Sony Pictures, Defenders Of The Creative Industry, Appears To Be Using Fan Art Without Giving Credit

from the that's-theft,-right? dept

It will come as no surprise that we have done many, many posts at Techdirt that involve Sony. While not all of those posts are critical of the company, many of those posts deal with Sony wielding IP law about while claiming it is doing so to "protect creators" of content. We've also discussed instances where some of these IP-wielding companies, that are supposedly the vanguards of the creative community, also have managed to use the art created by their own fans without bothering to credit them. To be clear, that likely doesn't run afoul of copyright law, given that the fan art typically uses IP owned by these companies. But it doesn't change the fact that it's both quite hypocritical to not bother even crediting the fan that created the art, as well as being just plain shitty.

So back to Sony: the company appears to be both quite hypocritical and just plain shitty to one fan that seems to have found his fan art used on a movie poster for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Reddit user RealJohnGillman posted to r/Spiderman and several other Venom and movie-related subreddits a day after the poster's release, claiming the poster art was "traced from fanart." The fan art in question, posted to DeviantArt in October 2018, depicts Michelle Williams' She-Venom, who appeared briefly in Venom. The character poster teases Williams' return in the sequel. The Reddit post shows a zoomed-in version of the poster next to the fan art to emphasize the similarity. The poster art appears to be a silhouetted version of the fan art; however, some areas, like the curve of the shoulders, don't completely match up.

You can see the images in question below, including a zoomed in image of the part of the poster in question. Poster on the left, fan art on the right.

You can say the images don't match up precisely if you like, but they're certainly very damned close. As mentioned about similar past cases, this likely isn't a copyright infringement issue; the fan artist doesn't own any rights to the character he drew. But, again, if the copyright industries are going to do their maximalist routine under the guise of protecting those that create content, well, fan art is content. And if we stipulate that copyright isn't at issue here, we should certainly be able to agree that Sony or its sub-contracted marketers could at least have given the original artist credit if they were going to use his art, no?

Commenters on the post were quick to discuss the possible copyright-related consequences of the alleged theft. "Whelp, someone is getting an unexpected paycheck," one user wrote, while another replied, "Um... no. You have no ownership over an image you create using a licensed character you don't own; it's unethical to use it without compensation, I'll agree, but they own the character."

It's hard to imagine any argument that any of this is ethical on the part of Sony. Protector of creators though it claims to be, it seems the company is also happy to just use art created by others if it suits them.

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Filed Under: copyright, culture, fan art, venom
Companies: sony pictures


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2021 @ 9:50pm

    Since it doesn’t line up exactly, is just a silhouette, and is a generic female silhouette that you’d expect from a comic, I’d think it’s more likely it’s just similar and not a ripoff personally.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Sep 2021 @ 11:03pm

      Re:

      One where the fingers, arms and hips(basically everything but the shoulder, which is slightly different) all seem to line up exactly?

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

      • identicon
        Ian Williams, 24 Sep 2021 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re:

        You start really looking at it, and especially if you look at a blown up version like in buzzfeed separated at birth with a close up of the poster that’s -not- cropped to the knee, you start seeing more, the knees in the poster don’t like up vertically like they do in the fanart, you can see the lower leg curve out again higher on the right, where the outward curve of the lower leg is absent entirely in the fan art, the body is a bit thiccker in the poster, and the meeting of arm and body isn’t behind she-venom’s busom. And if you’ve looked around, that curled/splayed hand pose is incredibly commonly used, if for no other reason than they’re both easier to draw than most other hand poses.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 12:11am

      Re:

      I disagree, since there's a lot of direct similarities. Just the contour shapes of the arms to so similar that it's unlikely they got there by accident.

      But, Sony don't deserve the benefit of the doubt in this sort of case. They have a history of attacks based on threadbare accusations and expecting others to jump through hoops to prove that their own work is not infringing, so I fail to see why they should be treated any less harshly than they themselves judge others.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 12:21am

      Re:

      "Since it doesn’t line up exactly, is just a silhouette, and is a generic female silhouette that you’d expect from a comic..."

      Which has always been enough to drag copywrong cases to court in the past.

      "...I’d think it’s more likely it’s just similar and not a ripoff personally."

      Maybe, but similar enough by accident or deliberate action has never mattered where Imaginary Property Law is concerned.

      From my own perspective...normally I always like to invoke Hanlon's Razor. Never ascribe to malice what is adequately explained by incompetence. But this is Sony. A company which has kept on being casually malicious and openly contemptuous of other people's property ever since they invented the precursor of DRM and installed it on the sly on the computers of their customers way back when - the infamous rootkit scandal.

      Given their avaricious focus on IP I'm guessing the only debate they had around whether they stole someone else's art was a risk-threat assessment among the legal team over how likely it would be they could just bury the lawsuit of some peon.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      Are you blind? What are driveling on about? Look at the fingers for example. That's a coincidence, is it?! You utter fool.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 23 Sep 2021 @ 10:20pm

    Under the ContentID model, Sony now owes all its revenue from the movie to the artist.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Sep 2021 @ 11:06pm

    Ah copyright hypocrisy...

    'We must protect creators, we need to have someone to leech off of after all!'

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 12:34am

      Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

      There's still the alternative that both of those pictures ripped off some pic that we've not yet seen...

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

      • identicon
        Rocky, 24 Sep 2021 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

        And that makes it different how? Plagiarism is still plagiarism and considering your earlier arguments and stance on copyright, why aren't you condemning Sony as you usually do when it comes to any possibility of perceived infringement?

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          icon
          tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 2:02am

          Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

          And that makes it different how?

          Well, after copying has been established, the remaining issue to decide is that who actually owns the content. While the creation date skews the analysis initially against sony, it's still not decided properly. It's still possible that Sony is using content they they own themselves, i.e. reusing material created for old song album covers or something like that. But to establish that, they need to show 1) they own the material 2) it's also the other person who did the copying... I.e. the odds are against sony at this point, but burden of showing copyright infringement just moves to the other side of the aisle.

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

        • identicon
          Ian Williams, 24 Sep 2021 @ 6:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

          taps his large collection of “Pose File” artist reference books that are published with the express intention of the pics being used in that manner

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 12:59am

        Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

        There's still the alternative that both of those pictures ripped off some pic that we've not yet seen...

        And since you've previously ripped off a 3D model from Five Nights at Freddy's, we can assume the same of all the work you've used for Meshpage, and therefore demand a full and permanent takedown of Meshpage based on "stricter copyright rules"?

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          icon
          tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 2:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

          we can assume ... and therefore demand a full and permanent takedown

          You cannot demand anything until you have a proof that you actually own the material. Of course you can hint the original owner of the material that something bad is happening with the content, but you cannot demand anything until you're actually the author of the material. Basically random trolls on internet has no rights to demand anything. You actually need to prove ownership of copyright first.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 4:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

            You cannot demand anything until you have a proof that you actually own the material.

            Prove that you own the images on Meshpages, and note "I created them" is not proof, as it is only you word and not an independent proof.

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

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              icon
              tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 5:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

              Prove that you own the images on Meshpages

              I have actually the source code that renders the images.
              Noone else can say that.

              Then there's the fact that I can actually pinpoint which area of the source code renders which part of the image. Simple test like commenting out that part of the code will reveal if I'm right. Noone else can reliably do that.

              Then I can summon my brother to the stand to testify that I spent over 8 years creating the source code that renders the images.

              Then there's the github version control logs that show when exactly was each piece of the source code that renders the images written.

              Then there's the paperwork from my previous workplace that explains exactly which date they fired me from my previous work, and that date happens to match that 8 years of development start date.

              There's paper trail from unemployment byro where they can specify that I actually received unemployment benefit during the 8 year development time, and their paperwork includes links to the web site.

              Then there's various random trolls from irc channels who saw the development process and can produce irc logs when they were horrified of me always talking about my gameapi/meshpage projects over several years, including discussions about features like frame rates, phong shading, performance tuning, texture mapping, etc.

              Then there's some company in helsinki who is using the engine for real use cases and can testify that I can actually make changes to the engine without problems

              The copyright notices in the source code has my name on it

              I have trademark registration to the finnish copyright office.

              The web page has copyright/trademark notices with my name on it

              I've shown the work to many people over years, including hookers, co-workers, my mother, random dudes on irc, techdirt, etc...

              //-----

              So how much proof is required?

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 7:31am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                All you have said is that you have the paint and paintbrushes used to create the image, which does not prove you have not copied or derived images from someone else's work.

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

                • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                  icon
                  tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 8:41am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                  All you have said is that you have the paint and paintbrushes used to create the image

                  It's more like automatic printing press that can take any 3d model as input and distribute it anywhere in the world. The image design is outside of the scope of the system. But it is limited in such way, that we know the users of the system actually created the images themselves, instead of cloning someone elses work, simply because other people's work are not compatible with the system. For example, taking mp4 file of a hollywood movie and trying to pass it to my system will simply fail for one of the followinig reasons: 1) either the file format is not compatible 2) or script size limitations are breaking when trying to encode it to our primitives 3) or memory size limits are breaking

                  So it's simply not possible to do piracy with the system.

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

                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 8:51am

                    it's simply not possible to do piracy with the system

                    says the dude who ripped off a model from one of Scott Cawthon’s games

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 8:57am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                    You are claiming the impossible, as if one person can create work with your software, another person can create a copy using your software, which does not require a file copy, just the creation of a work that looks the same. That it is not capable of producing something like Toy Story or a Mickey Mouse cartoon means it is too limited for re0al world use.

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

                    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                      icon
                      tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 9:31am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                      if one person can create work with your software, another person can create a copy using your software

                      This would require copying of the internal save files which are normally not shared. So you'd need to hack into author's home computer to get a copy of the save file. Without that file, you need to do all the work involved in creation of the model again, bringing it again to your ownership.

                      The software simply do not accept the released "codegen script" as input... I.e once you generate codegen script, the software refuses to further manpulate the data.

                      While there is simple conversion procedure between codegen scripts and internal save files, the work amount required to do that is still significant enough that you'd get a copyright for the new model. Basically its like the old magazines with source code printed which you can type to your computer. The typing process, while its still manually replicating existing work, still involves enough steps that you can assume to receive your own copyright for it. All the data needed will need to be retyped.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 10:09am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy..

                        Without that file, you need to do all the work involved in creation of the model again, bringing it again to your ownership.

                        Which contradicts you statement at the head of the thread:

                        There's still the alternative that both of those pictures ripped off some pic that we've not yet seen...

                        And it is not consistent with you comment.

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

                        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                          icon
                          tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 10:14am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocri

                          Which contradicts you statement at the head of the thread:

                          Well, they didn't use my software, so they have more copyright problems to deal with.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 5:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

            You cannot demand anything until you have a proof that you actually own the material.

            Stricter copyright rules mean you don't have to. For that matter, most existing copyright systems don't actually require you to prove you own the copyrights to the material; you just need to raise a complaint and "stricter copyright rules" oblige the host to take it down until further notice.

            In fact, the entire premise of "notice and staydown" as copyright enforcers have demanded intentionally skips over the need for this proof. It intentionally lowers the standards of evidence, because that's what your heroes at the RIAA have consistently requested.

            Basically random trolls on internet has no rights to demand anything. You actually need to prove ownership of copyright first.

            Actually no. Your hero Richard Liebowitz caused a lot of damage by demanding settlement monies on works that he didn't own the copyright to, for one. Granted, he eventually got heavily penalized for it, but the point is that the system as it stands has little to no recourse or penalty for even egregious offenders until way, way after the fact.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 2:53am

        Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

        So you're defending the visible plagiarism from Sony by making up an imaginary situation where they're both guilty? You do know that this still means Sony is guilty, right?

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

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          icon
          tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 2:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

          So you're defending the visible plagiarism from Sony

          All alternative scenarios need to be considered. It's still possible that Sony licensed the images from the fan with some small amount of cash... The alternatives anyway need to explored when such proof of copying is presented.

          But we'll never know.

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

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 7:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

            To TP [for my bunghole]:

            Your argument is raising hypotheticals when our argument is facts. Get lost.

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

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              icon
              tp (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 8:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

              Your argument is raising hypotheticals when our argument is facts.

              I'm just raising legal requirements what is needed before you can go claiming that someone is violating copyright laws. Two elements are required, ownership of the copyright and copying of the copyrghtable elements. You simply have troubles fulfillng those requirements even though you have clear case of copying in your hands. More formal approach is just needed.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 25 Sep 2021 @ 9:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                "I'm just raising legal requirements"

                No, you're raising a fantasy in response to your heroes being caught stealing.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 25 Sep 2021 @ 9:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

            "All alternative scenarios need to be considered."

            Yes, any scenario with supporting evidence should be considered. Not the raving fantasies of an idiot who doesn't realise that his failed attempt to defend Sony still leaves them guilty of plagiarism.

            "It's still possible that Sony licensed the images from the fan with some small amount of cash"

            I'm sure they would have remembered such a thing, which would mean they wouldn't have raised this complaint.

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

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              icon
              tp (profile), 27 Sep 2021 @ 12:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

              I'm sure they would have remembered such a thing, which would mean they wouldn't have raised this complaint.

              The ownership of the assets probably changed hands several times during the years, and the last one who received the ownership decided to go after anything they can find. So you cannot rely on copyright owner's memory of the issue one bit, they'll just sell the assets to anyone who is willing to take the risk.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2021 @ 2:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                So you cannot rely on copyright owner's memory of the issue one bit

                And if copyright owners' memories can't be trusted, by your admission - what reason is there to trust that anything you maximalists say is accurate? What's stopping you from suing people who don't even download or pirate or have heard of your content?

                Oh, that's right. You already do. Which is why judges have increased scrutiny of your claims and have actively begun fighting your vexatious litigation.

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

                • icon
                  tp (profile), 28 Sep 2021 @ 9:12am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                  What's stopping you from suing people who don't even download or pirate or have heard of your content?

                  Judge can see from miles away if the defendant has no idea what activity the planitif is complaining about. It's stuff like "I didn't know my coffee machine even has internet connection in it"

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 28 Sep 2021 @ 3:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                "The ownership of the assets probably changed hands several times during the years, and the last one who received the ownership decided to go after anything they can find."

                So, you're saying that someone could have permission, then be sued later by the person they sold the copyright to without the person being sued knowing they no longer had permission?

                As ever, I appreciate you pointing out the broken nature of copyright and the need for an effective registration database for people to check against, but I somehow think that's not what you intended to say

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

                • icon
                  tp (profile), 29 Sep 2021 @ 2:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                  without the person being sued knowing they no longer had permission?

                  They still have the permission, but they just need to prove it themselves. Basically storing all your communication with the copyright owners is a valid plan. You simply cannot trust copyright owners to know who of the 2 million people actually have a license. The proof must come from different direction.

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

                  • icon
                    Tanner Andrews (profile), 2 Oct 2021 @ 3:50am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                    cannot trust copyright owners to know who of the 2 million people actually have a license

                    As the sellers of licenses, they are the very ones whom I would expect to have carefully maintained records. Failing that, they should not sue to enforce, because the burden is supposed to be on the plaintiff to show infringement.

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

                    • icon
                      tp (profile), 2 Oct 2021 @ 12:59pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

                      the burden is supposed to be on the plaintiff to show infringement.

                      but plaintiff can fulfill their requirement by flimsy evidence related to ip-addresses. They don't even need to examine their records.

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

                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 2 Oct 2021 @ 3:32pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy..

                        "flimsy evidence related to ip-addresses"

                        When even you admit that the evidence is flimsy and really doesn't prove anything (hint: you cannot possibly tell what copyright ownership status is from an address that does not relate to a specific individual) then you failed your argument before you made it.

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

                        • icon
                          tp (profile), 3 Oct 2021 @ 4:05pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocri

                          When even you admit that the evidence is flimsy and really doesn't prove anything

                          Well, copyright owners are NOT REQUIRED to provide watertight evidence. The assumption is that copyright owners do not have large lawyer organisation that can discover proper evidence. The copyright lawsuit needs to be possible for copyright owners coming outside of commercial publishing organisatons. This means that the proof required for copyright infringement is very small, and judges will need to examine the evidence in such way that the copyright owners are the small guy who needs proper protection against evil giant publishers who didn't bother to take permission from the small guy.

                          Of course RIAA kinda turned this thing upsidedown, but still the proof required for copyright infringement has never been too accurate or even vald. It's enough that there's some flimsy evidence pointing to the correct direction.

                          This is the reason why RIAA gets their ip-addresses accepted as valid copyright infringement evidence.

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

                          • icon
                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 2:21am

                            the proof required for copyright infringement has never been too accurate or even vald. It's enough that there's some flimsy evidence pointing to the correct direction.

                            The law shouldn’t allow people to be punished for crimes they didn’t commit⁠—and in a more fair world, it wouldn’t allow people to be punished on the basis of weak claims backed up with flimsy evidence. To wit: Replace “copyright infringement” with “murder”, “theft”, or “kidnapping” to see how fucked up your statement sounds. Then remember that people have been convicted of, and jailed for, crimes they didn’t commit on the basis of flimsy evidence (e.g., the Central Park Five).

                            Does punishing innocent people⁠—or lowering the standards of evidence for proving guilt⁠—provide any sort of justice, or do you not even care so long as other people get fucked over by the legal system?

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

                            • icon
                              tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 2:47am

                              Re:

                              Does punishing innocent people⁠—or lowering the standards of evidence for proving guilt⁠—provide any sort of justice,

                              You have to understand that copyright owners worked hard to be in position to be able to sue infringers. Copyright owners spent years and years time developing copyrighted works and co-operated with the publishing companies to get their works published. Then publisher backstabs the author and distributes the work without permission. This is when copyright infringement lawsuit need to begin.

                              The already spent work amounts need to be taken into account when deciding appropriate standards of evidence. It's not appropriate to force copyright owners do the hard work 2nd time just so that infringers can get away with their criminal acts. At this point, copyright owners can already rely on the hard work they did, and rest of the world will need to follow their flute.

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

                              • icon
                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 3:53am

                                No one⁠—including you, of all people⁠—should ever be punished by the legal system for a crime they either didn’t commit or can’t be proven to have committed. That system shouldn’t be lowering the standards of evidence to convict people of any crime, including copyright infringement. You’re arguing in favor of making those standards all but non-existent in any case involving copyright⁠—all so corporations can crush other people into paste.

                                what the actual fuck is wrong with you

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

                                • icon
                                  tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 4:17am

                                  Re:

                                  should ever be punished by the legal system for a crime they either didn’t commit or can’t be proven to have committed.

                                  but this is exactly what you're doing when you take away copyright owner's work without permission... Basically copyright owners did nothing bad to you before you leeched their work, but still you want to punish these poor copyright owners by taking away their life's work and turning it to useless bricks which generate no money to the author.

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

                                  • icon
                                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 5:06am

                                    You’re literally arguing in favor of changing the law so copyright owners⁠—including giant corporations such as Disney⁠—can have people convicted of a crime based only on evidence that may not even prove what the accuser says it proves.

                                    what the actual godforsaken fuck is wrong with you

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

                                    • icon
                                      tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 5:19am

                                      Re:

                                      You’re literally arguing in favor of changing the law so copyright owners can have people convicted of a crime based only on evidence that may not even prove what the accuser says it proves.

                                      That's the current law. Copyright owners are enjoying significant amount of rights currently, simply because they worked hard to get the product to the market. It's similar to how startup companies are handled, i.e. government is trying to make the system work well enough that every startup can survive. Still there's 90% failure rate in that area.

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

                                      • icon
                                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 5:25am

                                        You seriously believe copyright holders⁠—including large corporations⁠—should be allowed to ruin lives based on evidence that may not even say “this person committed a crime”.

                                        You seriously believe people should have their lives destroyed over copyright infringement they may not have even committed.

                                        You are a horrible person.

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

                                        • icon
                                          tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 5:31am

                                          Re:

                                          You seriously believe copyright holders⁠—including large corporations⁠—should be allowed to ruin lives based on evidence

                                          Eye for an eye.

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

                                          • icon
                                            PaulT (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 6:02am

                                            Re: Re:

                                            No, eye for an eye would be if the studios got back losses they actually suffered from the person who committed infringement.

                                            You're advocating for people who have never done any such thing have their livelihoods destroyed, even though there's plenty of historical examples of them accusing the wrong person based on the flimsy evidence you support.

                                            Only someone as wilfully and psychotically ignorant would advocate for innocent lives being destroyed because a corporation lied about them, but here you are.

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

                                            • icon
                                              tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 10:42am

                                              Re: Re: Re:

                                              there's plenty of historical examples of them accusing the wrong person
                                              based on the flimsy evidence

                                              This flimsy evidence does not mean that wrong persons are being accused. It means that the burden shouldn't be placed on the copyright owner, but instead the burden for obtaining guarantees against wrongful convictions need to be assigned to the legal system and the judges, not to the copyright owners. Basically there needs to be small amount of communication between copyright owners and judges in such way that a judge can verify the claims to be true. But the final determination cannot be placed to the copyright owners, since they have no experience of the criminal system.

                                              Basically you need to decide who you're going to trust. The legal system enjoys significant amount of trust from the general public and you need to trust that they will do their best to avoid outcome that isn't just. Copyright owners have earned slightly different kind of trust, stemming from the work that copyright owners allow general public to use in form of products, services and technologies which are all protected by copyright laws. The accused pirates have slightly different kind of trust, the system trusts that those pirates are stretching the limits of the legal system, always finding different way to use the copyrighted works that copyright owners created. But compensation needs to flow.

                                              In copyright laws, while copyright owners make a selection from among most notorous pirates who to sue for copyright infringement, they could choose anyone who they deem to be against the law for some reason. But because of efficient use of resources, copyright owners can only sue small number of people and the damage award need to be high enough that the damage caused by the whole pirate ecosystem and the damage awards are balanced. One unlucky pirate needs to bear the burden of his whole community. This is reverse lottery.

                                              Your claim is that these people who participate in the reverse lottery are being wrongfully accused, but this isn't likely true. Instead the legal cases in our table shows clearly that copyright owners are choosing the persons who they have biggest chance of success in eventual copyright lawsuit, and the end result is that copyright owners are winning the lawsuits, making first instances of reverse lottery actually working as designed. This Joel guy who lost copyright infringement lawsuit, were clearly admitting that he was outside of the law when he pirated the music, event though he likes it to be just speeding in the internet superhighway. The other cases are not much different.

                                              Settlements are obviously a concern among pirates. Copyright owners are deemed to receive unjust compensatiion from the pirate ecosystem when the pirates are accepting settlement amounts even when judges have not yet decided about the person's status in the criminal justice system. But that's the purpose of the settlement, the accused pirate can decide themselves if they want to pay the settlement and be saved from possible life-ruining legal process, or if they want to stand firm against overwhelming ip-address evidence of wrongdoing.

                                              And here we have it. Copyright owners have fulfilled their responsibility to point out what activity they are complaining about. This needs to be enough, and the courts and the justice system needs to work even with flimsy evidence. It is responsibility of every player in the system to ensure that accused pirates are not in a bad status for no good reason.

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

                                              • icon
                                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 11:27am

                                                The plaintiff in any legal case is required to prove their claims⁠—especially in civil torts, which copyright infringement often is. You’re asking for the courts to do the job of the plaintiff once a claim has been made, and to do it in such a way that a conviction is guaranteed⁠—even in cases where the defendant is wholly innocent of the crime they’re accused of committing.

                                                That isn’t justice. That isn’t even revenge. I don’t even know what the fuck to call what you’re advocating for, other than “fucked up”.

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

                                                • icon
                                                  tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 1:03pm

                                                  Re:

                                                  The plaintiff in any legal case is required to prove their claims⁠

                                                  Because of facebook's BGP blunder, you need to "trust the government" for a while. The message that activated the above was too powerful for me, so response is automatic. Basically automatic messages are all dangerous. Facebook's BGP blunder is extreamly dangerous, so I didn't over-react one bit.

                                                  You can recognize automatic messages by examining the quality of the offered information. If it feels too accurate and good information, and it's large wall of text, something bad has happened.

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

                                                  • icon
                                                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 2:11pm

                                                    I don’t know what the fuck you just said, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re advocating for a system of law where a plaintiff can accuse someone of an unlawful act and have the accused punished by the court without any serious evidence that the accused committed the unlawful act.

                                                    what the fuck

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

                                                    • icon
                                                      tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 2:25pm

                                                      Re:

                                                      have the accused punished by the court

                                                      I said that you need to trust the government. Nothing can be closer to government than govt appointed judges in a court of law.

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

                                                      • icon
                                                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 2:28pm

                                                        For what reason should the government be allowed to punish an innocent person over an unlawful act they didn’t commit only because someone with power and wealth accused that person of committing that unlawful act?

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

                                                        • icon
                                                          tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 3:21pm

                                                          Re:

                                                          For what reason should the government be allowed to punish an innocent person

                                                          You need to trust the government to do the right thing, even though you might not understand why it is happening. Trusting the government is important skill to have. When it looks like innocent people get punished by the government, you're just not seeing the full picture. Some more important problem might require this action. They simply cannot explain it to you. You just need to trust the government to work correctly.

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

                                                          • icon
                                                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 5:06pm

                                                            For what reason should I trust any government if it is willing to punish innocent people over unlawful acts those people provably didn’t commit?

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

                                                            • icon
                                                              tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 6:01pm

                                                              Re:

                                                              For what reason should I trust any government if it is willing to punish innocent

                                                              since you cannot change the government without moving to cuba, you simply have no other choice than learn to trust the government. Its worse situation if you fail to do it, given that changing the government is not possible and trusting the govt allows you to use government's services to your benefit...

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

                                                              • icon
                                                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 6:04pm

                                                                For what reason, then, should the government be allowed to punish innocent people⁠ without question?

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

                                                                • icon
                                                                  tp (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 11:16pm

                                                                  Re:

                                                                  For what reason, then, should the government be allowed to punish innocent people⁠ without question?

                                                                  For example if putin comes to visit the president, I expect some crazy people to be locked away while the visit is happening. That's clearly punishing people who have done nothing wrong except be on government watch lists.

                                                                  Or if the rich and famous are keeping drunken party, the rock-themed music fans from the neighbourhood is having trouble with the police so they don't disturb the elite.

                                                                  Or if large company ceo happens to visit airport, all the jimmy wales fans begging for more money will be escorted away.

                                                                  Can you see where this is going?

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

                                                                  • icon
                                                                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 7:51am

                                                                    All I see is someone trying to justify hurting innocent people only because they exist.

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

                                                                    • icon
                                                                      tp (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 3:28pm

                                                                      Re:

                                                                      All I see is someone trying to justify hurting innocent people only because they exist.

                                                                      You were never able to see the boulders from the pebbles.

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

                                                                      • icon
                                                                        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 4:49pm

                                                                        And you want innocent people to suffer for the sake of copyright.

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

                                                                        • icon
                                                                          tp (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 5:32pm

                                                                          Re:

                                                                          And you want innocent people to suffer for the sake of copyright.

                                                                          some amount of suffering is necessary for the greater good.

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

                                                                          • icon
                                                                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 7:32pm

                                                                            Making innocent people suffer for no reason serves no greater good.

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

                                                                            • icon
                                                                              tp (profile), 6 Oct 2021 @ 8:49am

                                                                              Re:

                                                                              Making innocent people suffer for no reason serves no greater good.

                                                                              Sacrificing the goat to the altar of copyright is perfectly good plan.

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

                                                                              • icon
                                                                                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Oct 2021 @ 10:59am

                                                                                You’re not “sacrificing goats” here⁠—you’re trying to harm innocent people.

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

                                                                              • icon
                                                                                PaulT (profile), 6 Oct 2021 @ 5:41pm

                                                                                Re: Re:

                                                                                If your plan ever comes to fruition, may you be the first goat sacrificed (and hopefully the last).

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

                                                                                • icon
                                                                                  tp (profile), 7 Oct 2021 @ 12:41am

                                                                                  Re: Re: Re:

                                                                                  If your plan ever comes to fruition, may you be the first goat sacrificed

                                                                                  Its more cunning than that. The copyrighted work I created will be sacrificed in small pieces. One section of the market gets meshpage, others builder and some people will get 3d model viewer. Making the copyright bit unstable is very trivial operation, I'll just change the license availability slightly at carefully designed due dates. Then market will consume the work only when copyright allows it. Some poor souls looking for late christmas presents will need to disappoint when the product was only available to the early birds. The after-christmas pirates will be obviously sued for copyright infringement. Etc... The plan is cooking wonderfully...

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

                                                                          • icon
                                                                            PaulT (profile), 6 Oct 2021 @ 2:29am

                                                                            Re: Re:

                                                                            May you be the person to suffer, instead of the many innocent people you wish to destroy so that you can chase your fantasy of your incompetence being rewarded.

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

                                                                            • icon
                                                                              tp (profile), 14 Oct 2021 @ 2:41am

                                                                              Re: Re: Re:

                                                                              so that you can chase your fantasy of your incompetence being rewarded.

                                                                              This is actually the brilliance of copyright. Authors are doing their work even when such activity is not being rewarded. Instead of a money reward, authors receive ownership to their respective writings, i.e. a promise that some day he can reap the benefits of the work. The mere promise lets authors do their work, even when the whole world is against them.

                                                                              It just isn't too profitable to be an author, and the popularity of writing copyrighted works instead of watching tv on a sofa idling and spitting to the ceiling is getting thinner every day and soon authors without compensation has no other choice than pack their backpacks and move to some other country.

                                                                              I.e. it's the modern day equivalent of slavery.

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

                                              • icon
                                                PaulT (profile), 6 Oct 2021 @ 2:28am

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                "This flimsy evidence does not mean that wrong persons are being accused."

                                                In many cases, it literally does. Your fictions depend on ignoring these many examples, but they exist.

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

                                          • icon
                                            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Oct 2021 @ 8:29am

                                            Eye for an eye.

                                            You don’t advocate for justice⁠—you advocate for revenge, even against people who’ve committed no wrong against those you feel should seek and have their revenge.

                                            You are a sociopathic monster of a human being, and you should seek legitimate professional medical help for your obvious mental health issues.

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

        • identicon
          Ian Williams, 24 Sep 2021 @ 11:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Ah copyright hypocrisy...

          Tell me how imaginary it is,since people publish pose books for just that purpose.

          https://www.pinterest.com/pin/546272629801560467/

          Take a look at #11 there..

          That pose file is literally the first thing when you google catwalk poses.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2021 @ 11:37pm

    Sky is blue
    Water is wet
    Copyright maximalists are hypocrites

    So, what else is new?

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

  • identicon
    David, 24 Sep 2021 @ 1:35am

    Hello, someone at home at Techdirt?

    also have managed to use the art created by their own fans without bothering to credit them. To be clear, that likely doesn't run afoul of copyright law, given that the fan art typically uses IP owned by these companies.

    Hedgehogwash. The fan art may use IP owned by these companies, meaning that it cannot be sold or otherwise distributed without the companies' permission. But that does not magically grant permission to use any derivative works back to the companies.

    I am surprised a Techdirt author makes such a rookie mistake. Such a grantback does not happen automatically even in the case of GPL violations where licensing under the GPL would be required to bring a party in compliance with licensing terms. Even if it the only thing they are allowed to do, it doesn't happen by itself.

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

    • identicon
      Dave, 24 Sep 2021 @ 3:39am

      Re: Hello, someone at home at Techdirt?

      Zero precedence for this at all, it's a fine theory but no Fan Artists is bringing the copyright owners of the character they literally just violated the copyright of to court in order for incalculable compensations like their art being silhouetted and background for a movie poster - and no court would rule in their favor.

      Ironically the artist would have had a very strong case if they had silhouetted the original art in the first place, as they could have argued it wasn't She Venom at all. But no, theoretically you might have an interesting idea, in practice you are wrong.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 5:16am

        Re: Re: Hello, someone at home at Techdirt?

        This actually came up in a FNAF poster, the marketers who put it together used art of one character from online.

        Leonard french, a practicing copyright attorney that discusses law on his youtube, noted at the time that while scott cauthon owned the design of the animatronic, copyright is still ascribed to the artist. Therefore neither fully owned tge rights to the derivative fan work. Under the law it was a work with joint ownership. As with so many works over the years, that means the work can’t be distributed without both creators’ agreement.

        You probably can’t get damages, but you could get an injunction.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 7:54am

          Good luck surviving the steamroller that is a corporate copyright lawyer.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hello, someone at home at Techdirt?

          Leonard french, a practicing copyright attorney that discusses law on his youtube, noted at the time that while scott cauthon owned the design of the animatronic, copyright is still ascribed to the artist. Therefore neither fully owned tge rights to the derivative fan work.

          Control over the creation of derivative works is part of copyright. Therefore, the artist violated Cawthon's copyright when they created the derivative work. It doesn't strike me as difficult to imagine a lawsuit demanding that the copyright for the derivative work be transferred to the holder of the copyright of the original work would likely be successful. And then the "joint ownership" issue is resolved.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 1:35am

    Its only bad when THEY do it, not when we do it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 2:28am

    Originality?

    Not actually all that surprising, since they all Sony produces nowadays is basically reboots, remakes, prequels and sequels. Not a grain of true original content to be seen. They just buy some exisiting IP and rehash it.

    So they must have thought 'well, we bought rights to this Venom character, so basically all Venom-inspired material is now ours to use?'

    Common mistake if you're a copyright maximalist...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 4:23am

      Re: Originality?

      Or some lazy "artist" tasked with making the poster figured nobody would notice if they just copied something off Google.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 2:42am

    If you "buy" something copyrighted, you'll only have to "pay" for it again after a change in distribution format, operating system change, company goes under, whatever. If you "make" something that is "yours", the culture and ideas it references are still going to be claimed as "property" of somebody else.

    The present system of so-called intellectual property is a twin sister to slavery, born in the U.S. constitution, and what they really claim to own is not a scribble on a piece of paper, but the mind that would view it.

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

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 3:58am

    Probably traced, but this is all too common in comics and comics adjacent media. Some 'artists' have built careers out of tracing porn stills, see Greg Land.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Ian Williams, 24 Sep 2021 @ 6:08am

    I’m an artist, I’ve done a bloody lot of fan art in my time, but the mutual use of sexy menacing catwalk strut #1, ( https://www.elle.com/uk/fashion/celebrity-style/articles/a31869/an-analysis-of-the-most-iconic-super model-runway-walks/ ) does not copyright infringement make. It’s suspicious, sure, but in the end it’s suspicious like late night mail-in ballot dumps for Biden were. When it comes down to it, saying this copies the fan art is the same argument about being able to copyright the “feel” of a song folks here say should be rejected in the Blurred lines case.

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

    • identicon
      David, 24 Sep 2021 @ 7:02am

      Re:

      It’s suspicious, sure, but in the end it’s suspicious like late night mail-in ballot dumps for Biden were.

      https://youtu.be/7hi2PrOCQ7E

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

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 7:10am

      Re:

      It’s suspicious, sure, but in the end it’s suspicious like late night mail-in ballot dumps for Biden were.

      So, reasonable considering the circumstances?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Ian Williams, 24 Sep 2021 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, both Sony and the fan artist using a stupidly commonly used pose is a quite reasonable explanation.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 3:44pm

      Re:

      None of those images in your link match the images above -- who both match each other pretty closely.

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

      • identicon
        Ian Williams, 25 Sep 2021 @ 4:36am

        Re: Re:

        I wasn’t going for an exact match, just demonstrating the generic class, one foot in front of the other, hips and shoulders tilted,simply becUse the body does that when walking, one hand curled one hand flexed is a pretty generic “catwalk” pose, I detailed some of the other difences above, the most glaring being that the Sony artist didn’t fall into the “legs tapering off at the knees” bad artists anatomy trap the original did. The Sony artist may well have seen the fan art, and took inspiration on the pose in his picture from it, but that doesn’t change the fact that’s it’s a very commonly used pose in pin up art.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 25 Sep 2021 @ 9:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I wasn’t going for an exact match"

          Which is weird, considering that the complaint is the fact that there's a pretty much exact match.

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

          • identicon
            Ian Williams, 26 Sep 2021 @ 6:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It’s not wierd, the point was to illustrate that the pose is a generic catwalk strut. I grabbed the first link I found of catwalk poses, to demonstrate. iAnd as I’ve mentioned above, the contours have more differences than just the slant of the shoulders, what caught my eye is that the Sony artist got the anatomy at the knees and lower right, where the fan art blew it.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Sep 2021 @ 3:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "It’s not wierd, the point was to illustrate that the pose is a generic catwalk strut"

              But, the pose isn't the thing in question, it's the fact that the arms and contours seem to be virtually identical. Which, unless I missed something is not true when compared to the pictures you showed.

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

          • identicon
            Ian Williams, 26 Sep 2021 @ 6:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It’s not wierd, the point was to illustrate that the pose is a generic catwalk strut. I grabbed the first link I found of catwalk poses, to demonstrate. iAnd as I’ve mentioned above, the contours have more differences than just the slant of the shoulders, what caught my eye is that the Sony artist got the anatomy at the knees and lower right, where the fan art blew it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2021 @ 9:47am

    Remember Big corporations always mention we must protect creators when they bring in laws that restrict creativity fair use and acess to public domain art. I think it's going a bit far to say a black piece of art is copyright infringement although outline although it look likes it's traced .
    I hope art does not go the way of music where people are being sued for using a few common chords or notes or a song that has a similar groove or feel
    The great thing about fanart is that it allows art to be created and shown without asking for permission from the ip owners art which would never exist in a commercial setting

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Sep 2021 @ 9:28pm

    Did they hire Gene Simmons kid to make the poster?

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

  • identicon
    Leg Grand, 25 Sep 2021 @ 11:32am

    So they let Greg Land do the poster?
    But then again, it's not based on porn, so maybe not?

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


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