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  Legalities of creating own 2d artwork from someone else's real world object  (Read 7003 times)
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Offline PeterB

Junior Devvie





« Posted 2007-06-10 21:10:24 »


I'm wondering about the copyright issues & legalities of creating your own 2d artwork from someone else's real world object.

Example:

1. Purchase a real figurine / model miniature made by company X.
2. Light it well, photograph it  well to produce an amazing picture.
3. Apply  (in Photoshop) great effects and a particular artistic style that fits with your game.
4. Presto! Wonderful 2D artwork to include in your game.

Seems that if you went to all the hard work to create the photo and the resulting image, you should automatically own the copyright on that image and have rights to use it as you please.

However, I'm *guessing* that you wouldn't be allowed to incorporate this into a game you wished to release and sell, for the simple reason that the source object was created by company X, who will own the copyright - regardless of the skill and hard work it would take to produce the final stylized 2d image.

Now I'm not talking about using something easily recognisable or franchised, like something from Spiderman or Pirates of the Carribean - I'm talking about just a 'generic' model of a person or a building (something you'd find in a tourist shop for example).

Thoughts?


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Offline appel

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2007-06-12 09:25:45 »

Well. Imagine if this "real world object" was a movie, and you just cam-recorded the movie... applied some lighting filter etc.

I'm no legal expert, and this is probably different in many countries, but I think you cannot do that. Doesn't matter how "famous" that "real world object" is.

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Offline keldon85

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1



« Reply #2 - Posted 2007-06-12 10:53:26 »

You can use dolls, figurines and so on; they are not protected by copyright law. However the likeness of Bruce Lee is protected by law so any likeness of him is forbidden; movies are different and you cannot legally record a video in any way. Copyright law dates back centuries before the digital era so there are times where one rule applies in one place but not another, for example everytime your visit a website your computer copies that data to the computer, same as when you are watching a film on your TV, but it does not mean you can legally copy those pictures.

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Offline erikd

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2007-06-12 12:50:53 »

Quote
You can use dolls, figurines and so on; they are not protected by copyright law.
Hmmm, somehow I doubt that's true... Why wouldn't they be protected?

Offline keldon85

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1



« Reply #4 - Posted 2007-06-12 13:19:40 »

Hmmm, somehow I doubt that's true... Why wouldn't they be protected?
Because it is not a breach of copyright in the same way that taking a photo of a celebrity or clothes does not breach their copyright! Find me a law that says it does and I will agree. If you take someone's photo then they are not protected by copyright law but other laws.

The original copyright law was about copying text for books since large publishers were going out and selling copies of smaller publishers.

EDIT: Check #1 of the copyright FAQ; a doll would come under artistic works but whether it can cover a photo is a different story all together.

Offline PeterB

Junior Devvie





« Reply #5 - Posted 2007-06-14 00:52:36 »

hmmm... I think photographing a figurine and then distributing that image leads to a horribly tangled mess of 'clauses' ...

You can photograph a building because the architect's drawings are copyright, not the building itself.
However, a figurine would fall under sculpture/artistic craftsmanship - an Artistic Work.

Extract relating specifically to photographing an image created by an artist:
============
The artist has been dead for less than 70 years or is still alive. A photograph is taken of one of his works and that is digitised and then disseminated.
Answer
This is not legal.
============

Total and utter grey area. I think i need to contact the company directly and see what they say about it.

Vault101 / Mace The Game
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Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


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« Reply #6 - Posted 2007-06-14 01:33:38 »

I think it's fine with generic items... eg a sock or a cup of coffee or generally all unbranded stuff. Some action figure from some franchise won't work of course.

I would say it's fine as long as you aren't violating any trademarks. Eg using model kit X from company Y of real world's object z is alright as long as object Z isn't trademarked on it's own.

*shrug*

It's a mad world. Smiley

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Offline keldon85

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1



« Reply #7 - Posted 2007-06-14 09:32:20 »

Well it might because it makes your artwork a derivative work of that copyright; but then again so does a photograph. It is a grey area on the law, but half of the law is judged in context. There are plenty of MTV adult comedy shorts that make use of Barbie and Ken dolls! Very few trademarks have restrictions on their likeness, and if anything it is unlikely to become a problem. if it does then simply change the artwork.

Offline bienator

Senior Devvie




OutOfCoffeeException


« Reply #8 - Posted 2007-06-14 13:54:55 »

funny article on real world data in games:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/fun.games/06/11/sony.manchester/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

yes, a REALLY mad world

Offline keldon85

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1



« Reply #9 - Posted 2007-06-14 14:07:03 »

That's where you could use copyright as your case; since a Cathedral is a work of art - not sure if it would have expired; think of the argument about who is the author of the work-piece  Lips Sealed But then again Great Ormond Street Hospital still own the copyright to Peter Pan, more than 75 years after its creation by classing the hospital as the author and publishing a sequel.

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Offline the2bears

Senior Devvie


Projects: 2


Little Bear: Code Fu!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2007-11-28 18:44:09 »

Seems to me there's some misunderstanding here between copyright and trademark issues.  Mix in privacy issues such as using a photograph (of me, for example) without permission.

In before the lock Wink

edit:  Shoot... didn't realize just how old this topic was, despite the red-letter warning Tongue

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Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


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Luke...END OF LINE


« Reply #11 - Posted 2007-11-28 19:44:25 »

Because it is not a breach of copyright in the same way that taking a photo of a celebrity or clothes does not breach their copyright! Find me a law that says it does and I will agree. If you take someone's photo then they are not protected by copyright law but other laws.

The original copyright law was about copying text for books since large publishers were going out and selling copies of smaller publishers.

EDIT: Check #1 of the copyright FAQ; a doll would come under artistic works but whether it can cover a photo is a different story all together.

Yes, old thread, but one comment. I own some shirts from a company called Custo.  On the "care for" tag there is a copyright warning stating that the design for the shirt is, in fact, not to be duplicated under copyright law.

-Chris
 

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