Wizard Of Oz Court Ruling Suggests Moviemakers Can Reclaim Parts Of The Public Domain And Put It Under Copyright

from the we're-not-in-kansas-any-more,-toto dept

Another day, another story of the law letting the public domain be locked up. Back in February, we wrote about an important case about the public domain involving The Wizard of Oz and some other films. Prior to 1976, of course, you had to register works to have them covered by copyright. A company named AVELA recognized that some publicity posters for The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and some Tom and Jerry cartoons were not registered (or in some cases, were registered, but not renewed), and thus were officially in the public domain. It then made t-shirts out of some of the images in the poster.
The lower court gave a very confused ruling, in which it admitted the original posters were in the public domain, but then said the characters were still copyrighted, even though the movies came out later, because that imbued new characteristics on the public domain works and protected them. Or something. Making this even more complicated, when it comes to the Wizard of Oz, is that the original books are definitively in the public domain, but the original movie is not.

On appeal, the Eighth Circuit court seems to have more or less supported the original ruling, though with different reasoning. The court does say that the publicity materials are in the public domain. But then says that the new works (the designs on the t-shirt) results in a derivative work that "comes into conflict with a valid copyright." Conceptually that makes sense. You can't take a public domain work and then assume that gives you free reign to bring in other copyrighted work. But it's troubling to see how the court then concludes that such derivative works occur in this case. It basically says that because the actors in the movie imbued the characters with specific traits beyond what was in the original works, even the use of still images that are public domain can infringe on the copyrights of the depictions of those characters.
We agree with the district court’s conclusion that Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, and Tom and Jerry each exhibit “consistent, widely identifiable traits” in the films that are sufficiently distinctive to merit character protection under the respective film copyrights....

AVELA correctly points out that the scope of copyright protection for the characters in the films The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind is limited to the increments of character expression in the films that go beyond the character expression in the books on which they were based. See Silverman, 870 F.2d at 49 (“[C]opyrights in derivative works secure protection only for the incremental additions of originality contributed by the authors of the derivative works.”). While true, this has little practical effect in the instant case, as a book’s description of a character generally anticipates very little of the expression of the character in film....

The film actors’ portrayals of the characters at issue here appear to rely upon elements of expression far beyond the dialogue and descriptions in the books. AVELA has identified no instance in which the distinctive mannerisms, facial expressions, voice, or speech patterns of a film character are anticipated in the corresponding book by a literary description that evokes, to any significant extent, what the actor portrayed. Put more simply, there is no evidence that one would be able to visualize the distinctive details of, for example, Clark Gable’s performance before watching the movie Gone with the Wind, even if one had read the book beforehand. At the very least, the scope of the film copyrights covers all visual depictions of the film characters at issue, except for any aspects of the characters that were injected into the public domain by the publicity materials.
As THREsq notes, it's this section above that may be sending Hollywood lawyers into a bit of a tizzy as it appears to potentially extend the encroachment on the public domain, by suggesting that any general "character" traits that are added by a film adaptation, even of a public domain work, can be copyrighted. Considering there are a bunch of adaptations being made of The Wizard of Oz based on the public domain books, some lawyers are worried that this ruling gives Warner Bros. leverage over those other movies:

As we noted in our past article on this topic, there are nine Wizard of Oz projects currently in development, by one count, including a big-budget 3D film by Disney directed by Sam Raimi and starring James Franco that's meant to be a prequel to the classic film.

Might these films have to be very, very careful going forward?

One lawyer believes so.

"The court's statement that the film copyrights cover 'all visual depictions' of the characters recognizes that there is often a quintessential version of a literary character that exists in the public's mind as a result of a popular film adaption," says Aaron Moss, the chair of litigation at Greenberg Glusker. " Any filmmaker that wants to create a new version of a literary work -- even one in the public domain -- needs to be careful not to use copyrightable elements of characters that first appear in protected motion picture versions of the works. Of course, when it comes to characters depicted by live actors, this may be easier said than done."

In case you didn't get that, if you were to create a movie Wizard of Oz entirely based on the book, if one of the actors does pretty much anything that suggests a similarity to the movie version, rather than the book version, it could be infringing. At the very least, this completely rules out any attempt to make a nod or homage towards the original film. But, more importantly, if just in the nature of being an actor, one of the actors imbues one of these characters with similar traits to the 1939 movie... that can be infringing.

And that's insane. That goes way beyond the intent of copyright law, and again seems to destroy the laughable notion that there's a real split between protection of ideas and expression.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 4:55am

    My inability to comprehend your point leads me to accuse you of trying to claim that a frame by frame remake of copyrighted films with the artists (con artists) mimicking every nuance and expression of the original artists performances is valid expression or creative in any way.

    Why are you so against originality?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    Re:

    Yes, you did miss his point, and by an astoundingly large margin. Read again.

    Unless you missed a /sarc tag somewhere in an attempt to pre-empt and mock the AC trolls, in which case well done.

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    Re:

    Your inability to comprehend anything at all is the root of your problem, and pretty much explains everything else you post.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:11am

    Re:

    "...a frame by frame remake of copyrighted films with the artists (con artists) mimicking every nuance and expression of the original artists performances is valid expression or creative in any way."

    Now THAT would be an achievement worthy of some sort of award.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:12am

    With Feist v. Rural?

    This is an insane ruling. It greatly conflicts with Feist v. Rural Telecommunications. You can't take non-copyrighted data or works (public domain works are not copyrighted, and cannot be) and capture them in a copyright for a creative, derivative work.

    It's called thin copyright. It's the reason copying the data in a phone book is allowed, but photocopying the phonebook and calling it your own is not.

    What the heck was the 8th Circuit smoking? I hope they appeal, this is a terrible, terrible ruling that ignores Supreme Court precedent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Re:

    But more to the point: why shouldn't people be allowed to do that, if they wished? Would it devalue the original in any way? Would any animals be harmed in the production of the film?

    Enlighten us!

     

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    Joseph K (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Original Film

    I'm not sure that calling the 1939 adaption of the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "the original movie" is quite appropriate. At the time, it was not the first adaptation of the novel (and has been adapted several times since too). There had been several short and at least one feature-length adaptation of the novel at the time, many of which are in the public domain. I assume that the court didn't take into account all of these adaptations when it made its decisions.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:14am

    Re:

    I don't Mr. Masnick has anything against creativity.

    But the Wizard of Oz isn't terribly creative. It's based off a book in the public domain.

    Sure, there are elements that are original and creative, and its portrayed a bit differently than the book, but it's a derivative work of something.

    In short, the Wizard of Oz movie is short on originality and long on derivation.

     

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    Joe Dirt?, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:20am

    Re:

    "...frame by frame remake of copyrighted films with the artists (con artists) mimicking every nuance and expression of the original artists performances..."

    You know, I didn't see one statement in the above article that comes close to implying what you are saying. Go take a course in reading comprehension.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:31am

    Re: Original Film

    Heh, that was my first thought actually, I just got sidetracked by the AC before I commented.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:35am

    Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    If you majorly depend on a previous work and are merely trying to cash in on its popularity, then you are NOT an artist. -- The prior may not be an artist, either! -- But it's the DERIVATIVE that makes this questionable, and as you see, WHEN the question comes up in court, it's getting shot down, regardless what you think the law is, Mike. -- I'd agree with you on the public domain bit and go further by stating that WOO should totally be public domain by now, BUT these court cases on the margins can be used by media companies to impose yet worse on us, so if only for that reason, STOP using DERIVATIVE works, people!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:39am

    Abolish IP!!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:41am

    In the U.S., there is almost no such thing as a non-government established monopoly.

    Where is this free market capitalism that they speak of? It doesn't exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re:

    (that is, there is almost no such thing as an industry that doesn't suffer from government established monopolies).

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Re: With Feist v. Rural?

    But this looks equivalent to photocopying! There's no other data presented on the T-shirts except what's locked up (wrongly, I think) in the WOO movie; it's a GRAPHIC copy not text. It's mingled sources whether the publicity posters are PD or not.

    Tough cases make bad law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry folks but minus 1 insightful for thinking that any AC with the kind of awareness to acknowledge any personal inability would go ahead to make the kind of statement made here.

    Also you allow yourselves to be dragged way off topic with ridiculous ease.

    What is interesting here is with parts like say Moses, Cleopatra, Caesar, Buddha.
    Will every future person acting these parts have to ensure that no part of their performance which is not covered in the public domain origins of the part, in any way bears any resemblance to "unique expressions" brought out by previous actors unless the actor, director, studio etc. or risk being sued.

    I doubt it would really work out as having any obvious effect, but, could such a fear possibly prevent people from risking it and not making their version of a public domain story, or of incorporating a public domain character into a new story? That would seem possible.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    "STOP using DERIVATIVE works, people!"

    So, are you also calling for Hollywood to stop produced remakes, sequels and adaptations of pre-existing materials? Same for the professional artists, game developers, authors and musicians out there? Or, does that only apply to us peons?

     

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    NullOp, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Das Kapital

    The American Free Market works a little different than one would think. You are free to start a business. After that it is your job to do everything possible to get that business to the status of monopoly. Fair trade is frowned on. You MUST have monopoly. This rule was established in the late 19th century although our government has been trying to tell us otherwise ever since.

    Its a free market as long as your company is making "Chicken Feed" and not a real player in the game.

     

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    Atomic Kommie Comics (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    It DOES make sense...sorta...

    Actually, in this case it's fairly simple.
    The movie posters...as complete art...ARE PD and CAN be used with impunity.
    Their copyrights either never existed or weren't renewed.
    However, taking ELEMENTS which show specific characters out of context to the WHOLE poster (and utilizing the makeup designs specific to the movie as well as "catch phrases" specific to the movie) is NOT.
    In a similar vein, the makeup/imagery for the Universal Monsters (Frankenstein, WolfMan, etc.) is trademarked and, while you CAN do a Frankenstein movie, comic, e-book, etc., heaven help you if your Monster looks like the Universal version!
    In this case, the Oz movie make-up designs are probably trademarked as well.
    You'll note other Oz projects use different makeup/character designs, some based on the original illustrations, which ARE Public Domain!
    In addition, there ARE elements specifically-created for the movie (Ruby slippers as compared to the book's silver slippers) which are not PD and cannot be used without a license!

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:37am

    Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...

    It does sort of make sense, but it also really doesn't.

    This t-shirt producer took a public domain work, the movie poster, and chopped it into pieces. Then she took those pieces and made t-shirts out of them.

    I really don't see that as being any different than taking individual chapters of the original public domain book and printing them in different printings of a periodical.

    Each piece is still a part of the public domain.

    Of course all this trouble would have been avoided had we not extended copyright terms to obscene lengths.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    I completely agree w/you, Blue Balls, and will try to show solidarity with you by randomly capitalizing WORDS.

    It's plainly obvious that the Wizard of Oz movie should NEVER have been CREATED. Also, every SINGLE adaptation of one medium to another, SUCH as videogames made from movies, BOOKS made from games, books MADE from movies, movies made FROM games, etc. ETC., should all BE summarily burned and done away with.

    I don't know why THESE other sheep can't see that all this derivative "culture" is actually JUST a mechanism by which dirty whorish capitalist PIG dogs can take away our freedoms here in 'Merica. It seems PRETTY clear that this court case was obviously influenced by THE RICH and if we could just find some way to tax anyone with money anywhere OUT of existence then we'd all have free lollipops and blowjobs each saturday morning to go along with our communal circle jerk.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    Re: Das Kapital

    Abolish government established monopolies!! The government has NO business establishing monopolies!

    From taxi cab monopolies, to cableco monopolies, to IP, to mailbox delivery monopolies, to broadcasting monopolies, the whole works, every last government established monopoly needs to be abolished.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Another day, another copyright absurd. I can see Warner trying to take advantage of that.

    What's shocking is that we are talking about a 70+ year old movie. The movie itself is public domain already. Or should be. Most actors are probably dead by now or made enough money (I believe money goes in fair amounts to the artists as much as I believe in Santa Claus but let us pretend it goes) and even the useless executive producers of the time must have made enough money by now (if they are still alive that is).

    Not happy with the above stupidity they wanna copyright something from the public domain based on subjective personality trait? If I want I can build solid evidence to say that Snow White has a locked psychopath personality within her because no freakin woman would act that way naturally so Jig Saw could be Snow White in disguise and thus the movie Saw is infringing Disney's copyright. Crazy? You bet, as crazy as what I've just read in this article.

    And let's not forget kids performing a play based on the said book. Suppose lil' Dorothy has a natural gift for acting and does some nice performance that reminds old folks in the audience about 1939 Dorothy. She's infringing copyright for performing a damn PUBLIC DOMAIN character.

    No, I'm gonna stop here cause some artery snapped in my brain and there's blood in my eyes. Don't put a Warner representative in front of me. I'm dangerous now.

    Good riddance.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Okay then, you're taking away the whole of Disney's existence.

    I'm not sure if that's a loss for society.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Disney would be a loss a while ago. Now I'm inclined to think it'd be a good thing to refresh the kids content. Pixar gave it some fresh air but in my opinion Disney is stuck in a cast unable to evolve and properly produce kids content. Or maybe I'm wrong. Still, that's what I feel.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Das Kapital

    While other countries do a lot to deny their citizens of their rights, at least they do a lot to provide for their citizens (ie: healthcare in Canada, the Chinese government provides for its citizens).

    Not only does the U.S. government provide for its citizens with absolutely nothing, the U.S. government goes through great lengths to deny its citizens the right to provide for themselves (through the government establishment of monopolies).

    You can't have it both ways. Either the government provides for its citizens or it stops doing so much to deny us the ability to provide for ourselves.

    Government established monopolies reduce aggregate output and they increase unemployment. If competitors can enter these otherwise monopolized markets, those competitors create jobs for more people, increase output, which enables more people to provide for themselves. People can get more jobs without having to go through a monopolist gatekeeper, gatekeepers who will necessarily hire fewer workers than the free market (monopolies reduce aggregate output and less aggregate output requires less labor), and produce less product for consumers to consume (and less product can provide for fewer people).

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    No. Derivative works sometimes are much better than the original. A performance of the same theater play can produce completely different results if different artists are allowed to perform.

    It's not the use of derivative works that should be the problem. Copyright is the problem and needs reform urgently to prevent abuses. And regardless what you think about the law, it should be fair and it is intended to promote creativity. This does not promote creativity.

     

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    David Muir (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, there will be a chilling effect if this sticks.

    In the meantime, we should all be amused at how snookered commenters were by your initial (missing /sarc tag) comment. "My inability to comprehend leads me to conclude..." Probably an excellent way for every shill to preface their comments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...

    It's too bad those "catch phrases" aren't in the public domain version of the book... Oh wait, they are in the public domain book....

    What was your point again?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...

    As soon as they chopped the poster to pieces, they started to take the images out of context. While each piece is part of a public domain work, the characters and their catch phrases are part of a copyright work.

    You cannot compare to a book in the public domain, because that book is not part of a larger copyright work.

    They could have republished the poster as is until the end of time without issue. But derivative products from this poster are also, by definition, derivative of the copyrighted work. As soon as they started down that road, they are violating the copyright.

    Oh and Mike, you can apologize now, regarding comments made in the original thread on this many moons ago. :)

     

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    Atomic Kommie Comics (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    It DOES make sense...sorta...really...

    E. Zachary Knight utters...
    This t-shirt producer took a public domain work, the movie poster, and chopped it into pieces. Then she took those pieces and made t-shirts out of them.
    I really don't see that as being any different than taking individual chapters of the original public domain book and printing them in different printings of a periodical.
    Each piece is still a part of the public domain.

    Nope.
    As I mentioned earlier, the Oz makeup designs are, in fact, trademarked by MGM/Turner/whoever owns them now.
    Taken out of context (the original poster) and adding catch-phrases created for the movie does create a potential violation.
    Again, look at the Universal Monsters.
    A number of companies sell repros of the movie posters, which ARE Public Domain!
    But, the make-ups ARE trademarked and if you do a t-shirt with JUST a head shot of Karloff's Monster, Universal will be after you.
    Do a t-shirt of the COMPLETE poster, and you're golden.
    Do a t-shirt of a visually-different rendering of the Frankenstein Monster (for example, both Marvel and DC Comics have their own quite-different versions) and you're good to go.
    Got it? ;-)

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Who cares anymore? Find something to do that doesn't involve 'media' - that's my new mode of operation.

     

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    TDR, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...really...

    And you don't see the utter ridiculousness in what you have just said? Let me share with you two irrefutable, undeniable facts:

    New culture comes from old culture.

    and



    Name a single work that does not draw in any way from any other work. You can't and here is why: Everything is a remix. Everything.

    Nina's Four Freedoms of Culture need to be adopted ASAP and copyright rejected as the bad idea it is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...really...

    Dah, my second fact got left out for some reason. Here it is:

    There is no such thing as completely original content.

     

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    TDR, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...really...

    Whoops, forgot to put my name on that last comment above - 'twas me.

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...

    Context shouldn't matter. As long as the t-shirt designer can show evidence that the design is a part of a public domain work, she should be in the clear. That headshot is not part of an overall copyrighted work. It is part of a public domain work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    "AVELA has identified no instance in which the distinctive mannerisms, facial expressions, voice, or speech patterns of a film character are anticipated in the corresponding book by a literary description that evokes, to any significant extent, what the actor portrayed."

    Um, how does a T-shirt with a still picture of an actor infringe on any of that? Crazy ruling.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    anyone with money anywhere OUT of existence then we'd all have free lollipops and blowjobs each saturday morning to go along with our communal circle jerk.

    Surely that's spelt wrong? I can't think of ANY reason why the word "BLOWJOBS" would not be capitalised in that sentence.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    I use Steam power - cheaper and more legit. It's a win-win.

     

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    Justin Levine (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    A Tragedy Devolving Into Farce

    An absolutely awful court decision - but consistent with the string of awful decisions on copyright interpretation that have oozed out of the courts in recent decades.

    Mike is correct that this not only destroys the idea/expression dichotomy that is (theoretically) supposed to exist, but also ignores the traditional "fixation" requirement that copyright is supposed to require under law.

    The concept of copyrighting "characters" outside of the concrete images or book passages they are depicted in destroys the concept of the fixation requirement. If I copy the concrete images of Sean Connery from 'Goldfinger', I have violated copyright (fair use considerations aside). But if I make my own creative film using a different actor in a white tux, drinking a martini and announcing himself as "Bond...James Bond..." I have not "copied" anything since none of the creative elements I have used were "fixed" in a previous work. It was made with a different camera, using a different actor, with different lighting, and different soundtrack which combines to recall a previously made character. But to the extent that a "character" can exist outside of fixed, concrete bounds means that in order to "copyright" the character, you must extend copyright into the realm of ideas - not fixed expression which copyright law is supposed to require as a Constitutional limit.

    This is just one of the many contradictions that modern copyright jurisprudence offers us. And why it is coming to an increasing head with how the free speech is used in the digital/information age.

     

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    Prisoner 201, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    My thought exactly.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: With Feist v. Rural?

    Perhaps, but I've seen early copies of the book. The images on the shirts are similar to some of those images (which are now in the public domain).

    I haven't read the opinion, so I don't know if it states where the t-shirt folks got their images, or if an analysis of the images occurred, but it's a valid point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: It DOES make sense...sorta...

    But derivative products from this poster are also, by definition, derivative of the copyrighted work.


    Every piece of art work should now include a bibliography/citation list. That way we can track the entire derivative history of a work to ensure that no piece of it is copyrighted/unlicensed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    > > anyone with money anywhere OUT of existence then we'd
    > > all have free lollipops and blowjobs each saturday morning
    > > to go along with our communal circle jerk.

    > Surely that's spelt wrong? I can't think of ANY reason why the
    > word "BLOWJOBS" would not be capitalised in that sentence.

    Or why anyone would bother with jerking (circular or otherwise) when there's free blowjobs to be had...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: A Tragedy Devolving Into Farce

    The character is an expression, you listed some of the components of that character, which make them unique. Depending on how you use it, you could get in trouble.

    A "spy in a tux" isn't enough. Having his name be James Bond might. When you get too close to the character, you are pushing into the areas that are part of the original expression. I have a hard time imaging why you can't see it as clearly standing on other people's work.

    In nicer terms, why not just come up with your own spy guy, who drives a different car, wears sports coats, and calls himself "Danny, Danny Levine" and goes from there? Why would you want to bother going over a piece of lawn that has already been mowed to the point where no more grass grows?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Fair Use

    a frame by frame remake of a copyrighted film with the artists mimicking every nuance and expression of the original artists performances could be considered satire or parody, in which case it would be very much protected as valid expression.

    CBMHB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Non-Original Sin

    This whole thing is stupid. Copyright to something based on something else which is in the public domain should follow the same rules as the GPL:

    If you use something from the public domain, all your creation is subject to the same public domain status. Your work was derivative of something which belongs to all of us, and you want to protect it? C'mon, come up with something original, and we'll protect that.

    CBMHB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Jordan (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    Exactly. Did we really need 3 movies of the book The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    At least will always have Parody,

    until they take that away too...

    MadTV - The Wizard of Oz: Deleted Scene

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Bruce, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    The movie, "Be Kind, Rewind" is *SO* busted!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Das Kapital

    While I despise my (US) government, I have to disagree that it provides nothing. My health care is all through the government since I am permanently disabled and on dialysis waiting for a (second) kidney transplant, which the government will fund. Just because our healthcare SUUUUUCKS doesn't mean we don't have it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Non-Original Sin

    Sorta. What they should be saying is, "Everything from the book is public domain. Everything with an expired copyright is public domain. But anything added from the movie is copyrighted." maybe that's what they are trying to say, but failing.
    I don't see a problem with this from a macro level, but if we start talking, "the new scarecrow squinted like movie scarecrow, and wiggled his hips the same way" I think it's gone too far. Plot elements, scenes depicted only in the movie, yes. Body language, no.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

    Re:

    "Why are you so against originality?"

    you tell me, cause i've yet to see anything remotely original come out of you copytards

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Warner Bros v AVELA opinion (pdf)

    Warner Bros v AVELA (8 Cir., No. 10-1743; July 5, 2011)
    GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.

    A.V.E.L.A., Inc., X One X Productions, and Art-Nostalgia.com, Inc. (collectively, “AVELA”) appeal a permanent injunction prohibiting them from licensing certain images extracted from publicity materials for the films Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, as well as several animated short films featuring the cat-and-mouse duo “Tom & Jerry.” The district court issued the permanent injunction after granting summary judgment in favor of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc., and Turner Entertainment Co. (collectively, “Warner Bros.”) on their claim that the extracted images infringe copyrights for the films. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for appropriate modification of the permanent injunction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re: Warner Bros v AVELA opinion (pdf)

    P.S. The decision is wrongheaded. But what can you do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Androgynous Cowherd, Jul 9th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    At the very least, the scope of the film copyrights covers all visual depictions of the film characters at issue, except for any aspects of the characters that were injected into the public domain by the publicity materials.


    (emphasis added)

    But any aspects of the characters that are present on the T-shirts, which were copied directly from publicity posters that are now public domain, were "injected into the public domain by the publicity materials" and so the shirts cannot infringe!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Casey Bouch (profile), Jul 10th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re:

    "blarghishal!" excalimed a little Blargoidamon who goes by the name of Hendergoot.

    BAM!! original content. Time to Copyright and start rolling in the profits. It works like that right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Casey Bouch (profile), Jul 10th, 2011 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Stock answer: AVOID DERIVATIVE.

    But where will I go for more Star Wars sequels? I must know what happens to Jar Jar!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    charliebrown (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 3:35am

    PD or not PD?

    This movie is actually PD in most parts of the world (minus the music publishing rights) and so now I'm wondering does the fact that it was digitally remastered in 2008 for re-release in 2009 for the 70th Anniversary put it back under copyright?

    In other words does a re-master and restoration effort renew the copyright at all?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 11th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Re: PD or not PD?

    "In other words does a re-master and restoration effort renew the copyright at all?"

    I'm no expert, but my understanding that it does, but only for the remastered print. That is, the remastered version is copyrighted from the day of release, but that doesn't affect the copyright status of the non-remastered print. Anyone else is free to correct me if I'm wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Define "Original Movie"

    The 1939 musical version of the WIZARD OF OZ is the movie at play here, but it is not the "original movie" by any stretch of the imagination.

    There are two silent movies that come to mind, the first being a 1910 production (available at archive.org) and the other a 1925 affair that starred Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodman. The 1910 film, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, is about as good as one would expect from such early cinema, whereas the 1925 WIZARD OF OZ film is simply awful in writing, performance and production (Ollie is its only saving grace IMO).

    By the way, for you trivia buffs... MGM made the 1939 Oz musical as an attempt to steal thunder from Disney, who was enjoying success with SNOW WHITE. MGM bought the film rights to L. Frank Baum's first book only, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and Disney grabbed the rights to the remaining twelve (yes, L. Frank Baum wrote thirteen Oz books and stories continue to be written to this day). The 1939 production did not see profits until it began running on television.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Best Urology Hospitals in India, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 2:14am

    The indication for kidney transplantation is end-stage renal disease (ESRD), regardless of the primary cause. This is defined as a glomerular filtration rate

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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