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Good idea but can't draw
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Ronin Glen



Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The digital comic museum actually has a really good section on the thorny problem of copyright use in the FAQ. A sample:

Quote:
Again, these questions or objections should go to your lawyer, but we'll try to give a sense of the answer's outline.

In short, copyright doesn't go away unless the term expires or the owner donates the copyright to the public. There is no rule for an abandoned copyright and the Supreme Court has denied at least one argument of adverse posession, and there is no legal concept of an "orphan work."

In the event of a company closing or an artist passing away, copyrights go to someone, just like a contract or a lamp would, with no legal guidance over who should. The new owner may choose to ignore any or all infringement or simply not know what they own, and either of these situations can change quickly. The owner may also know what they own and could have licensed their work to anybody currently using it.

The Digital Comic Museum does not condone even such "victimless" piracy.
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SunScales



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 323

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was under the impression that, in the United States, copyrights cost nothing (a work is copyright as soon as it's created) and they last the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years. Trademarks cost money to renew and have to be done every ten years. You can pay to have your copyrights documented by the government (I believe the fee is $35 for a collection) but this isn't necessary; it mostly just makes legal disputes easier.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how I learned it through personal research and talking about it in an entrepreneurship class at college. I suppose I don't know anything about what happens when a company holds the copyright rather than the individual creator.
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JFD



Joined: 25 Jan 2014
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So -THAT'S- what Darth Nihilus was. I always wondered.
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Sounds like the whole area is just cloudy enough for well-paid lawyers to make a killing over expired, shady, or non-existent copyright claims, and for strong and legitimate copyright claims to be abused for lack of a well-paid lawyer.

To the position of the person in the opening post, I say go for it if you think you can make something interesting chopping up and riffing on those old Digital Comic Museum pieces. There's probably only a 2.4 percent chance anyone with legitimate ownership would care and only a .000374 percent chance they could do anything about it if they did. (And if they wanted to push the issue with a litigious war surely they would with the Digital Museum itself?)

---

www.mcmasterscomics.com
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fluffy
is not a fish.


Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 113
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to play a bit of devil's advocate here, sometimes you can turn reused public-domain art into a new thing on its own, although you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time modifying the artwork or fitting your writing to what you can find.
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