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Can I put brands on a web comic or even comic?

 
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perroloco



Joined: 01 Jun 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Can I put brands on a web comic or even comic? Reply with quote

In example lets say the character is playing a Wii/Xbox/ps3 whatever.. or eating in a mcdonald or when using a PC it has the windows theme.. or playing minesweeper (or minecraft lol) or watching videos in youtube or checking facebook..

Could something happen if I included anything like that?
Or would it be better if I just make random stuff like Wwwi/Xcube/Sp3 Wacdonalds Mindoms.. Mineweeper...
I guess you get the point.

Thanks in advance.
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rylearron



Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on what exactly you're doing. When tv or movies use fake brands it's more a matter of advertising, or really, not wanting to advertise. Think about it this way. If Homer Simpson drank Budweiser instead of Duff it would have some effect on Budweiser sales. While some shows are actually sponcered by certain brands. It could be subtle, like a character driving a Ford car, or completely in your face, like the almost omnipresent coca cola logo on American Idol.

Also the context of what you're doing matters. I make a video game/nerd culture comic, so at times I need to have products like the Xbox, or Wii in my comic, because I'm writing an actual commentary on them. However stuff like the brand of tv or computers used in the comic are never mentioned because really it has no importance to the plot. So feel free to use whatever products you want in order to tell your story, as long as you're not malicious about it you'll be fine.

In your case you're making a webcomic, so you probably don't have a major corporation sponcering you, nor is the spread of your comic so vast that if you had real world products in your comic it would influence actual purchasing trends, so do what you want to do. If you want to make up fake brands for the sake of quirkiness, do that. If you want to casually include real brands to give your comic some ties to the real world, do that, just don't go overboard to the point that it's intrusive, you might potentially alienate a part of the audience in doing so.
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Bill Murphy



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rylearron,
You make very good points. I chose to avoid any product placements in my comic out of concern for being told later that some comics need to be altered to remove certain products or celebrity names. My comic is not about pop culture or trends, so I avoid anything that someone may read five years from now and think "Oh yeah... I remember when that was a thing".
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perroloco



Joined: 01 Jun 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read somewhere in a manga Hikaru No Go that the author once drew the character drinking some random beverage.. The next week the company that makes the beverage send the author like a lot of that drink haha..

I get the point, I will just make fake brands for the sake of not getting sued or things like that.
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Bill Murphy



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I created my own font for my comic.

I got in touch with a company that created a font that I wanted to use with my comic. They said no charge to use their font for web publishing and book printing. Then I followed with the fact that I was thinking of creating my comic for sale as a PDF. Then they said that will require additional costs based on distribution, tax and an anual minimum cost of $500 a year. So I decided to just create my own font and not be bound by a yearly situation based on current technology.

If you are concerned about copyrite, I just wanted to add this as "Food for thought".


Last edited by Bill Murphy on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rylearron



Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah the MegaTokyo thing with Sony and Sega is fine cause it's parody with is legal under fair use laws. The Scary Movie and the Insert Genre Here Movie franchises couldn't exist without such laws.

Weird Al for example, every time he makes a parody song he contacts the original songwriter as a professional courtesy, even though legally he doesn't have to. Back in the day there was a little curfuffle between Coolio and Weird Al over Amish Paradise, a parody of Gangsta's Paradise. Legend goes Al believed he had Coolio's blessing, but when the song came out Coolio was a little annoyed to say the least, but legally there was nothing he could do.

To use another webcomic example, Awkward Zombie, a game centric comic in which 95% of the comic have no original characters, instead mostly use license Nintendo characters. Resently they published a volume collecting the first year of comics, without fear of litigation because again the comic falls under the fair use parody.

That is to say fair use parody laws don't have their limits. 8-Bit Theatre, a very popular comic back in the day will likely never publish a printed version of the comic seeing as not only is it a parody of the story and characters of Final Fantasy, but as a sprite comic it uses no original art, which is perfectly fine for a webcomic, but if they ever were to publish a printed copy they'd be infringing a little too much on the intellectual properties of Square-Enix.
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Bill Murphy



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wendyw wrote:


Bill Murphy wrote:

If you are concerned about copywrite, I just wanted to add this as "Food for thought".


Wrong spelling of right I'm afraid. It's a legal right, not something that is written. Also when it comes to using brands as apposed to designs you're talking trademarks not copyrights.


Thanks Wendy! The spelling error has been corrected. Smile

The company that created and owns the font said that digital sales such as ebooks require the font's file to be imbeded into the ebook. That would mean that if I sold an ebook using their font, then I would be selling their font. They group all digital formats in the same category when it comes to their licensing agreement.

So I stayed away since this was going to be a yearly user's licence agreement.
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