You're publicly exhibiting a film to everyone in the world, you don't use other people's ideas/and or characters, etc.....And why would you want to, be original, show your creativity.

This is a waste of time for the mods and a pointless discussion, IMO.

Uhm--

She didn't start it because she didn't know the terms of copyright infringement...

She started the thread to inform others of the dangers of it. And believe it or not, some people will STILL infringe on secure material, no matter how smart you think they are.

It's not stupid or pointless... it's to help people whom might not know better.

Blaine
03-06-2006, 11:37 AM
Just out of curiosity, isn't Gotham just another name for New York City?

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 11:37 AM
I don't understand how someone wouldn't know if something is infrindgement on a property (character, or story). Anyway... I think this point has been discussed plenty, and if anyone has a specific question. You can PM Jarred or Barry S

Kholi
03-06-2006, 11:43 AM
I don't understand how someone wouldn't know if something is infrindgement on a property (character, or story). Anyway... I think this point has been discussed plenty, and if anyone has a specific question. You can PM Jarred or Barry S

The Happy Birthday song is copyright infringement. You aren't even supposed to sing it in the privacy of your own home.

But, everyone knows that.

All I'm saying is that it's not a pointless thread. People need to realize that you CAN get in trouble for infringing on copyrights, and some people don't know the extent of it. How many times have you seen a short music video with copywritten music? You CAN get in trouble for that, that's a fact.

Anyway, I hope someone benefited from it.

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 11:44 AM
Sure, agreed... I just think Filmjunkie's point was when it turned to accusing people it got pointless... anyway, I think we best focus on the next fest... movin' on :)

Filmjunkie677
03-06-2006, 11:48 AM
Exactly , Briceman, it wasnt an attack on who started the thread.

Sorry, it is pointless when we are on three pages of posts and its been discussed to death and now is trying to get the mods involved when they have stated their case and have more important things to do.
And i'm not chiming in on this again.

Norm Sanders
03-06-2006, 11:56 AM
Also, remember, it's only infringement if you don't have express prior written permission. If DC comics and Warner Bros. gives you express written permission to do a short film that involves the Batman franchise, etc., then it should be fine. Of course, it would most likely be impossible to get such permission, but there may be other smaller characters that you could contact the publisher of & you may be surprised ... again, doubtful, but if you don't ask the answer is already no.

EditPhish
03-06-2006, 12:16 PM
I have no intention on using anyone elses copyrighted material. Already stated that. I started the thread so the RULES of the contest are CLEAR, especially to newer people... already stated that too.

And since there's already been a film in one of the fests here using concepts from Lucas Arts, I don't think it's at all clear. I don't give a crap what people wanna use, that's up to them -- but copyright infringement and understanding what is and isn't the intellectual property of someone is not an easy issue.

For the record, I wasn't accusing anyone of anything. If you notice I specifically didn't mention who the film maker was at the beginning. Pablo chose to "out" himself. It's really up to him to decide what he uses in his films, and it's up to the mods/owners of this site to determine what is and isn't acceptable.

There is nothing "common sense" about copyright law. Some of it's clear -- some of it not-so-much (and no, not EVERYONE knows about the "Happy Birthday" thing).

If the mods think this thread pointless, they are welcome to close it... but honestly, I think it's a valuable discussion to have to be sure that what is and isn't copyright infringement is clear... as a film maker, it's important to know.

JTyner
03-06-2006, 12:28 PM
Pointless? If this post is so pointless...then quite honestly dont even waste your time opening the thread. Its really as simple as that. If the COMMUNITY thinks its a pointless post, the post will quickly get buried.....so either way....there shouldnt be a worry.

I work for a cd/dvd replicator. To say that copyright infringement is "common sense" really is NOT a reality. It isnt.....and you would be SURPRISED as to what goes thru (or atleast tries to go thru) a replication house. :)

I think for ANY creative forum to think that talking about copyrights is "pointless" is really not living in the real world. It can help ANYONE who is in a creative field wether it be a hobby and/or a profession.

Do you know how many people may have just learned about copyright infringement with "Happy Birthday" on these forums? Even if just ONE then the discussion was worth it.

Norm Sanders
03-06-2006, 12:51 PM
What's all the heat & frustration suddenly about, that I'm feeling here?

My post about contacting someone for permission wasn't for you, EditPhish, but for anyone who may read this thread.

While originality is ideal, there are some legitimate characters out there (even the unknown ones that Pablo's created) that would be cool to see a short done with ... and infringement would only be if permission was not expressly granted.

Oh, and that's crap about singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Whatever. That's like saying you're not allowed to sing some popular tune in your car, the shower, etc. Now, if it's to be played in a film, or other commercial venue, that could be different ... but to say we're not to sing it in the privacy of our own home, I simply don't buy it.

Blaine
03-06-2006, 12:56 PM
Oh, and that's crap about singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Whatever. That's like saying you're not allowed to sing some popular tune in your car, the shower, etc. Now, if it's to be played in a film, or other commercial venue, that could be different ... but to say we're not to sing it in the privacy of our own home, I simply don't buy it.
Yeah, really.

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 12:59 PM
What about like "You're fired!" Didn't Donald Trump copyright that?

Filmjunkie677
03-06-2006, 01:03 PM
LOL!

what about "I love you" Is that copyright infringment??

Did hallmark copyright that??

JTyner
03-06-2006, 01:04 PM
Just to clarify (again proving how copyright isnt so cut and dry) :)....

Singing Happy Birthday at home wont bring the "infringement" police to your door unless of course you are charging money for the birthday party :) .....Thats one of the reasons most restaurants now use their own bithday song for patrons!

GenJerDan
03-06-2006, 01:10 PM
My three-legged aliens have nothing to do with War of the Worlds.

Even if they did, unless I'm misremembering, the original story had them tripodal.

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 01:11 PM
wow... this thread is going nowhere fast lol... I think most of the pertinent information has been given...

EditPhish
03-06-2006, 01:14 PM
"Happy Birthday" -- Sing it in your house all you want... but don't use it commercially.

- - - - -

from: http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp

"Does this mean that everyone who warbles 'Happy Birthday to You' to family members at birthday parties is engaging in copyright infringement if they fail to obtain permission from or pay royalties to the song's publisher? No. Royalties are due, of course, for commercial uses of the song, such as playing or singing it for profit, using it in movies, television programs, and stage shows, or incorporating it into musical products such as watches and greeting cards; as well, royalties are due for public performance, defined by copyright law as performances which occur 'at a place open to the public, or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.' So, crooning 'Happy Birthday to You' to family members and friends at home is fine, but performing a copyrighted work in a public setting such as a restaurant or a sports arena technically requires a license from ASCAP or the Harry Fox Agency (although such infringements are rarely prosecuted)."

- - - - -

The end part goes to what JTyner is saying -- go to TGI Fridays or Applebees -- these big chains most often have their OWN version of "Happy Birthday" just for that reason. They didn't do it to be cute. :happy:

Take note next time you see a movie with "Happy Birthday to You" in it... they'll be a credit at the end (and rest assured, they got the licensing).

Kholi
03-06-2006, 02:17 PM
What's all the heat & frustration suddenly about, that I'm feeling here?

My post about contacting someone for permission wasn't for you, EditPhish, but for anyone who may read this thread.

While originality is ideal, there are some legitimate characters out there (even the unknown ones that Pablo's created) that would be cool to see a short done with ... and infringement would only be if permission was not expressly granted.

Oh, and that's crap about singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Whatever. That's like saying you're not allowed to sing some popular tune in your car, the shower, etc. Now, if it's to be played in a film, or other commercial venue, that could be different ... but to say we're not to sing it in the privacy of our own home, I simply don't buy it.

It doesn't matter if you buy it or not. Go ask a lawyer, it's infringement. Regardless of if it's PRACTICAL or not, that's a different story. But, that's the truth.

I'm simply backing up the intent of the thread. Not to point fingers, I don't know how that started, but to inform those people who don't know.

Kholi
03-06-2006, 02:18 PM
LOL!

what about "I love you" Is that copyright infringment??

Did hallmark copyright that??

Weren't you supposed to stop posting in this thread? That's what you said.

Filmjunkie677
03-06-2006, 02:23 PM
sorry dude, couldnt help myself. I apologize if I hurt your feelings.

Kholi
03-06-2006, 02:25 PM
sorry dude, couldnt help myself. I apologize if I hurt your feelings.
It hurt your character. I can now refer to you as "The guy who doesn't keep his word".

Aside from all of that, (before John_Hudson comes and strikes me down), those who think the thread is pointless should stop posting in it.

I think she was trying to help those who might run into this problem, not point fingers.

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 02:26 PM
Look, guys, and gals... let's just stop posting in this thread... I think we all understand the original intent, and enough information has been given. It's quickly starting to turn for the worse. I advise stopping before other things go wrong, ok :) Just my advice.

David Jimerson
03-06-2006, 04:16 PM
It doesn't matter if you buy it or not. Go ask a lawyer, it's infringement.

I'm a lawyer, and it's not.

Let's scale back the tone here, folks.

Kholi
03-06-2006, 04:31 PM
I'm a lawyer, and it's not.

Let's scale back the tone here, folks.

I meant using it in a production. My fault for not clarifying.

Norm Sanders
03-06-2006, 04:32 PM
It hurt your character. I can now refer to you as "The guy who doesn't keep his word".

Aside from all of that, (before John_Hudson comes and strikes me down), those who think the thread is pointless should stop posting in it.

I think she was trying to help those who might run into this problem, not point fingers.
Wow, Kholi, dude. Ahhh, feel the calm. Breathe in, breathe out. It's all good.

Oh, and I DID say that using it in a commercial venue may/would be a different story ... just didn't buy the whole "singing it in the pricacy of your own home is infringement" part.

Kholi
03-06-2006, 04:37 PM
Wow, Kholi, dude. Ahhh, feel the calm. Breathe in, breathe out. It's all good.

Oh, and I DID say that using it in a commercial venue may/would be a different story ... just didn't buy the whole "singing it in the pricacy of your own home is infringement" part.

Yeah I just went back and read that part. I think I totally over-read that part for some reason.

=P

I'm always calm. I think people hear my internet voice as a harsh one, when most of the time I'm calm as hell; I guess if hell is a calm place.

EditPhish
03-06-2006, 06:54 PM
Kholi -- Thanks for the backup :happy:

Ultimately though, all the questions HAVEN'T been answered Briceman. Calling the thread a waste of time or saying to use "common sense" doesn't answer it.

Envision - my reply wasn't meant to you :happy: -- I know if you get permission and/or pay licensing then it isn't copyright infringement... but thanks for the clarification for those who didn't know.

Brandon Rice
03-06-2006, 07:10 PM
Ultimately though, all the questions HAVEN'T been answered Briceman. Calling the thread a waste of time or saying to use "common sense" doesn't answer it.


Hey now... I never said all the questions had been answered. I just said that if this thread turns to a tone that we ALL don't want. Then it's best to leave it, and maybe privately discuss things. That's all I meant. :)

EditPhish
03-06-2006, 08:30 PM
Briceman,

Appreciate what you're saying, but really I do think it's an important discussion to have out in the open, so all the member can benefit from it. Understanding copyright issues is important in any creative field/hobby -- not only so you can be sure you don't infringe on someone elses rights, but so you can protect you own work as well.

I have no particular "tone" or agenda -- and don't like to quibble over silliness either... don't see copyright rules/laws as silly or unimportant. I'd hate to suddenly find out that Jarred got a cease and desist letter because of copyright violations of his members' films. I want this forum to stick around :happy:

thartley
03-07-2006, 02:27 AM
I dont know if this contributes to the discussion, but on the commentary track for Rock Star, the director is talking about a Harley Davidson t-shirt the male lead was wearing in one shot, and was sort of key to the scene. They couldnt get permission from HD, so it had to fixed in post (or they re-shot the scene....cant remember) but they definitely could not use the shot with the HD shirt.

I was wondering about using shots with wall posters of other Superheroes. Doesnt sound likely.

profnoxin
03-07-2006, 04:40 AM
I'm sure that some of you have heard this before, but I thought I would throw this out there... Having a legal background, and spending a little time in copyright law, I have the following to help clear up any sort of confusion.

A copyright is only as good as those who enforce it. The people who we are dealing with here (Marvel, DC, WildStorm, Image, Dark Horse, etc.) enforce the ever loving hell out of their copyrights. Marvel layed the smack down on City of Heroes for coming too close to having a "Wolverine-Esque" (their words, not mine) archetype in the game, and they got the devs. to re-write the code. They watch the forums like a hawk for people who have names that come close to their copyright. If they don't like what you're doing, they will file a cease-and-desist. They will then promptly sue. And if not you, this site, and the good people who make it possible. Even if this lawsuit is baseless, it will still cost time and money.

If you are under their radar, yeah, maybe nothings happens. A daycare center that helped at-risk kids in Detroit had Mickey Mouse on one of their walls inside the building. They had it up for years. They were under the radar. Then the center won an award, had a photo taken of the staff in front of the wall where Mickey was displayed, the photo was in the papers, and Disney sued the center. That picture put them on the radar. That center no longer exists. All it takes is one guy in the legal department of (fill in the blank) who has a bad hangover, a bad attitude, and time to kill.

Comic book companies copyright everything. They are only as good as their trademarked and copywritten icons / locations / names.

Be smart. Be safe. Be original. Have fun. Don't screw this site up for all of us.

lucidz
03-07-2006, 06:18 AM
briceman is mod humping, he wants his name in yellow :D

Brandon Rice
03-07-2006, 06:56 AM
What's mod humping?

David Jimerson
03-07-2006, 08:19 AM
It's not even that the companies who own these things are in bad moods. There are a few things at issue here -- copyright and trademark. If you don't actively defend (or use) your trademarks, you can lose them. (Which is why, for example, even though there are currently no Star Trek productions, there will be tons of merchandizing. Which is why a new Supergirl or Superboy pops up every few years.)

Norm Sanders
03-07-2006, 08:52 AM
I bet Disney looks like a real hero for helping to shut down a center that helps kids. Smooth move, Disney.

profnoxin
03-07-2006, 09:18 AM
Sorry Folks,
In no way did I mean that companies only take action when someone is in a bad mood. Many times their actions are valid, as in the case of my "City of Heroes" example. Marvel intends to release their own MMORPG through Sony, and did not want to passively allow another company to steal their thunder. However, sometimes a company like Disney will do something that so badly flies in the face of reason (a.k.a. "Keeping-Up-The-Public-Image") you wonder if it was just a hungover jr. legal aide's 5a.m. bad call. Anyway, once they open their mouths, they have to see something through. In some cases, individuals will force a company's hand in making them sue.

If someone, say, on an online user community site made a Star Wars fan film that was grossly successful. They decided, what the hell, I'll sell this bad boy for twenty bucks a crack. The second that people start buying this thing, Lucas's boys will be forced to sue you, even though he likes to allow fan films.

Oh what a twisted web we weave when we practice to decieve.

Narf.

Ben Sliker
03-07-2006, 09:42 AM
What's mod humping?

well, when a moderater and a member fall in love ... haha

David Jimerson
03-07-2006, 09:53 AM
Personally, I wish Paramount (or CBS, who now owns them) would crack down on these guys:

www.newvoyages.com

Mostly because they're smug a-holes who actually think they're making "real" Star Trek.

Brandon Rice
03-07-2006, 09:57 AM
Wow... talk about copyright infringement!!! Plus, this looks absolutely stupid... give the show a bad name... crack down on them.

EditPhish
03-08-2006, 05:23 PM
Profnoxin,

Thanks for you valuable feedback. I think you've educated a lot of people here. It's important for everyone to realize that it's up to the copyright holder to enforce their copyright, and it's not only their right to do so, but their duty to do so, if they want to maintain their own legal rights. If the DVX forum rules say "no copyright infringement" it has to be clear what that means... and it has to be equal across the board (as much as humanly possible).

GenJerDan
03-09-2006, 01:17 AM
It's important for everyone to realize that it's up to the copyright holder to enforce their copyright, and it's not only their right to do so, but their duty to do so, if they want to maintain their own legal rights.

Trademark, not Copyright. :)

Texture
03-09-2006, 02:25 PM
I'm sure that some of you have heard this before, but I thought I would throw this out there... Having a legal background, and spending a little time in copyright law, I have the following to help clear up any sort of confusion.

A copyright is only as good as those who enforce it. The people who we are dealing with here (Marvel, DC, WildStorm, Image, Dark Horse, etc.) enforce the ever loving hell out of their copyrights. Marvel layed the smack down on City of Heroes for coming too close to having a "Wolverine-Esque" (their words, not mine) archetype in the game, and they got the devs. to re-write the code. They watch the forums like a hawk for people who have names that come close to their copyright. If they don't like what you're doing, they will file a cease-and-desist. They will then promptly sue. And if not you, this site, and the good people who make it possible. Even if this lawsuit is baseless, it will still cost time and money.

If you are under their radar, yeah, maybe nothings happens. A daycare center that helped at-risk kids in Detroit had Mickey Mouse on one of their walls inside the building. They had it up for years. They were under the radar. Then the center won an award, had a photo taken of the staff in front of the wall where Mickey was displayed, the photo was in the papers, and Disney sued the center. That picture put them on the radar. That center no longer exists. All it takes is one guy in the legal department of (fill in the blank) who has a bad hangover, a bad attitude, and time to kill.

Comic book companies copyright everything. They are only as good as their trademarked and copywritten icons / locations / names.

Be smart. Be safe. Be original. Have fun. Don't screw this site up for all of us.

Disappointing, I was so hoping to see a sequel to Python's 'Bicycle Repairman'.

EditPhish
03-09-2006, 05:18 PM
Trademark, not Copyright. :)

Actually, it's both. Copyright and Trademark holders have to enforce their own copyrights and trademarks :happy:

wcs
03-09-2006, 08:17 PM
Actually, it's both. Copyright and Trademark holders have to enforce their own copyrights and trademarks :happy:

You're both correct, in a sense. I think there's just a disagreement of scope.

As GenJerDan said, you can lose a trademark due to non-enforcement. I have never heard of a case of a copyright being negated due to excessive misuse. Theoretically, if 999 people improperly use your copyright, you can still sue the 1000th. If enough people improperly use your trademark, you're screwed (xerox, jello, band-aid).

But, as EditPhish said, if you don't enforce your copyright or trademark, the government won't do it for you. You can join groups (the evil RIAA and MPAA) that will act on your behalf, but otherwise you have to find and make notice.

Just so people know, the overused trademark negation situation will most likely not apply to anyone in this contest.

GenJerDan
03-10-2006, 01:10 AM
Yeah, you can't "lose" a copyright like that, as far as I can see. I suppose you could let it get to the point where a court would give you the hairy eyeball if you tried to collect from the 10,000th person to infringe, but you still retain the copyright. :)

JimtheJib
03-12-2006, 06:45 PM
could i show a comic book in my short? is that infringement if that comic book is copyrighted?

thanks

wcs
03-12-2006, 09:59 PM
If you don't have official permission from the copyright holder, it's most likely infringement.

To have a couple seconds of the rocky theme in Mad Hot Ballroom, the producers had to pay at least several hundred dollars... and it was a ringing cell-phone if I remember correctly.

EditPhish
03-13-2006, 06:03 PM
You're both correct, in a sense. I think there's just a disagreement of scope.

As GenJerDan said, you can lose a trademark due to non-enforcement. I have never heard of a case of a copyright being negated due to excessive misuse. Theoretically, if 999 people improperly use your copyright, you can still sue the 1000th. If enough people improperly use your trademark, you're screwed (xerox, jello, band-aid).

But, as EditPhish said, if you don't enforce your copyright or trademark, the government won't do it for you. You can join groups (the evil RIAA and MPAA) that will act on your behalf, but otherwise you have to find and make notice.

Just so people know, the overused trademark negation situation will most likely not apply to anyone in this contest.
I'm no lawyer, just know what I know through practice... I don't think you can "lose" a copyright, but I think a judge can decide that you don't have the right to be compensated if you're too leniant with your permissions.

This is why Disney jumps on everyone trying to make a profit off their copyrighted material. It's not a matter of them being "evil"... it's a matter if in one commercial circumstance they say it's okay, then it causes them to be selective, and later on in court, a judge could say "well you let a, b and c use your copyrighted material without permission, so why not x, y and z?"

At least that's how I understand it...

wcs
03-13-2006, 11:05 PM
.. but I think a judge can decide that you don't have the right to be compensated if you're too leniant with your permissions.


Either you infringed someone's copyright, or you didn't. If you did, it was either fair use, or it wasn't. Fair use has no exemption for "copyright dilution". The only parallel I can think of that might support your case is Squatter's Rights.

If you're thinking of Lucas' friendliness towards fan films. He could wake up tomorrow and decide to shut down all the sites. The courts wouldn't care which one he sued first.

Modern copyright law sucks as it applies to the internet. There should be strong exemptions for non-commercial derivative art (and derivate art in general), but there aren't. Current law says "get a license or don't use a sample" for the remix culture. Google Lawrence Lessig if you want to read up on what I'm talking about.

Sorry. It sucks. I can see no loophole for the kind of thing you're talking about (in copyright law).

Edit: forgot to mention.. you might have a defense if Lucas said "take this down" and you did immediately, and he still sued you. But since "acting in good faith" is not an accepted infringement defense in america, you'd still probably lose.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement

profnoxin
03-13-2006, 11:24 PM
The Lucas thing is a bit different... hit people maintain certain sites and control some of the fan material. He could shut it all down at any time, but I highly doubt he would be allowed to sue. Not, at least, until he shut down those that he supports.

With the comic book question earlier, I would say "Greek it". The common practice in the film industry is to "Greek" something by partially obscuring a trademark/copywritten image. Take your "Conan" comic, use some paint/tape/ink and turn it into a "Gonad" comic. Cover up part of the artwork, you're in the clear.

Or, just stay 10 miles from stuff that you think is copywritten, and you're probably allright. Happy hunting.