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  • AmyG
    replied
    Just a quick interjection from someone who does have professional, career experience in the field of copyright (a/k/a ME!):

    First off, sorry I didn't see this thread sooner. I would have been happy to weigh in on this.

    Next: everything Joe DeM. said is correct. A copyright owner does indeed have the _right_ to pursue any infringements of their works (and a commercial is indeed a piece of intellectual property, subject to protection under US - and any other applicable - copyright law), but they do not waive their rights to their property if they choose _not_ to pursue every single infringement.

    And, I also wanted to add one other thing. Regarding the quote: "If you post a commercial showing Delen talking to G'Kar, you owe Money to Mira Furlan & Andreas Katsulas for using their images," this is not necessarily correct. In fact, it's probably _incorrect_. Mira and Andreas don't get royalties for advertisements. Appearance in promotional adverts for the property is most likely a requirement of their contracts for the show itself, and most likely with a _specific_ waiver of royalties for airings _of the adverts_. The entity to whom a license fee is owed is the copyright owner - Warner Bros. - and the amount and nature of that fee is up to WB's sole discretion. They might choose to grant a gratis license, charge a huge fee, or deny permission for the use entirely. But you wouldn't contact the actors regarding such a use. If any compensation _was_ due them for their appearance in promotional advertisements, that would be between them and the studio holding their contracts.

    Cheers,

    Aisling

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  • Milkman
    replied
    Originally posted by jal
    ISN is alive and well, thank you very much.


    p.s. welcome to the froum Milkman.



    Haha.. well then... um... well.. i know someplace was getting shut down... or at least had a cease and desist letter posted oh so long ago... maybe that was your site... i really don't know... They had all the crappy (awsome at the time) quicktime previews as well as neat clips of the meaty parts of the episode.

    But since i have no proof.. and therefore will exit this conversation.

    OH. .and thanks. Been a while since i have been an active member of the b5 community. Im glad i found this site since i don't frequent newsgroups anymore.

    Edit: Found it...
    http://web.archive.org/web/199812030...snnetwork.com/

    Thats the site i was thinking of.... unfortunately the link to the letter is no more.
    Last edited by Milkman; 07-27-2004, 03:54 PM.

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Did you mean the TNT website? Which closed when Babylon 5 went to Sci-Fi.

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  • jal
    replied
    I think it was called ISN
    ISN is alive and well, thank you very much.


    p.s. welcome to the froum Milkman.
    Last edited by jal; 07-23-2004, 06:45 PM.

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  • Milkman
    replied
    Quick comment.. there was a website that had the commercials on their website as well as various clips from B5 during the first and second season. I think it was called ISN... but not sure.

    I remember them getting shut down by WB for copyright reasons. I would assume anyone else doing so would get shut down also?

    Leave a comment:


  • bakana
    replied
    I'd also expect that the Barn Painting thing is often about comapnies or products that either no longer exist or get regarded as "free advertising" by the companies involved.

    Certainly at one time, though, the Farmers WERE paid to put those ads on the side of their barns.

    I understand there are also a few farmers still "maintaining" the Burma Shave sign sequences on the side of their fields. Mostly out of nostalgia.

    Leave a comment:


  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by grumbler
    Don't be. It is the kind of question I find interesting. I note that the lawyers have remained silent, while the amateurs have delivered decisive opinions on the law.

    I am in another forum with some pretty smart lawyers, and have put it to them. I don't have a stance of my own, because this isn't an area of the law I know much about, but I find it an interesting question. Around here, barn ads are used as decoration, and I am pretty sure that some of them have been repainted since the original ads expired. I'd be curious to know if this was violation of copyright.
    Okay, this is what the two guys who claimed some copyright experience said: commercials are not in the public domain. They are copyrighted just like everything else in the show "because copyrights are based not merely on the content but the arrangement of content as well." A web site could get away with presenting portions of the commericals as the objects of criticism, but would get into very murky waters if they presented them in their entirety and THEN commented, as they would be using the entire substance as it was originally created. The murkiness lies in the short length of the comericals and whether it could be argued that they were not long enough to meaningfully extract from them.

    My barn painting analogy didn't compare, as that is apparently trademark versus copyright territory.

    Both of them said it was a damned interesting question, though.

    Leave a comment:


  • bakana
    replied
    Oh, here's another part of the mess as far as the Blooper Reels go. From JMS

    You're still not getting it.

    You pay $30 bucks for a copy of the bloopers. To whom does that go? Does it
    go to the actors, whose images you are looking at, who worked day and night to
    create both the drama and the errors? No, it goes to a pirate.

    Profit IS being made. And that profit by all rights belongs to the people who
    worked hard to make it, not to the vultures out there who prey on both the
    shows and the fans alike.

    These people profit off something they never made, that they have no legal
    right to, that they illegally obtained. That you do not have a problem with
    that is profoundly astounding and disturbing.
    jms

    ([email protected])
    (all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
    permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
    and don't send me story ideas)
    >
    >And who gets residuals? Producers? Writers? Star actors? Guest stars? Any of
    >the production staff?

    Residuals are not a part of ownership or copyright; they are deferred
    compensation, if the film or tv series does well, they benefit, if not, they
    lose. Everyone on your list gets residuals except production staff.

    jms

    >Now, I know you've previously stated that these bloopers would be
    >problematic to release, as it included "material not originally intended
    >for broadcast". Now, seeing as some of the bloopers are on the DVD, what are
    >the odds of ALL of them being released? I know *I* would pay good money for
    >a chance to see them all

    Thing is, and this is an important factor, they're not being released for sale
    per se, they're included as an added benefit. To release them on their own
    would mean selling them as a separate unit, and that would be problematic in
    terms of working out royalties and residuals. Which is why you generally don't
    see a lot of it on other shows absent some kind of prior arrangement or
    understanding.

    jms

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  • bakana
    replied
    Parody or satire is not a 100% defense against copyright or trademark actions - which is precisely why the targets of such things are often disguised, renamed or otherwise altered. A T-shirt reading "Mickey vs. Godzilla" might pass muster even at Disney World if the "Mickey" character didn't too closely resemble the classic image of the "real" Mickey.
    The T-Shirt in question depicted Godzilla breathing flames over a cityscape. In the forground is a sillhouette of Mickey, blackened and crispy. Steam rising from the body.

    Definitely NOT anything that Disney artists would ever be Allowed to draw. (Or be permitted to release if they Did. )

    What happened, according to the person who wore the T-Shirt to Disney World, was that a few minutes after walking through the gate, their party was approached by the Moustappo (Disney Security) and informed that the Disney Corporation would NOT permit that shirt to be worn on their property. They were escorted to an office where they were asked where they got the shirt and who from. Then, they were presented with a choice: Either exchange the shirt for an "Official" Disney shirt or Leave the park with No Refunds for their tickets. They swapped the shirt.

    A bit of background: It was a Convention T-Shirt for a con held in Orlando. The Artist Guest of Honor, Bob Eggleton, is a Godzilla fan and likes to draw Godzilla for fun. When he was told that he could draw anything he wanted to for the Con T-Shirt, he couldn't resist.

    And the rest is, as they say, History.

    So, no, the Art was legitimate Parody. But Disney's lawyers Always send out Cease & Desist letters. I suspect they print several dozen a day.

    I know they are in the top 5 lawsuit Targets in the US. Not quite as many as Wal Mart, but a strong contender. So they tend to be proactive at times. Besides, they find REAL Copyright violations at least once a Week in various tourist T-Shirt shops all over the state of Florida. Usually when the shirt falls apart in the wash and the angry tourists write Disney demanding a replacement or refund.


    The C&D letter didn't have much effect. Cons, as a rule, don't reprint T-Shirts. We certainly never did. Each year a New artist GOH gets a shot at fame & litigation...


    Last edited by bakana; 07-22-2004, 06:07 PM.

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  • grumbler
    replied
    Originally posted by shakiroz
    I'm sorry I strated all of this
    Don't be. It is the kind of question I find interesting. I note that the lawyers have remained silent, while the amateurs have delivered decisive opinions on the law.

    I am in another forum with some pretty smart lawyers, and have put it to them. I don't have a stance of my own, because this isn't an area of the law I know much about, but I find it an interesting question. Around here, barn ads are used as decoration, and I am pretty sure that some of them have been repainted since the original ads expired. I'd be curious to know if this was violation of copyright.

    Leave a comment:


  • shakiroz
    replied
    I'm sorry I strated all of this Anyways, I hope they will be included on future DVd releases...

    The ads I was speaking of were not for episodes but to promote the 5th season on TNT.

    The ones with GÆkar and Ivanova had them speak directly to the cameraà

    In GÆkarÆs ad, his lines were: "For freedom, for freedom! For peace! And to guard against those who would see such liberties stolen from my people. That my purpose on Babylon 5."

    And IvanovaÆs lines were: "Babylon 5 was supposed to save our future, but it starts trouble than it stops. It's a time bomb. Private little wars break out everyday. It's my job to start them. it I don't those wars won't be little for long."

    The best Babylon 5 commercial ever is a one minute ad which described the show perfectly with a motion picture quality voiceover...

    " 2 million tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night. A world where empires rise and fall, where dreams are born and die, where war and hatred are challenged by love and faith.

    In the third age of manking, an age plagued by an evil empire that seaks to destroy humanity, it is our last best hope for peace, for victory, for freedom. It is Babylon 5."

    Leave a comment:


  • colonyearth
    replied
    Originally posted by Andrew_Swallow
    Siezure without a Court Order!!! Risky.
    OK...just so the masses in the know can speak. Bakana was right and JDM is right. Anyone using those spots on their sight would most likely be stopped ASAP, unless they had a written contract to allow their use.

    CE

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  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
    Either way material that violates copyright is subject to siezure. So Disney would have been within its rights to demand that the person wearing the t-shirt surrender it if it used a clearly-identifiable image of one of its copyrighted and/or trademarked characters. No "theft" involved.
    Siezure without a Court Order!!! Risky.

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    1) Trademarks have to be defended or be subject to forfeit. Copyrights do not - but the rights holder certainly can put a stop to any unauthorized use of its material except in the very narrow confines of copyright law. (Brief excerpts in reviews, academic work, etc.) This applies as much in cases where the proper copyright notices are displayed as in cases where they aren't.

    The Lurker's Guide is left alone not simply because it displays the copyright and trademark notices but because WB allows it to use the images.

    TNT owns the copyright to the promos that it created for its broadcast of the reruns and the new fifth season episodes, because they "created" the original content used in them, even though WB owns the rights to the underlying material. So even WB could not use them without TNT's approval, and no one else could use them without the permission of both.

    The downloads TNT permitted for private use would not include the right of "public performance" - which posting to the internet could arguably be considered.

    2) Copyright violations can be criminal violations as well as civil torts, which is why there is an FBI warning at the beginning of every DVD sold in the U.S. and why people are serving prison time for video and music piracy.

    Either way material that violates copyright is subject to siezure. So Disney would have been within its rights to demand that the person wearing the t-shirt surrender it if it used a clearly-identifiable image of one of its copyrighted and/or trademarked characters. No "theft" involved. Parody or satire is not a 100% defense against copyright or trademark actions - which is precisely why the targets of such things are often disguised, renamed or otherwise altered. A T-shirt reading "Mickey vs. Godzilla" might pass muster even at Disney World if the "Mickey" character didn't too closely resemble the clalssic image of the "real" Mickey.

    3) I think it is a reasonable assumption that Warner Bros. and/or TNT would take action against any site that offered the promos that they became aware of, at least any that did so without getting their prior consent, so the "'absolute statement" is hardly some kind of cosmic offense. WB
    has certainly shut sites down that went too far in its eyes once such sites were called to their attention.

    Regards,

    Joe

    Leave a comment:


  • Andrew_Swallow
    replied
    Originally posted by bakana
    {snip}I'm sorta familiar with the concept of the "Cease & Desist" letter. A club I was in a few years ago did a T-Shirt with a Mickey Mouse vs Godzilla parody on it. We referred to it as the "Crispy Mickey" shirt. (In fact I've still got my two.) We got the C&D Letter just a couple weeks later. Along with the info that the Moustappo had confiscated the shirt from the guy who was foolish enough to wear it to Disney World.

    This was in spite of the fact that Disney's lawyers know quite well that Parody is always legal. They still send the letter threatening to sue you for your First Born Child.
    It is not an offence to wear a tee shirt and copyright is basically a civil matter. So it sounds like the Disney Corporation committed theft of a tee shirt and possibly assault (depending on how they got him to remove it).

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