Makes You Wonder....

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Do you understand copyright law?

Yes
12
75%
No
4
25%
What's that?
0
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Total votes : 16

Makes You Wonder....

Postby RLC Davidson on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:10 am

I just finished having a debate with a friend about copyright law* and it's pretty sad how little he knew about it. What really irked me, though, was that he thought that even though I have the copyright notice (very clearly printed) at the bottom of each page on my site, copyright law didn't apply (again, various reasons). It really makes me wonder how many people there are out there that think copyrights don't apply to digital media... especially the ones taking the comics right off the site and reposting them.

*Long story short, he claimed my comic isn't copyrighted for several reasons; I pulled info off of the US Copyright Office's website and proved him wrong on all counts.
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Postby Toxic on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:14 am

I wouldn't be upset about copying and reposting as long as they give me credit and a link. But they should really ask first. It's not like we're celebrities and it's hard to contact us.
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Postby Jops on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:28 am

TOXIC AVENGER! wrote:I wouldn't be upset about copying and reposting as long as they give me credit and a link. But they should really ask first. It's not like we're celebrities and it's hard to contact us.


Point!
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Postby Faub on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:28 am

There's a lot about copyright law that's difficult. For example, when does it actually expire? Why are things that used to be public domain under copyright again? What about reverse engineering? It's been legal in the past and that's how many companies have made their money. Now, the DMCA is making research difficult to impossible. There was a big scare in the early part of this decade where foreign scientists would not enter the US for fear of being arrested. I don't know if this is still the case. As far as I know, playing a DVD you bought on a player you bought in a computer using linux is illegal because of a little program called libdvdcss (now version 1.2.8, btw).

It's easy to say your comic is copyrighted. It's not so easy to say anything else about it.
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Postby CJBurgandy on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:39 am

I've had the copyright arguments with people before too. You'd think they'd listen to someone who has a business licence, and has had to deal with Lawyers and Copyright paperwork... but no, they heard it from their mom/friend/hobo on the street corner, so what they know must be true.

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Postby JPSloan on Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:47 am

My fiancee is in law school right now. She says that she's learned in her classes that laws that apply to the Internet are easily challenged, and that one of the hot new areas in the legal profession deals with internet and digital media. She's taking an entire class next semester on Internet Law.

Kind of cool.

But most of the problems people have are when specific laws, or civil suits especially, have borders within a nation, or move across national borders.

But I believe she said that Copyright law is pretty specific, and generally the owners of intellectual property still win when cases go to trial.
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Postby Toxic on Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:17 pm

faub wrote:There's a lot about copyright law that's difficult. For example, when does it actually expire?


If my memory is correct, 50 years after the creator's death.
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Postby Liriel on Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:26 pm

Really? I thought it was 50 years after the original copyright date?

:?

*obviously needs to do some research... when I get a Round To-It*

Seriously though, even though someone could take what's on my site and dink around with it (change all the text around or whatever), re-post it elsewhere, and try and make money off of it (I wish 'em luck :lol: !) -- but since I have original artwork stored in a firesafe, wouldn't it be a no-contest in court?

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Postby Joel Fagin on Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:37 pm

Liriel wrote:Really? I thought it was 50 years after the original copyright date?


In America, that was correct until Congress passed the "Mickey Mouse Copyright Extension Act"* to protect the Mouse's first short movie.

I have a useful page on copyright bookmarked but it's at home and I'm at work. Expect it in, oh, about eight hours.

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Postby RLC Davidson on Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:05 pm

It's 70 years after the death of the author/artist, for the basic copyright. Other conditions can change this, as detailed at http://www.copyright.gov, the US Copyright Office's page.
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Postby Liriel on Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:23 pm

Woo~ Well I guess I got some catching up to do ... .*bookmarks copyright page to read later* Thanks :) .

And uhm... howcome this ain't in General Discussion? :-?

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Postby Joel Fagin on Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:47 am

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Postby Orange Peel on Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:25 am

Doesn't keenspace have a page about copyright myths? I remember reading it when I signed up.
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seeking opinions

Postby Nothingspecial on Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:55 am

Okay, I read over the top ten myths about copyright and it reminded me of a question I've had for a while, but have been too lazy to research and answer. I was hoping I could get folks who posted here to tell me what they think the correct answer is.

The main character of my comic, Rob, works for the student newspaper and part of what he does for them is a comic strip (I know, I'm so original). This comic strip's main characters are all characters from video games (no, not a sprite comic, I'd be drawing them from scratch) placed in a foreign environment. I've wanted to draw some strips from his strip (sort of like when "Billy" draws family circus... only without sucking), but I've been held back because I don't want to violate the obvious copyrights. On the other hand, the profusion of sprite comics and presence of video game characters in other webcomics makes me think that this isn't something the owners of the copyrights are going to care about.

Anyway, I was wondering what, if any, way can I do this? Is it parody? If not what do I have to do to make it parody (change names a la Bored of the Rings?, etc.)? Is it removed enough from the main subject matter of the comic to be okay? (i.e. It's not a comic about vg characters, it's a comic with a character who does a comic about vg characters, sort of like if the comic had a kid starring in a school play of the Wizard of Oz, at which I doubt that anyone would get upset.)

I hope that wasn't too long winded, but it's been bugging me for half a year and was thinking this would be the most appropriate place to ask.
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Postby McDuffies on Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:29 pm

I can safely say that I don't know copyright much. Though I know that there's millions of people out there whose copyright knowledge comes down to "who's gonna know?"
"How is Sting gonna find out that I, petty pirate from serbia, am pirating his music? He probably has enough money that he doesn't care."
"How is this online cartoonist gonna find out that I'm snitching his comics? And even if he finds out, he's doing it for free so he isn't loosing anything. And even if he gets mad, how can he stop me?"
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Postby IVstudios on Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:27 pm

Copyright law is probably simultaneously the best and worst thing to happen to creativity ever.
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Postby Amberchrome on Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:34 pm

All the more reason why I worked and worked to be able to create my own stuff from scratch rather than nip somebody else's. With the exception of link buttons, everything on my websites is
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Re: seeking opinions

Postby Psiogen on Sat Jun 19, 2004 6:04 am

nothingspecial wrote:I hope that wasn't too long winded, but it's been bugging me for half a year and was thinking this would be the most appropriate place to ask.


If you're using existing video game characters for the purpose of making fun of those games, then it's protected as parody. It's probably a good idea to change their names, just to be sure.

If you're using existing video game characters and just writing your own stories with them, it gets more iffy. They would definitely have a case against you. Of course, that doesn't mean they're likely to actually sue you. But then again, they might.
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Postby Kris X on Sun Jun 20, 2004 10:36 pm

What I do to avoid such is post a Disclaimer at the bottom of my comic image. Also, a popular technique is to re-write their name or mis-spell the name. Above all, I do suggest a disclaimer stating that you borrowed the character and all rights are tagged to the original creator.

EDIT: Maybe it'd be best if you created your own stereotypical video game characters (aka original) and avoid all of the above.
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Postby Warren on Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:07 am

mcDuffies wrote:"How is Sting gonna find out that I, petty pirate from serbia, am pirating his music? He probably has enough money that he doesn't care."
"How is this online cartoonist gonna find out that I'm snitching his comics? And even if he finds out, he's doing it for free so he isn't loosing anything. And even if he gets mad, how can he stop me?"

Shhh! Sting will hear you! And he can have sex for HOURS!
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