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General guidelines regarding copyrighted material

 
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Mike2000
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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 722
Location: Mexico City, MX

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: General guidelines regarding copyrighted material Reply with quote

I have seen several posts recently about sites where you can download episodes, and there seems to be a confusion as to how to know what you can put up on the net and what is not permitted by international trademark and copyright laws, so I thought this could be useful as a general guideline for all our posters. (admins: OK to pin if considered useful)


1.- How do I know if an old show is still copyrighted?


As a simple rule of thumb, everything you've seen on TV is copyrighted material. No matter how old the episode or show is, or how long it's been since it was last aired, it is still copyrighted material and the property of the studio that produced it.


2.- How long does a copyright last?


This can vary from country to country. Again, as a rule of thumb, the rights over a patent are valid for 50 years from the date it was registered. And it can be renewed. It's the same with copyrighted TV shows.


3.- What about the elements of a cartoon? Say, the characters, backgrounds, music, voices, sounds and the like?


They are also covered by copyright laws, just because they are part of a copyrighted material. Besides, each individual character is also copyrighted, so it is not possible for a competing company to "borrow" a popular character or character set and use them to make new stories. Hence the unlikeliness of the so-called "crossovers", so popular among fans.

4.- So, what is acceptable to do online, then??


There is a term called "fair use" of copyrighted material, which basically indicates that you can post elements of a copyrighted material as long as you meet certain criteria:

- It is NOT intended for commercial use.

- It is NOT a whole piece of work (an episode, a book, a magazine, a CD, a full song...)

- Fanart is OK, because they are not original artwork (each and every single frame that make a cartoon episode is copyrighted and hence the property of the producing studio

- In the case of screenshots, it is OK to post some of them, as long as you indicate that they are copyrighted material and the property of the corresponding studio. And they should be posted in what they call "internet resolution": small, low resolution pictures good enough to illustrate the site and represent the episode / movie, but not good enough to make high-quality printouts of them, for example.

- And you should ALWAYS indicate who is the legal owner of the copyright and add a disclaimer on your site; just to walk on the safe side of the road. Clin d'oeil


It is important to note that the term "fair use" exists basically in U.S. law, and it might not exist in other countries' legislation. But, since the shows we all love and watch are produced by American-based animation studios and their parent companies, it is important for us, the fans, to know what can and can't be done in our fan sites and forums according to that law, because, even if we live in a different country, there are international treaties regarding copyright enforcement.

You can find more information here. Again, Wikipedia saves the day!:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use


Last edited by Mike2000 on Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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tommy_baby
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 1714
Location: Spammers Annoynmous

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about fanfics?

I suppose they're allowed, so long as it's credited as a fanfic, and not as 'Nickelodeon has to do this lol!' and so on.

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Mike2000
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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
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Location: Mexico City, MX

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are OK, as long as there's a decent disclaimer on them stating that they are fan stories and including the general information of the copyright holder. You know, the usual formula, like "This story is based on Rocket Power (or Rugrats, or Chalkzone, or whatever show) characters created by Klasky-Csupo and owned / copyrighted by Nickelodeon", or "Rugrats, Rocket Power and All Grown Up (C) 1999 - 2006 Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Inc."

The idea is to make it clear that you are not plagiarizing the characters, but using them as inspiration for your own story, always respecting the rights of the authors and creators. Bravo
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Hihey9989
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Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 1467
Location: Springfield, IL

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay then... I'll go ahead and fix my evilness right now...

The Demon from Black & White is a 2001 animated character owned by LionHead Studios LTD. All rights reserved

The Geico Gecko is a 2000(?) animated character owned by Geico Auto Insurance inc. All rights reserved

Kovu is a 1998 animated character owned by Disney Animation Studios. All rights reserved.

Aric, Kimba, and Hihey are 2006 characters owned by BHC inc. (i.e.; me! They aren't really copyrighted, but please don't use them without asking me first)

'End of the Beginning' is a 2002 musical production owned by Virgin Records inc., 30 Seconds to Mars, and Jared Leto. All rights reserved

'The Kill' is a 2006 musical production owned by Virgin Records inc., 30 Seconds to Mars, and Jared Leto. All rights reserved

That'll teach me not to mess with copyright laws. lol
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Anastasiaor
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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saken
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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