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drawing Pikachu?????

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:42 pm
by slimbob
Hi Andy

Hope you are well

I would like to show 2 pictures of Pikachu on one of my comedy videos for you tube.

The first is meant to be rubbish (ie) on purpose and looks nothing like pikachu.

The next one is a very good colour drawing I have done .

I understand that Nintendo are known for being very strict on copyright and Pikachu is the officaial mascot of Nintendo pokemon.

The drawings are both shown for a few seconds max.

Are both not safe ?

Or is the one that looks nothing like him even though it is meant to safe?

Is it only the one that is very good that I shouldn't risk?

Thanks a million Andy !!!!! :lol:

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:24 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Slimbob,
I think you understand that the 'good' drawing almost definitely represents a copy of Nintendo's copyright work, because whilst it is your own work, it is clearly substantially based on their figure, and you haven't arrived at your image independently. So with that one you do run the risk of Nintendo objecting.
As for the 'rubbish' version, again you say it is based on their Pikachu figure, but just badly executed. But given your intention to show both figures in close proximity, presumably viewers are intended to connect the rubbish image to the real Pikachu. Obviously this isn't direct copying and on it's own I don't think there would be much problem with just the rubbish image - but it sounds as if your project requires both images, in which case Nintendo would not need to worry about establishing whether the 'rubbish' one infringes, and would likely concentrate on the better copy.
The Pikachu figure has been registered by Nintendo as both a UK trade mark and also a Community Trade Mark in several fairly obvious categories (games, computer applications, clothing, novelties etc) so you would also need to be careful not make it appear that your video was somehow connected with Nintendo or its products, or you could face a trade mark infringement suit as well.
All that having been said, I note that there are already quite a number of videos on YouTube which feature Pikachu which I suspect will not have been authorised by Nintendo, so unless you are aware of these being regularly taken down maybe this is a sign that Nintendo are content to let this kind of 'homage' go ahead.

Thanks very much Andy

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:45 pm
by slimbob
Thanks a million Andy

Really appreciate it!!!!!!!

I thought that might be the case but it was definately worth checking out with you first. I will make sure the bad version is very bad (i.e.) no resemblance of Pikachu and ditch the good version .It won’t matter too much with regards the video and is not worth the risk.

While I am on Andy.

Regarding the use of short clips of film soundtrack audio like 5 seconds from Rocky (Not a well-known part of the soundtrack).

I realise from previous questions that it is insubstantial and is a bit of a grey area but could be safe especially if I don’t use famous well-known parts that encapsulate the film like for example the famous 5 notes from close encounters.

So if I decide to go ahead and risk it I can either source the 5-second clip from the original film soundtrack or I could find a amateur orchestra playing it on you tube and extract audio etc. Or I could use a amateur playing it for example on home piano etc again from You Tube. I Could write and get their permission even though I know they don’t technically own the music just their performance of it.

Andy I appreciate the music is not in the public domain and I am relying on the insubstantial side of things like most people who do this kind of thing on you tube. Copyright seems such a complicated law that I feel like you once said that sometimes you have stop analysing and just do it and take a small but managed risk.

I want to manage that risk as much as possible even though it might be technically wrong.

Therefore does it make any difference where I source 5-second clip from?

For example is sourcing from an amateur on you tube a better managed risk than sourcing direct from the original film soundtrack?

Much appreciated as always Andy!!!



Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:27 am
by AndyJ
Hi Rob,
Given that the most likely consequence if you do infringe anyone's copyright is that Youtube will just take down the video when requested, you don't need to get too detailed about this. I seriouisly doubt that a 5 second snippet of music is going to land you in court.
You are right to differentiate between the rights of the composer and the rights of the musicians in their performance. A film company (or at least one of the big Hollywood studios) are the people most likely to make a fuss, and you would certainly avoid that risk if you used someone else's performance of the music rather than the actual soundtrack, but really I don't think there is a significant problem either way over just a couple of bars which are not in themselves particularly representative of the whole film score.

Brilliant Andy Thanks!!!!

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:07 pm
by slimbob
That's great Andy!

Thanks for your response ....... this forum is such a find!!!

Thanks as well for all your help in the past too you have made my life so much easier with regards my project.

I am clear on the images and music now.

All the best to you Andy

Rob :lol:

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:36 am
by bwooten
Basically, there should be nothing wrong with drawing another art form as you could always claim that this is an artistic rendition of the famous character which should be just fine. But it is different when you start claiming the drawing to be of original composition, meaning that what you draw is something that is totally yours, or at least what you say about it.