July 4th, 2015

Data with Sherlock Pipe

Advice Needed: Copyright/ IP question in regards to an animated short

Summary: Given the circumstances I'll outline below, would it be legal to finish an animated film started for a class. And, assuming it's legal, is it in good taste?


In 2008 I took an intro to Animation class at a local community college.  One of the assignments was to write a 1-2 minute animated short. These shorts would be pitched to the class and then voted on. The winning short would be animated by the class. The short that I wrote was the winner, and since I wrote it I was asked to direct it as well. For the rest of the class, students, and myself,  were working toward completing the short.  However, the short was never completed (as people dropped the class or just didn't do their assignments) and basically all work on it stopped at the end of the class.

Fast forward to now, and the only bits that I have are my original pitch, and the storyboards (some drawn by me, many by other students), and my original character designs.  I would like to revisit the short and complete it, making new original storyboards for it, and updating my own character designs.

Do I have the legal right to do this? Also, assuming I have the legal right, would it be in poor taste at all to do this?