Any famous court cases on copyrights?
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  1. #1
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    Any famous court cases on copyrights?

    I was just wondering if there were any notable cases on copyright infringements. It's something that artists seem to worry about, though I've never actually heard anything about it. I heard a while ago that Marvel sued City of Heroes because you could make characters that looked similiar to ones in the Marvel Universe, that's about it.

    And also... how does it work? Say I have a website with a gallery of my work, and then suddenly in a new Xmen a monster appears that looks exactly like something there. Can I sue them then? Or is there a formal process I must go through first to get the copyright.

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  2. #2
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    Interceptor is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Hah.. I was going ti cite the city of heroes one, too.
    I remember hearing something about George Lucas trying to nail the original battlestar Gallactica series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor
    Hah.. I was going ti cite the city of heroes one, too.
    I remember hearing something about George Lucas trying to nail the original battlestar Gallactica series.
    Jeez, if George Lucas did that, then I would just be screaming "HIDDEN FORTRESS!" non stop

    y'know... it seems I can only think of copyright infringement where people are never punished than cases where they actually apply.

    Like... Lion King. No cases on that, despite lifting everything from Kimba the White Lion.

    Is there any standard to judge copyright infringement, or is a case by case thing.

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    The standard is the case in court. You can sue anyone for copyright infringement. Then it's the job of the lawyer to show that your work is the original (older) and that it was copied (that the other party has somehow acced to your work). The other lawyer will try to nagate this. And in the end the judge/jury (whoever) will decide if which side did the better work with they accusations/excuses.

    In short: no standard

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    Mario, do you have ANY factual basis for that load of crap you just wrote?

    Copyright law is quite alive and well, but it's kind of one of those legal situations where you will get out of it what you put into it.

    The onus is on the accuser to show that not only was copyright infringed upon, but that the artist suffered financial or reputational damage.

    There are VERY clearly defined standards, and the judgements for copyright infringement usually explain the reasoning behind the judgements very clearly.

    As in most situations, a web search can turn up wonders...
    http://www.artlaws.com/EnterTitleCop...entDamages.htm
    http://www.myamericanartist.com/amer..._id=1000533616
    http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library...lib_case51.cfm

    ~M

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    here is a pretty interesting crossfire episode with frank zappa from the early 80's. pertaining to the early cases of banning words on musical albums.

    http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2658805

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    madster: When AndyLC wrote about the Marvel vs City of Heroes I didn't think about the basics of coryright copyright infringement like your links showed.
    Not stuff like he used my picutre/photo without a license or something like that.
    There is still nothing really comparable to a standards in a case when the main problem is derivate work.
    When someone thinks your work is based on their work and they want money because you don't have a license then the judge/jury don't have a precedet that they can really use because each work is different.

    For example if I create a character (for a game) that is inspired (based on) by mayan mythology and culture (but has enough independent ideas so qualify as something new) and someone else is basig his work on a mix of mayan culture and some parts of scandinavian mythology/culture and they end up looking the nearly the same. Then I could sue because I think that the other work is based on my work. There would be a problem. My stuff is older (so the other work could be based on my things) they can show that it's based on two different things. But is it convincing (too similiar). There are many little factors when it comes to (possible) derivate work and I don't think that there are easy standards like in "basic coryright law" (I wil just call it like that now) that deals with simple IP theft (lack of royalties).

    WhenAndyLC wrote about the Marvel stuff then the problem there was is if the games characters that you could build were based on Marvel IP or not. The problem was not if they stole comic covers or something that can easily be defined.

    So I think that even if my summary in the first post was really bad (and I just found a typo) it was right.
    There have been enough cases concerning work that could have been based on someone elses work that did not go as expected.

    Copyright law is about IP and it has enough problems that are not really related to this forum. I am no lawyer but I am interested in how this whole system works and I thought that on a forum about creating things that are based on something but still original that The main question would probably be about how much the work has to be different and not the royalties.

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  8. #8
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    This never made it to court but one of the most blatant ripoffs I remember involved Robert Indiana's LOVE motif. This image was so popular that every trinket & chachka manufacturer was falling over each other to steal it and put it on their products. The theft reached such a level and was so wide spread that Indiana & his lawyers couldn't keep with it. As I remember, he finally gave up trying to prosecute every case. There were just too many.

    Mark Hannon
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