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Redrawn album artwork - advice on permission

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:26 am
by Aloevera
I would like to publish the drawings I have done while Ive been undergoing treatment for cancer... free for my friends and family and my medical teams but it will have an isbn so I can give some of proceeds to charity if other patients want a copy. It will not be a major best seller as I'm an amateur.
I want to call my book Never mind the cancer and Ive done a drawing of the cover with drawn letters and completely different colours and background.
Do I need to seek permission to use both the title and image - can I use any of it without permission?

Re: Redrawn album artwork - advice on permission

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:27 am
by AndyJ
Hi Aloevera,

I'm afraid I don't have a clear idea of what you are wanting to publish. Is it a redrawing of a single album cover, and if so which album? Perhaps you are talking about The Sex Pistols' album Never Mind the Bollocks, but you don't say so.

Also apart your new slogan and the changed colours etc, you don't mention what else from the original source is included in your artwork, or what the other images which will go into this book are based on. Can you provide a few more details please?

Re: Redrawn album artwork - advice on permission

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:57 pm
by Aloevera
Sorry to not be clearer. Thanks for replying.
There are no other images connected with the sex pistols. Just the cover and title. All the other drawings in the book are mine from my own head.

The cover is just the name I chose... Never Mind the Cancer and am only asking about the album cover not the images on the back of the album.

The cover of never mind the b*****ks has a bright yellow cover with black lettering then 'the sex pistols' written in yellow casual text over a florid pink background.

My cover is a white background. 'Never mind the cancer' in purple letters that have been drawn but are vaguely similar to original typeface used on the album cover. The second part of my drawing is 'here are the drawings' and these letters again are drawn but are dark turquoise on a dark magenta background banner.

So does the "never mind the ...., here's the ......" slogan need permission for use and use of similar looking artwork but redrawn with new colours?
Or can I use the title but change the look of the typeface or none of it without permission from the record company.
Many thanks

Re: Redrawn album artwork - advice on permission

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:26 pm
by AndyJ
Hi again Aloevera,

Thanks for the clarification.

I don'think there will be any copyright issues with your version of this artwork.

First of all you are mainly copyng the idea behind the cover, in order to make your own statement. Ideas on their own cannot be subject to copyright, just the manner in which they are expressed is protectable. Copyright is not meant to act as a form of monopoly which restricts us from being able to use the English language to express our own ideas. The words "Never mind the .." and " Here's the ... " are very common place, with at least two TV programme titles being based on the former (Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width - you may be too young to be familiar with the second one!). And obviously the words 'Here's the ...' are so commonplace that we can discard them straightaway. In my view there is nothing inheritently original in either phrase which would make it eligible for copyright. That just leaves the layout adopted for the Sex Pisyols cover. Again I think this lacks sufficient originality to be protectable, with the banner containing the words Sex Pistols - probably the most creative part of the whole layout - resembling the sort of cut and paste look of a ransom note made from newspaper headlines, which is again so widely used, it's a cliche.

The second reason I am confident that your artwork is unlikely to infringe is because of the new (from 2014) exception to copyright law for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche. This exactly describes your purpose in re-working the ideas found on the album cover and so I don't think you need to consider seeking anyone's permission to publish your work.

Re: Redrawn album artwork - advice on permission

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:27 pm
by Aloevera
Hi Andy
Thank you so much for your response.
I am a bit too young to remember Never mind the quality...
My title is a cliche... I deliberately chose it to be cheesey as I wanted my book to be lighthearted and funny.

I'm not going to seek permission for this now.
Many thanks again. Excellent forum.