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Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:49 pm
Hello, I want to provide my customers with their custom protraits (cartoons) in famous scenes from movies or as famous characters.
Like a cartoon artwork of a (customer's) family being dressed like marvel heroes or at a disney castle.
I wanted to know where is the line. Those places or suits are protected under a copyright?
Just to mention, everything will be drawn from scratch but they will remind the original scene or hero at first sight.
Thank you very much!
Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:01 pm
There are two separate answers to this particular question.
First, legally speaking I don't think there are strong grounds for claims of copyright infringement by reproducing the scenes or clothing which has appeared in cartoons. This is because the law says infringement only occurs where a substantial part of a copyright work is copied. These details would not, under UK law, amount to substantial parts when considered in the context of the whole work (a film or a magazine etc). The situation is different in the USA where the courts have been known to treat relatively insignificant details (such as the fact that Sherlock Holmes took up bee-keeping after his retirement) as protectable.
Then there's the real world view. Disney and Marvel, to name but two such brands, protect their intellectual property with some vigour, actively seeking out what they would consider encroachments on their copyright or trade marks, and employing large legal teams to send out quite strongly worded letters even when the legal basis for their claims is dubious at best. Therefore if and when they become aware of your activities you might well be on the receiving end of a series of such letters which could be a source of worry and possibly take time and money to rebut, however strong your legal position is. Much may depend on how you market your services; try to avoid using any of the titles of the films, magazines or characters in your advertising and you are less likely to attract attention in the first place. There is some evidence to suggest that Disney employ bots to trawl the internet seeking out the use of key words, meaning that even now they may be aware of your posting and my reply!
If you have robust attitude to that sort of risk then you will probably be fine, as the true legal risk is slight.
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:52 pm
Thank you very much Andy!
Your answer was very helpful!
I want to make sure that you got me right.
lets take this image for example:
https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/ ... 6fedfe88dc
this is a scene from a tv show called "money heist".
I want to recreate this exact scene in a cartoonish way.
lets say something like that:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0388/ ... _2000x.jpg
the suits the locations and the overall look will remind of the series in first sight.
will it be considered copyright infringement?
Thank you so much for you time and help!
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:04 pm
Hi again DOR,
Thanks for the examples. I don't see any major problem with what you want to do, especially in the UK where, as I mentioned, copying less significant details from the original tends to be considered too insubstantial to amount to infringement. And even in the USA you would be able take advantage of the fair use doctrine
which would apply because you are not threatening the economic value of the original work by making these personalised cartoons. And it seems likely that in both jurisdictions you could also rely on the parody exception (see here
for the UK version). The advantage of the parody exception is that, by definition, your version needs to call to mind the original, while at the same time giving it a new, possibly humorous, spin.
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:14 pm
You are the best Andy!
Thank you so much!