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  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @masonwheeler said in Copydumb:

    @anotherusername Yes, this is true.

    Which raises (not begs! :pendant:) the question, since this is true, why has Disney worked so hard for so long to prevent the copyright on the earliest Mickey Mouse works from expiring? Is anyone buying Steamboat Willie today? Are they even selling it? If they've made any attempt to market it anytime during my life, I'm entirely unaware of the effort.

    I feel it safe to assume that no one is buying "Song of the south".


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @boomzilla said in Copydumb:

    @polygeekery said in Copydumb:

    Who's property?

    According to the 13th Amendment, no one.

    That took me longer than it should have for me to get. Goddamn autocorrect.



  • @powerlord I think you're mistaken.

    There are a number of cases that are covered in the PDF, but several of them are on topic here. The first:

    Defendant Star contracted to carry the cartoons in its newspapers. Star changed some of the captions on Fisher’s cartoons and Fisher revoked his contract with Star. Star’s employees then drew and published cartoons, representing them as Fisher’s cartoons. The trial court enjoined Star from using Fisher’s trademark in connection with cartoons. The appellate court affirmed, stating, “[a] person who uses an unregistered name or mark can prevent others using the same so as to deceive the public into thinking that the business carried on by such persons and the goods sold by them are his.” ... The court viewed a trademark as a property right. It decided the case on the basis of unfair competition and indicated that the use of [Fisher's cartoon characters] by another “would be unfair to the public and to [Fisher].”

    ... the court also stated, the “[f]igures in [Fisher’s] cartoons, as well as the names ... acquired a meaning apart from their primary meaning, which is ... that [Fisher] originated them and that his genius pervades all that they appear to do or say.”

    Further down, it cites a case in which Saban, the owner of the rights to the Power Rangers, successfully sued other manufacturers to obtain an injunction preventing them from producing copycat merchandise, under a concept closely related to trademark known as "trade dress" ("like trademarks, a product’s trade dress is legally protected by the Lanham Act, the federal statute which regulates trademarks and trade dress."):

    The court stated that “[o]ne way to designate a product’s origin falsely is to copy its trade dress....Trade dress involves the total image of a product and may include features such as size, shape, color, or color combinations, texture, graphics, or even particular sales techniques.” ... The court applied the Second Circuit Polaroid factors in finding that 5 of the 8 factors strongly indicated likelihood of confusion. The court ruled that Saban showed a likelihood of success on its Lanham Act claim. The court also found irreparable harm and granted Saban’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

    "That's well and good," you say, "but they were deliberately impersonating the trademark holder." Yes, but even if they were not deliberately impersonating the owner, confusion might be likely, and what's more, that isn't the only issue at stake with the unauthorized use of a trademark. One more case worthy of note that it mentioned, because it highlights yet another concept: dilution of trademarks.

    Plaintiff Marc Brown created a children’s cartoon character, Arthur, the aardvark. ... “The Arthur Characters” include Arthur, his sister D.W. and Puppy Pal, their dog. Arthur and D.W. are federally registered trademarks. ... Brown wanted the Arthur Characters to remain children’s cartoons and, with rare exceptions, did not license any adult costume likenesses of Arthur. Defendant It’s Entertainment, Inc. (IEI), furnished costumes and costumed entertainment for promotional events and parties. IEI rented an Arthur costume to a toy store for one of its store openings. Brown filed suit against IEI, alleging unfair competition and copyright and trademark infringement. Brown sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin IEI from copying or using any of the Arthur trademarked characters.

    ... The court found that Brown established Arthur’s fame and that there was a clear likelihood of dilution. The court found both dilution by blurring and dilution by tarnishment, stating, “[s]hould unauthorized Arthur impersonators proliferate, espousing a multitude of causes, some potentially unwholesome, the image sought by [Brown] for Arthur will be difficult to control and might easily become blurred or tarnished, resulting in a loss of credibility, public affection, and consumer interest.”

    So basically, yes cartoon characters can be trademarked, and yes this prevents you from using them without their owner's permission.


  • :belt_onion:

    @polygeekery said in Copydumb:

    Who's property?

    I don't know who property is either, but they sound dumb.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @darkmatter There aren't spellar badges any more since we left :disco::horse: so have a :cookie:.



  • @anotherusername said in Copydumb:

    Arthur, the aardvark

    TIL that Arthur is an aardvark. I had always thought he was a mouse.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @djls45 Yeah, if he were an aardvark, shouldn't his name be Aarthur?


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @masonwheeler said in Copydumb:

    @djls45 Yeah, if he were an aardvark, shouldn't his name be Aarthur?

    Paging @Groaner


  • Dupa

    @masonwheeler said in Copydumb:

    @jaloopa said in Copydumb:

    @masonwheeler said in Copydumb:

    the copyright belongs to the person who took the photograph

    If I set up a camera on a timer so it takes a photo at a specific time, does that count as me taking the photo?

    What about if I set it up to take a photo at random times?

    What if it's attached to a motion sensor to take a photo whenever a person or animal walks in front of it?

    What if I have a remote control that takes a photo when a button is pressed, and give that remote to a monkey?

    What if I just give the camera to the monkey?

    What if I give it to a person?

    It's not exactly black and white. One end of this spectrum, most would agree, is me taking the photo and the other end is another party taking it. At what point am I not taking the photo and therefore not the copyright holder? Drawing lines somewhere in the grey area is difficult

    There's plenty of room to argue about where exactly "in the gray area" lines should be drawn. But when someone else is in control of the camera, the law is very clear. There is no "gray area" in this specific case.

    But is monkey "a someone"? Or is it more like setting the camera on a moving tripod?

    Because say what you want, but this guy had the idea and then spent time to set this whole operation up, so monitor the monkey, risk his camera getting broken and then go through the photos, etc.

    He did the work in the same sense as a person does the work when a photo is shot from a tripod, IMO.


  • Dupa

    @masonwheeler said in Copydumb:

    @asdf said in Copydumb:

    Whose property is it, in your opinion?

    Mine. And yours, and everybody's. That's what the public domain means.

    If you think your own arguments through, then nobody owns the photo.

    No, nobody exclusively owns the photo. It belongs to everyone. That includes me, and this guy is trying to steal it from me.

    Holy shit! Talking about entitled pricks…



  • @kt_ said in Copydumb:

    Because say what you want, but this guy had the idea and then spent time to set this whole operation up, so monitor the monkey, risk his camera getting broken

    Most likely, none of those things would meet the creativity threshold to make the photographs eligible for copyright. The only one that might is "set this whole operation up", but it would depend on exactly what was involved. If all he did was give the camera to a monkey in a zoo enclosure, then there was no creativity involved. If he spent significant time arranging the surroundings, then maybe.

    and then go through the photos, etc.

    The effort of selecting which photos to include in a collection would be enough to make the collection eligible for copyright, but it would still be debatable if any individual photo from the collection is eligible.

    He did the work in the same sense as a person does the work when a photo is shot from a tripod, IMO.

    Not necessarily. When the camera is on a tripod, the photographer still has to frame the photo (i.e. decide where the camera is pointed). A better comparison would be to a tripod that moves, tilts, and pans randomly, so that the "photographer" has no control at all over where the camera is pointed.


  • Dupa

    @dragnslcr said in Copydumb:

    He did the work in the same sense as a person does the work when a photo is shot from a tripod, IMO.

    Not necessarily. When the camera is on a tripod, the photographer still has to frame the photo (i.e. decide where the camera is pointed). A better comparison would be to a tripod that moves, tilts, and pans randomly, so that the "photographer" has no control at all over where the camera is pointed.

    What if you put a camera on your dog and let it run around the yard?

    Asking seriously, because to me in both cases the copyright should belong to the person who did the act of "giving" or "putting" the camera on the animal. Seems logical.



  • @kt_ said in Copydumb:

    What if you put a camera on your dog and let it run around the yard?

    Asking seriously, because to me in both cases the copyright should belong to the person who did the act of "giving" or "putting" the camera on the animal. Seems logical.

    For the purpose of eligibility for copyright, "giving" or "putting" is not itself relevant. As I've said, the major determining factors in whether or not something is eligible for copyright are 1) creative effort required to create the work, and 2) putting the work in a fixed, tangible medium.

    As an example of 1, the courts ruled that the listing of names and phone numbers in a phone book is not eligible for copyright because there is no creativity involved. Names and phones numbers are pieces of information, and arranging them alphabetically is a purely mechanical act. Since there is no creative decision being made, the listing is not eligible for copyright. Similarly, attaching a camera to an animal and programming the camera to take a photo every 3 seconds would not make the photos eligible for copyright unless you can convince a judge that there was some creative effort involved. Maybe you could argue that the exact placement of the camera requires creative effort, but I personally wouldn't bet money on it.

    As an example of 2, copyright only applies to a work that is recorded in some way in a fixed form. You can't get copyright protection on the idea of attaching a camera to an animal, only on photographs themselves.



  • @dragnslcr said in Copydumb:

    can't get copyright protection on the idea

    No silly, that's what patents are for!



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