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Copyright issues.

This is really weird, because I've had TWO people in this week contact me wanting me to make something that would get me into copyright trouble, and both of them decided that just changing the color would make everything okay.

I figured I ought to put up a little warning about them. Not that I really think any of you need it, as none of you would do a copyrighted design, but... just to let know that these furs are unethical enough to not care that they're stealing somebody else's character, so you might not want to do business with them.

First I was contacted by a guy whose name I don't know, he never gave it, but whose aol username and email is rc321. He wanted me to make him a dragon fursuit, and he INSISTED that it needed to look exactly like the red and white dragon made recently by LatinVixen. I tried repeatedly to explain to him that I couldn't do this. That it was both illegal and impossible. (I'm not skilled enough to copy something that exactly!) He kept telling me that it was fine, legally and ethically speaking, because his dragon was a different color. At one point he offered to pay an extra $1,000 on top of my $1,000 charge for a full suit if I would just agree to copy the LatinVixen design. I eventually gave him something of an ultimatum, a original design by me or nothing, and he said okay, that's fine, he'd get the original design for the lower price, but then he stopped responding, and I haven't heard from him since.

Then, just today, I was contacted by a Kent, who goes by mac4Kent, and who wanted a Lola Bunny (the WB character,) plush. He actually asked this question on my fursuit forum first, asking if anybody would do this for him, and I told him that nobody would, because they'd be in legal trouble if they did. Then he e-mailed me personally and asked if I would! I told him, yet again, that I do not make copyrighted characters, and her mailed me back saying that it was okay, he was going to make her a different color! Needless to say I told him that this wasn't cool, and that I couldn't help him.

So if either of these two contact you folks, you're now forewarned.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:11 am (UTC)
if he's willing to pay $2000 for a knockoff of a LatinVixen design... why not just buy one straight from LatinVixen? sheesh. And Lola plushies can't possibly be THAT hard to find, can they? why spend extra for a custom when you can just get an official one for less?

People, they make no sense sometimes.
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)
Well... I have a sneaking suspicion on the Lola one, because he also mentioned that the one I pointed out online wasn't suitable because it was too small, and he wanted one closer to life sized.
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
I guess that makes that particular case a little different... but still, that kind of question was stupid after you'd already said you wouldn't make one!

I get similar things at animelyrics.com. Someone posts lyrics on the forum, I tell them they need to fill out the proper submission forms if they want me to put them on the site, they email me instead. or they ask on the forum for someone to translate something, we tell them we don't do that on the forum, they need to fill out a request form, they email me instead. *facepalm*
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, people are pretty bad at reading directions...
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:13 am (UTC)
Oi ...
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
Are we talking about this really outstanding red and white dragon costume perchance: http://images.fbrtech.com/AC2K6Wild/IMG_6287

If so, its originality deserves to be respected.
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
Yes, that exact one. And while I certainly would be happy to take a bit of inspiration from it, I wouldn't dream of trying to actually copy it!
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:33 am (UTC)
That BTW is a piccie from Anthrocon taken earlier today by Tugrik.
Jun. 21st, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)

that's radjin!

and i know someone has made their own version of the design before, because i saw another one that was identical to Radjin, only with orange hair, named Ditto.

i made con badges for them both at AC!
Jun. 22nd, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they're both in this Anthrocon 2006 video, about 3/5ths of the way through or a little less.
Jun. 16th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
Hey, I know the guy who wore that. :D He was at a local furmeet with that on - we all went out to a bowling alley and it was hilarious to see kids swarm him. :)
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)
The first guy could ask the artist if she could make another dragon, and if she's booked or too busy, ask written permission to have another artist try to make the same thing. The second guy.... can't he just buy a Lola Plush?
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:54 am (UTC)
This is true. I think what bothered me on the first guy is that I told him it was unethical for me to do this, and that he should contact LatinVixen, and he instead offered me more money to do it.
Jun. 16th, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
This may sound like me being bitchy, but is it really necessary to warn others that people ask for copyright-violating orders?

I mean, look at it this way: You said yourself, most people here have enough sense to turn the order down upon receiving it. You certainly didn't need to be warned about them in advance to not get taken in. Now, assuming blatant bad orders will get turned down anyway, the only real effect posting a public warning accomplishes is if you want to somehow punish them by having them shunned entirely.
Jun. 16th, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)

Some people lack the sense, or are still developing it. And this helps to reinforce that and speed the learning process.
Jun. 16th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)
Can't assume everyone knows, is the thing. *Most* of us probably do -- but if even one person doesn't, and it stands to reason that *someone* must not, then it behooves us to do something about it. And since we don't know who the people in need of the lesson are, you put the lesson where many people can see it. I agree it seems like common sense, but, forgive me the cliche, 'common' sense is anything but.

Since there are always more people watching than you think there are, in short, it makes sense to cover your bases, just in case.
Jun. 16th, 2006 10:47 am (UTC)
IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), but can characters be copyrighted at all? I used to be under the impression that they can only be trademarked - so a Lola Bunny plush would most likely be a no-no, but a fursuit resembling another, existing fursuit should not be a problem, as long as the character it's based on is not trademarked (which I assume it won't be in this case).

Or am I wrong? I'm not entirely sure anymore.
Jun. 16th, 2006 11:17 am (UTC)
You are correct! However again from the polite and ethical standpoint that would be a no-no.
Jun. 16th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
Depends, I'd say. :) If it's a random suit (e.g., if Latinvixen's suit was a generic red and white dragon, as opposed to someone's character), then I'd say it'd not be impolite or unethical; if it *was* a certain character, then I agree it would not be acceptable to make an exact copy, even though it would be legal.

But of course, even that pretty much hinges on the fact that the suit would actually (be supposed to) look just like the one Latinvixen made - if it was a different colour, for example, it all becomes wholly unclear to me. Some characters might still be recognisable enough to make it a no-no (a green Mickey Mouse, for example, would still be Mickey Mouse), but many furry characters don't really set themselves apart (visually speaking) from generic members of a certain species.

Ah well. :)
Jun. 16th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
This suit was based on the character Radjin. Therefore copying it would be ripping off the character's creator.
Jun. 16th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
PS: as it would be a copy of a pre-existing artwork however(the fursuit) that MIGHT be copyright infringement, as the character itself cannot be copyprotected, but artwork automatically is © to the artist.
Jun. 16th, 2006 11:36 am (UTC)
Quite correct. Characters (like poses) can’t be copyrighted, but any design can be - Any rendition of anything is copyrighted to its creator - This includes design plans for dolls, toys and fursuits.
Reproducing such a thing is copyright infringement, and merely changing the colours would unlikely be considered enough of an alteration/addition for the work to be titled original.

You were legally and ethically quite right to turn this person away.
Jun. 17th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Characters can't be copyrighted, but they can be trademarked. I'm sure Lola Bunny is a trademark character, so you could be sued for creating a representation of her. As said below, most companies overlook things like fanart, but selling a plush has potential trouble.
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
I've seen furries running around in fursuits of WB characters before. Is it only illegal if you make the suit and sell it to them?
Jun. 16th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Fursuits of WB characters are made by companies with a license to make those suits. The person who buys a legally made suit can't be sued for portraying the character, since it was made and bought perfectly above-board.

It's probably safe to say that Bladespark does NOT have the required licenses and permissions to make a Lola Bunny suit or plush, however. For her to do so without them would be a bad idea.

I'm not sure what the legalities are if you make the suit yourself for your own use, never selling it or hiring out for appearances. I've heard the term "fair use" thrown around in regards to that, but frankly I wouldn't risk it.
Aug. 18th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
bladespark can legally make (not mass produce) a Lola suit or plush as long as she is NOT selling it or making any money from it at all.
Jun. 16th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
Technically, ALL fanart is illegal, whether or not you make money off of it, it's just that the companies will usually turn a blind eye unless you start profiting.
With Paramount as an exception- they decided to be jerks and force everybody to take down the most popular Star Trek fanfic sites, despite the fact the fans weren't making money off of it.
Jun. 16th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
This attitude toward copyright infringement reminds me of someone who said, when wanting to see one of my pictures without the 'sample watermark' on it that it didn't matter as "It's only art."

It took most of my self control not to hit him with a tirade of abuse and justifiable anger.

I'm sure if people want the artwork free that badly they can just remove the watermark what with technology being how it is these days... but it still irks me that people think they have this inalienable right as a fur to get artwork for free from the internet without considering the time, effort and imagination of the creator.

*rant mode off*
Jun. 19th, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
i'm happy that you stayed ethical

there are good people in the world ^^
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


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