Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

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Mr.C

Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by Mr.C » Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:11 am

Well, here's the deal.

I have a friend of mine who can make perfect reproductions on pieces of cloth roughly 60x30 cm, in Black Marker, of ANY drawing you give him.

Problem is, most of the time, the work in question is copyrighted.

I had him do a Portal 1 Archangel for me, and it came out almost exactly as Hoover's art.

My question: Can he legally sell these drawings? He has no 'mass prouction'. He draws on request.

lmk people, thanks for the help!

silver.paladin

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by silver.paladin » Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:03 pm

Other than the fact that ALL magic cards are copywrited by Wizards (which of course is also the property of Hasbro), the laws will be somewhat slightly different country by country.

If you want to be completely techical, his re-production of any kind of copywright material is illegal, though for an item like this, for your friend just to copy it for himself - that is not something that a company or lawyer would really worry about in regards to the Copywright Act.  If, however, your friend attempts to sell it, or in any way attempts to make financial gain from this reproduction, then he does take the chance of getting into legal troubles (again, the level of troubles all depend on the country).

Of course, somebody would have to report him, or in some other manner the Wizards and/or Hasbro legal team would have to learn about this fringent attempt on copying protected material and the legal department would have to determine if there is value in attempting to get a Cease-and-Desist Order.  In the past, Wizards has taken a number of companies to court for copyright infringement (and though for the most part many of these companies were mass producing), they were producing 3-rd party items (such as Crazy Clowns), who were charged with intellectual and copyright infringement.

You could probably get a good list of different companies, and even just webmasters, who received a Cease & Desist Order from WoTC.

So, in effect, your friend 'can' legally sell the artwork, dependant on where and to whom, but at the same time, your friend could take the chance of having Wizards and/or Hasbro lawyers descending upon him, who may not only have his work declared illegal, but have him fined and whatever else the lawyers determine is necessary for the "damages" that your friend would have caused WoTC/Hasbro and their "property".

Muldoon

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by Muldoon » Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:06 pm

He could just email the artists themselves asking for permission, to just make them for ebaying or so would probably not get a positive response.
If he did them on request for die hard fans of the art, like a whelp for me, then maybe the artist would be more willing to give permission.
Honestly I have no clue how much control wizards have, if they actually have all copyright for artwork or if that stays with the artist partially, or fully... But asking the artist is a good first step, regardless of if it actually is necessary or not.

MagicRumorMill

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by MagicRumorMill » Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:27 pm

Here in Minnesota, there are several airbrush artists in malls who will do anything on a shirt, and have.  As a matter of fact, I had one do a lotus petal on a t shirt, it looked great.  Only 15 bucks + price of shirt.

I asked about Sliver Queen too.  $130.00.  wow!  But it would have looked nice.  Pricy because of all the detail.  Oh well.

Anyways, if they can do it at malls and not be in trouble, perhaps it is fine.

???

mintcollector

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by mintcollector » Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:35 pm

muldoon wrote:He could just email the artists themselves asking for permission, to just make them for ebaying or so would probably not get a positive response.
If he did them on request for die hard fans of the art, like a whelp for me, then maybe the artist would be more willing to give permission.
Honestly I have no clue how much control wizards have, if they actually have all copyright for artwork or if that stays with the artist partially, or fully... But asking the artist is a good first step, regardless of if it actually is necessary or not.
I can tell you for a fact that WOTC has all rights to the artwork.  Thr artist is alloted their artist proofs, and of course there is the original piece, and sometimes an agreed amount of prints made as part of the deal.  For example, I am working on a project and was in need of another Dakmor Sorceress print.  Matthew Wilson is out of them and told me he cannot legally make anymore.  I was fortunate enough to locate a dealer friend of mine I bought a second print for and he has his still unframed.  I will be gratefully borrowing it from him this weekend at the PTQ here in Chicago this Saturday.

WOTC owns the art and should anyone make it worth their time to pursue someone profiting off of their property they will come down on you like a load of bricks.  Now lets say you just make some for fun between some friends.....doubt anything would come out of that.

l0qii

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by l0qii » Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:39 pm

Is your friend also in Brasil? Copyright law varies widely from country to country. If WotC wanted to persure it,  they would have to go by the law of the country he was in.

Mr.C

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by Mr.C » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:25 pm

l0qii wrote:Is your friend also in Brasil? Copyright law varies widely from country to country. If WotC wanted to persure it,  they would have to go by the law of the country he was in.
Yes, he is in Brazil. The law here is pretty different, but, he was thinking of accepting commisions (sp?) for any drawing. Can he legally do it? i mean, he's working on request, the client gives him the drawing and all, so...  ???

pickle.69

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by pickle.69 » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:29 pm

Just do not sell soemthing like that publicly in shops or on homepages. If he only does it once in a while and not for a living I guess knowbody realy would care about it.

my 2ct

ende73

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by ende73 » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:57 pm

Image

[smiley=laugh.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif]


Speaking seriously, I would tend to agree with Pickle69

pp

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by pp » Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:22 pm

ende73 wrote:Image

[smiley=laugh.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif]
Image

pickle.69

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by pickle.69 » Tue May 17, 2005 9:28 pm

WOW
he is realy good in it

I got a shivan dragon version today in the mail
THANKS A LOT!!!!!

moxdiamd

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by moxdiamd » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:37 am

I think, and I could be wrong, that the re-production of a piece of artwork has to be a exact replica of the piece of art.  Such as... if you took a magic card, blew it up to poster size, and sold the posters.  That would be illegal.  But an artists drawing will never be an exact replica of the original. Very very close.... but never exact.

Like I said, I could be wrong.  :-/

hammr7

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by hammr7 » Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:07 am

Laws vary from country to country, and from use to use.  Most, however, include the following themes:

1.  An artist's "original" work is protected from unauthorized duplication.  This usually includes both exact copies and replicas.

2.  When a company has protected elements (trademarks, copyrights, etc.) that company has totally exclusive use of those elements.  This means that unauthorized copies are expressly forbidden.

3.  While there are occaisional exclusions to these rules.  Most fall into the domain of free speech, but all recognize that such uses must be incidental (showing a copy to make a point as part of a relevant discussion), and not the dominant or only reason for the use.  

4.  The only other material exclusion has to do with an "originality" provision for an artist.  If the new work of art is so different from the original (from which it got inspiration) that there is no way to mistake the two, and the new artwork is artwork (and not a counterfeit item, such as a collectible card), then the artist may get some relief.  In this evaluation, the closer the artwork is to the original, the less likely this kind of releif can be claimed.

The bottomline is that any copy of a Magic card, whether exact or just close, whether the same size or different, whether (in the case of Magic cards) as cards or as other items, cannot be made as a commercial product without the expressed permission of Wizards.  The artwork from a card probably cannot be used without the permission of Wizards, and perhaps the original artist as well (this depends on how the Wizards contract with the artist reads).

As an example, Picasso cited some original works as the basis for his early cubist paintings.  His paintings and the original sources were so different that no one would have ever made the connection.  In the early 1960s Andy Warhol made some very famous paintings using cans of Campbell's "Red Label" Soup.  They would never pass an "originality" test today, necessary for relief from copyright protection of others.  If someone tried to make such paintings today, Campbells would have the legal right to stop them in a heartbeat.

inca911

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by inca911 » Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:10 am

mintcollector wrote: I can tell you for a fact that WOTC has all rights to the artwork.
WotC owns the rights and not the artists only if WotC can find the documented proof of their agreements with the artists where WotC acquired those rights.  Suffice it to say that recordkeeping wasn't exactly a priority in the early days of the company, so there is potentially some grey areas to work with for the earlier pieces.

silver.paladin

Re: Legal Question. Can anyone help? Please?

Post by silver.paladin » Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:12 am

inca911 wrote:
WotC owns the rights and not the artists only if WotC can find the documented proof of their agreements with the artists where WotC acquired those rights.  Suffice it to say that recordkeeping wasn't exactly a priority in the early days of the company, so there is potentially some grey areas to work with for the earlier pieces.
That is true in regards to the Wizards ownership copyright; however, if Wizards would be unable to prove copyright in a court of law, then it would fall to the artist - who is of course well documented for the initial copyright.  So, no matter what happens, it is still copyright material, and therefore illegal to reproduce.  And, if Wizards is unable to legally prove copyright ownership, if the artist is still an 'employee' of Wizards, the artist also most likely would not give permission for any kind of reproduction.

The biggest thing to remember, is if you are reproducing items for your own use, even though it is illegal, the odds are very much that Wizards will not do anything, because Wizards would incur legal costs, and net result is that it is an unneccesary waste of resources for Wizards to chase people for this.  It is still illegal, but is most unlikely anything would happen.  However, on the other hand, if the reproduction (in any way, shape or form) is used to create financial windfall (be it for sale or a trade for material goods or services), then yes, the odds are much greater that Wizards would step in and legally stop it.  It does not have to be any great financial reason that Wizards would do this, rather, by stepping in on anyone (or business), it creates a deterance for others to not reproduce for financial gain.

In this example that Richard got above, as long as he keeps it on his person, he should not have to worry at all.  However, if he were to attempt to sell it, he may or may not get charged, in the very least, it would probably be taken away.  Conversely, if he were to show it to some friends or strangers at a store or a convention, and someone from Amigo or Wizards saw it, again, he is taking a chance of having it seized at that time, or a future legal proceding (assuming of course that most European laws are fairly consistant with North American corporate and copyright laws).

Edit: (Oh,and if anyone is interested, probably not  ;) I am not involved in law anymore, but in the past I have been involved primarily in criminal law, family law, immigration, and other laws involved with the Canadian justice system)

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