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  • 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? ;-)

  • 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!

  • Oct 4th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Trademark on the Frankenstein Monster...

    "I'm still shocked that Paramount has a trademark on the Frankenstein monster. The one with the flat head and the bolts coming out of his neck."

    !) Universal Pictures (not Paramount) has a trademark on the makeup design, not the character.
    ANYONE can do a "Frankenstein" movie, tv series, novel, comic, etc. (The original novel is Public Domain)
    It's just that the Monster can't LOOK like the version from the Universal film series!
    Go to the Internet Movie DataBase to see how many different versions there have been since the first Universal Frankenstein in 1931!