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Chiptune Commission

Hello everyone,

I opened up for commissions for chiptunes (old-school video game-style songs) and one of my watchers sent me $20 to do a cover of the "Adventure Time" theme song. Is this even legal, considering I'll probably post it on FA? If not, I should probably refund the money.

I took a request for a public-domain hymn a few years ago, but this is entirely different.

Thanks for any advice.

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
funkicarus
May. 13th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
i've got no experience in music comissions, so this may be horrid advice, but i'd personally request they get permission from the writers of the original tune before taking it. it shouldn't fall to you to acquire the legal go-ahead. and it also shouldn't be too difficult to do, since the adventure time creative team seems to very much enjoy being in touch with their fanbase.

in all likelyhood the song writers will say yes and it will be fine, but requesting they get the permission first seems like a good way to cover your bases.
celestinaketzia
May. 13th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
From the brief research I did, it seems that the copyright holders to the music do need to be notified if you plan on doing a cover for money.
kjorteo
May. 13th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
You should probably have a "please okay the idea with me first and don't just randomly send me money before you ask" clause in your TOS specifically for situations like this.
ianthegecko
May. 13th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Well, I've never had a TOS so I guess I should put one together. ^^;
fatkraken
May. 13th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
About as illegal as doing Fanart for money. Take that as you will
marus_puppy
May. 14th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
That was sort of my thought.
radcatastrophe
May. 13th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah you should ask for permission, I had a little dispute with thee creator of Homestuck (his lawyers) about creating 3D models of the horns the trolls have - was a matter of opinion to me since I wasn't recreating the characters only the horn designs...

Anyways.. You should ask first, wait for an ok or just refund them and make a TOS like you said you would, until then have them ok ideas with you before payment.
spartanwerewolf
May. 16th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
Um. I was unaware that one could copyright horns, even of they are part of a character. If that's the case, I think the universe has dibs.
shukivengeance
May. 16th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
The homestuck trolls' horns are actually really distinctive and that's probably what makes it different.
radcatastrophe
May. 16th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Not really, I can even tell animals with the same horns as the Trolls.

Aradia Megido: Ram/Sheep
Tavros Nitram: Bull
Sollux Captor: Dinosaur (there's a few double horned ones)
Gamzee Makara: Gazelle

The only "original" horns are Kanaya Maryam, Vriska Serket, Equius Zahhak, and Eridan Ampora. But you cannot copyright a design, that's a whole 'nother legal matter within itself. Besides, whose the say he was the first to come up with the horn types? For all we know someone made them before him, which would mean his whole webcomic is infringing someones copyright.
shukivengeance
May. 16th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm no copyright lawyer but I'd say the combination of shapes combined with the candy corn striped colouration makes it obvious what they are and what it's referencing. Not saying I agree with Hussie being so lawyer-happy, but the horn design does stand out.

Whether he stole the design somehow is a hypothetical issue that cant be assumed to be true without proof.
radcatastrophe
May. 16th, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
They do stand out but anyone can throw on a candy decoration of some horns like that. If he really didn't want people recreating the horns he'd have a patent on the designs. But I don't blame him for his lawyers actions, I don't think they even confronted him with my question, he's allowed a lot of people to sell and recreate the characters in fan art so I don't know his actual take on the horn designs personally.
shukivengeance
May. 16th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
But the design of a set of horns doesn't meet the requirements for a patent so that makes no sense. http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/requirements.html
and really your "anyone could do that" argument could apply to any design ever. Pacman is a copyrighted character with a distinctive design and he's just a yellow circle with a piece cut out.

Anyway I just noticed this is very off topic so this will be my last response on the matter.

Edited at 2012-05-16 07:23 pm (UTC)
radcatastrophe
May. 16th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean just a regular patent, I meant a design patent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_patent) which Namco could have for their Pacman design, the character (all charcters) are given copyrights by default, the design of a character needs to have a patent to ensure no one uses it without permission and if they do they have to deal with a fine or legal dispute.

My last response on this as well

Edited at 2012-05-16 07:35 pm (UTC)
sigilgoat
May. 16th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
There's no such thing as "patent" on designs, but yes, his designs are very easily recognizable.

Also if someone were selling them as a set of "Homestuck Troll Horns"...it's pretty freaking obvious.

I don't blame him for wanting to keep his Intellectual Property in his own control, especially since he does sell merch.
radcatastrophe
May. 16th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
sigilgoat
May. 16th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
He's a visual artist, not a physical artist. You're not making sense?

There's no reason for me to have a design patent for my character designs as they are 2-D
spartanwerewolf
May. 16th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
I looked them up; they're pretty much different variations and colours of Standard Goblin-y Creature Horns. I didn't find them particularly distinctive.

Not trying to sound dismissive, just pointing out what I see.
snobahr
May. 14th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
This userpic is for the music humour, not telling anyone to actually STFU.
ASCAP has a basic overview.
mikaufoxy
May. 15th, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
Refund them.
ianthegecko
Jul. 9th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
I finally finished working on this thing, and I got a hold of the composer.



I also emailed Fred but haven't heard anything back, so I think I'm OK.

BTW, here's the finished piece: http://sfw.furaffinity.net/view/8371574/
sigilgoat
Jul. 9th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Aw that's great they got back to you!
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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