Topic: Are fan art commissions legal? (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="" title="Pages that link to Topic: Are fan art commissions legal? (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic: Are fan art commissions legal? <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Minnesota
Insane since: Jan 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2004 00:19 Edit Quote

I have a little problem here. I am currently being asked to colorize some fan art, and I would be paid a small commission for it, and I am tempted to take it because I am a financial crunch. I was wondering if any copywrite problems would ensue with it and if I should take the job? (I am really hurting for cashola.)

(Edited by Wolfen on 04-24-2004 15:23)

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2004 04:37 Edit Quote

Wolfen: I can't see a problem with it myself - the fan art would be original work (even if based on copyrighted characters) my guess is that even though it is a legal grey area it has never beend tested in court. I did have a quick look around and found this:

Fan-art of copyrighted characters has no legal protection. If you draw Simba or Nala or Kovu, you are creating a derivative work-- something that U.S. law explicitly defines as being owned by the creator of the original work. Without Disney's permission, all fan-art and fan-fiction using their characters is in fact illegal. Now, don't panic-- most entertainment companies (like Disney, Paramount, Dreamworks, etc.) tend to overlook these kinds of copyright violations. (That's how has continued to exist all these years.) They realize that fan creativity is worth more to them in having good relations with their fans than they would gain by aggressively pursuing each and every violation, because usually nobody makes any money off fan-based creations. But that doesn't mean that it's not illegal. The Lion King fan-art and fan-fiction community exists solely because Disney allows it to.

which links to:

6) "If I make up my own stories, but base them on another work, my new work belongs to me."
False. U.S. Copyright law is quite explicit that the making of what are called "derivative works" -- works based or derived from another copyrighted work -- is the exclusive province of the owner of the original work. This is true even though the making of these new works is a highly creative process. If you write a story using settings or characters from somebody else's work, you need that author's permission.

Yes, that means almost all "fan fiction" is arguably a copyright violation. If you want to write a story about Jim Kirk and Mr. Spock, you need Paramount's permission, plain and simple. Now, as it turns out, many, but not all holders of popular copyrights turn a blind eye to "fan fiction" or even subtly encourage it because it helps them. Make no mistake, however, that it is entirely up to them whether to do that.

There is a major exception -- criticism and parody. The fair use provision says that if you want to make fun of something like Star Trek, you don't need their permission to include Mr. Spock. This is not a loophole; you can't just take a non-parody and claim it is one on a technicality. The way "fair use" works is you get sued for copyright infringement, and you admit you did copy, but that your copying was a fair use. A subjective judgment on, among other things, your goals, is then made.

However, it's also worth noting that a court has never ruled on this issue, because fan fiction cases always get settled quickly when the defendant is a fan of limited means sued by a powerful publishing company. Some argue that completely non-commercial fan fiction might be declared a fair use if courts get to decide. You can read more

and there is more on fan fiction copyright here:

Whihc pretty much mirrors what I thought the situation might be. In the end its your call on that one.


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Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Minnesota
Insane since: Jan 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2004 07:49 Edit Quote

Emps: Thanks for the info man. I tried searching for information on something like this. Most of the time I do worry about legal things when it comes to business like this and it came down to exactly what I thought. Unfortunately I need the cash, so I guess I will take the work, but I just needed to know a little more info. Right now I am looking up information on contract law, and I already have a book for that. Again, thanks for the info.

Sanity is optional... (and so is clothes!)

Wolfen's Sig Site | WolfenMedia | Cell #226 | Fun Link | E-mails of Wisdom | Wolfen Deviantart

(Edited by Wolfen on 04-24-2004 22:52)

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Styx
Insane since: Sep 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2004 20:17 Edit Quote

Not much to add. Made me reemember the debacle with the Swedish Cartoon Arne Anka (Arne Duck) though.

*very* smililar to a certain other famous cartoon duck, but a lot more deprived.

When the Disney lawyers took to arms, the cartoonist (who worked under the alias Alexander Barks) had him go through a plastic surgery and changing his bill. But after some time the character missed his old bill, and bought a novelty duckbill. That apparently was enough to keep him on the straight and narrow.

More info in English
some strips w english translation

sorry for the hijack. As you were

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Styx
Insane since: Sep 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2004 20:17 Edit Quote

Damn double postings...

(Edited by Nimraw on 04-25-2004 11:17)

Edit TP: I've noticed them as well - I'm working on a fix to prevent them (see ->grailTodo ), but spare time is short right now.

(Edited by Tyberius Prime on 04-25-2004 11:51)

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