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Copyrighted characters and commissions

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Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
Correct me if I'm wrong but it's illegal to sell/make a profit off of anything to do with a character that someone else has copyrighted unless you have permission. Like Pokemon for example.

But people make money off of pokemon, mlp, digiomon, etc. related characters all the time!

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/chibisilverwings/ (sells charms of copyrighted characters)
http://www.furaffinity.net/user/shalie/ (sells plushies of copyrighted characters)
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5234111/
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/5317640/

All it takes is a quick search for "pokemon commission" or "mlp commission" to see how many people are doing this.
Please correct me if I'm wrong but this is illegal, even if credit is given for the creator of the character because it's not like they got permission from gamefreak to produce pokemon plushies (for example).


Why is this so common? Is there anything that can be done about it?
 

Charrio

Artistic Mouse
This site doesn't enforce the law on such things, tho you would think it would considering how many artists here would FLIP OUT if their own art was stolen and used by someone else to make a profit.

I really don't see how this flies with the owners but unless they are sued or threatened they wont budge, even tho they are taking money for Ads featuring people selling stolen characters.
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
I'm really upset about this. DA doesn't let that shit fly, or at least they try to cut it down when they see it.

It's downright trashy imo.
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
Well the owner's fursona is a Stolen Digimon Idea, so i don't see them every taking a proactive move in stopping the sale of fanart.
I agree, I think nothing will happen.
Nothing at all.
 

Zenia

Well-Known Member
I think that big companies only really care when you are mass producing something for sale. Like, if you do one commission of a character for someone for $20, they don't really care. If you make 500 prints and sell them, THEN they care.
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
I think that big companies only really care when you are mass producing something for sale. Like, if you do one commission of a character for someone for $20, they don't really care. If you make 500 prints and sell them, THEN they care.
Actually it depends on the company, the designer behind TokiDoki is very protective of his characters. Besides, it's not a matter of whether or not a company cares that makes it legal or illegal. It's still illegal even if they don't think it's worth their time to take it to court. It shows poor class on FA's side that they do nothing to combat it.
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
Actually it depends on the company, the designer behind TokiDoki is very protective of his characters. Besides, it's not a matter of whether or not a company cares that makes it legal or illegal. It's still illegal even if they don't think it's worth their time to take it to court. It shows poor class on FA's side that they do nothing to combat it.
tis actually hard for FA to do this over DA over a site that is often incompetent over a site thats actually have a dedicated team who is competent.
still its down to the company that owns the character to do something really, they are very happy to appear on someone who is making a mass profit and claiming its theirs over someone who is doing small and still crediting it to them.
 

BRN

WTB Forum Mod Powers
Taking Pokemon as an example, the copyright claims that all of these are neccessary before a copyright claim is considered.
•A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; •Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works; •Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity, and that is to be removed, or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit Pokémon to locate the material; •Information reasonably sufficient to permit Pokémon to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an e-mail address where the complaining party may be contacted; •A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and,•A statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. [17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3)(A)].
Essentially it's saying that in legal terms, The Pokemon Company needs a) the person breaching the copyright to infringe the signature of someone who has an exclusive right, b) to very obviously be breaching the faith of The Pokemon Company, and c) the party who is complaining to be acting on behalf of the party who has the exclusive right. Or even more simply, if you make damn sure to claim that The Pokemon Company own the copyrights, and keep to common sense, The Pokemon Company don't really care. [ED: Also what the fuck why are there no line breaks in this post]
 

Rakuen Growlithe

Banned
Banned
Most companies don't want to go after fans because those are the people they want to like their stuff in the first place. Also in the case of commissions you can make a defence using the difference between making art of copyrighted characters to sell and selling art which is commissioned to be of a copyrighted character. One is buying a copyrighted character and the other is buying a person's skills.
 

Pinkuh

Member
First things first.

Characters can not be copyright.

They can however be trademarked.

Case in point is Pikachu, who is a registered Trademark. In order to be able to register something as a trademark you have to prove that it represents a brand. In this case Pikachu is a licenced representation Pokemon... who's image is also a trademark of Nintendo.

Now that being said the only way to violate a trademark is to use a trademarked representation to advertise something under false pretenses. Aka saying that Pikachu/Pokemon/Nintendo endorses you and/or your product as official... when in fact it is not.

Copyright applies only to individual works. You can copyright a film, a musical, a play, a picture. But you can not "Copyright" anything within it. A copyright ONLY applies to the work itself, not the nuances. You can not copyright characters.

Past that, there is another wonderful little piece of actual law that folks can use to get around any trademark violations and that is the "Fair use" law.

Specifically Fair use encompasses worked based off of copyright and trademarked Material. (see MAD magazine)

that being said, if someone Commissions someone for a character that already exists, they are legally able to do it, becuase they are not charging FOR the character, they are charging for the work they put into the piece.

And as a Bonus... the artist that creates the work, can get a copyright on it. Even if it has original characters in it (see mad magazine), as long as they don't have a contract stating the rights belong to someone else.

It's a tricky road... but honestly, anyone who does commissions are able to do so of trademarked characters.

The only way to violate a copyright is to mass produce and sell someone else's Image/movie/play/ect.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
http://www.conceptart.org/copyright This is a Powerpoint Presentation, and compiled by lawyers in the business.

A lot of conventions "turn a blind eye" to selling commissions of copyright characters. They ask you do not mention the name in the pieces and there is a limit at anime/comic conventions at the amount of prints. But you see fan art selling all the time.
 

jcfynx

Banned
Banned
I recall Nintendo of America sending a Cease and Desist order to popular sexy children's character website Alt.Games.Nintendo.Pokemon.Hentai (not safe for work) for reasons I should not have to explain.

I assume it is possible for this to happen with FurAffinity, as well.

Contrary to popular belief, many major entertainment companies do care about large collections of images of their properties being used in this way, and not necessarily because of money involved. It has an effect on the perception of their brand. I just did a Google image search for "tails sonic" and there's a big fat dick right there, even with the Safesearch feature turned on.

A website like FurAffinity is particularly vulnerable in the size and scale of its operation. Nintendo may ignore a single person, but less likely a site with hundreds of thousands of illicit images.
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
Pretty much everything has been said already, if nintendo or such finds out Fa exists then we're screwed cause of how many people sell commissions of trademarked characters.
 

BRN

WTB Forum Mod Powers
Pretty much everything has been said already, if nintendo or such finds out Fa exists then we're screwed cause of how many people sell commissions of trademarked characters.

what

the exact opposite has been said, repeatedly
 

Armaetus

Nazis, Communists and Antifa don't belong on FA
I'm pretty sure this crap goes on over at Sofurry and Inkbunny as well.
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
I recall Nintendo of America sending a Cease and Desist order to popular sexy children's character website Alt.Games.Nintendo.Pokemon.Hentai (not safe for work) for reasons I should not have to explain.

I assume it is possible for this to happen with FurAffinity, as well.

Contrary to popular belief, many major entertainment companies do care about large collections of images of their properties being used in this way, and not necessarily because of money involved. It has an effect on the perception of their brand. I just did a Google image search for "tails sonic" and there's a big fat dick right there, even with the Safesearch feature turned on.

A website like FurAffinity is particularly vulnerable in the size and scale of its operation. Nintendo may ignore a single person, but less likely a site with hundreds of thousands of illicit images.
you forgot one thing
thats nintendo
you know the very same folks who tell folks who want to do movies on their characters to "FUCK OFF"
But no, Nintendo really dont have that much of a problem as long you dont claim it was sponsored by nintendo or claim to own the char.
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
Any decent artist, I think, would not take commissions for the use of intellectual property without proper consent.
According to international laws, you /can/ copyright a character.

And it's not only major companies. What about Adventure Time? The artist/writer of that show started it as an online short and I would think he would be upset that people are profiting from his hard work and ideas without asking him about it. What about the way these characters are being portrayed too? As it's been mentioned it's not only a matter of profit but also of distorting the image of a character.

The way I see it it this: at the root of it, this is plagiarism. The fact that FA does not even pretend to disallow it is a very poor and unprofessional choice, but not surprising in the least.

I'm personally pissed about this, and more so that I didn't notice it sooner. I first noticed when I saw an ad for someone taking all kinds of commssions (chibi, speedpaint, porn, MLP????) and thought to myself, "Wait wait, My Little Pony commissions? Isn't that illegal." It only take a minute or two to go from there to realizing that there's a lot of the fandom participating in and endorsing plagiarism.

You know what I'm gonna do, since it seems FA's not gonna do shit (oh wow!), I'm gonna get a huge list of submissions that flatly say they are commissions of copyright material and a list of users who's pages flatly say that they accept such commissions and send these links in multiple emails to multiple addresses from each company involved. Let's let them decide.

Yeah, I'm gonna be a bitch and take it that far because furries cross all sorts of lines when it comes to being shitty artists, but this is a new low.
 

Charrio

Artistic Mouse
Any decent artist, I think, would not take commissions for the use of intellectual property without proper consent.
According to international laws, you /can/ copyright a character.

And it's not only major companies. What about Adventure Time? The artist/writer of that show started it as an online short and I would think he would be upset that people are profiting from his hard work and ideas without asking him about it. What about the way these characters are being portrayed too? As it's been mentioned it's not only a matter of profit but also of distorting the image of a character.

The way I see it it this: at the root of it, this is plagiarism. The fact that FA does not even pretend to disallow it is a very poor and unprofessional choice, but not surprising in the least.

I'm personally pissed about this, and more so that I didn't notice it sooner. I first noticed when I saw an ad for someone taking all kinds of commssions (chibi, speedpaint, porn, MLP????) and thought to myself, "Wait wait, My Little Pony commissions? Isn't that illegal." It only take a minute or two to go from there to realizing that there's a lot of the fandom participating in and endorsing plagiarism.

You know what I'm gonna do, since it seems FA's not gonna do shit (oh wow!), I'm gonna get a huge list of submissions that flatly say they are commissions of copyright material and a list of users who's pages flatly say that they accept such commissions and send these links in multiple emails to multiple addresses from each company involved. Let's let them decide.

Yeah, I'm gonna be a bitch and take it that far because furries cross all sorts of lines when it comes to being shitty artists, but this is a new low.

Don't forget Inkbunny and SoFurry too, I would think companies would love seeing their Underage Characters being sexually violated in images for cash, don[t just hit one hit them all
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
I don't have the time to compile lists from those sites as well, I'm already taking my own personal time to invest in this.
But I will explain the situation and link them to those sites, thanks for the suggestion.


Quick question for anyone here: What cartoons/characters do you see commissions of most often. Here's the one's I'm gonna start with, but the smaller the company, the more receptive I think they'll be.


Adventure Time
Pokemon
Digimon
MLP
Anime/Manga Characters (these don't really count since most mangaka give open permission to use their character in fanart/doushinji, like InuYasha)

And I can't think of anymore off the top of my head right now.
 

Charrio

Artistic Mouse
I don't have the time to compile lists from those sites as well, I'm already taking my own personal time to invest in this.
But I will explain the situation and link them to those sites, thanks for the suggestion.


Quick question for anyone here: What cartoons/characters do you see commissions of most often. Here's the one's I'm gonna start with, but the smaller the company, the more receptive I think they'll be.


Adventure Time
Pokemon
Digimon
MLP
Anime/Manga Characters (these don't really count since most mangaka give open permission to use their character in fanart/doushinji, like InuYasha)

And I can't think of anymore off the top of my head right now.

Minerva Mink, Krystal, Brandy and Mr Whiskers, Robin hood, Pretty much any Disney and Warner cartoons lol
 

Kaluna

*squeak squeak squeak*
Minerva Mink, Krystal, Brandy and Mr Whiskers, Robin hood, Pretty much any Disney and Warner cartoons lol
Good good, thanks! I can't believe I forgot Disney lol
I've already gone and sent a list to the artist behind Adventure Time/Regular Show
I'll notify his producers too when I have more time.
 

Verin Asper

The Smart Idiot
good luck, I wish to see the outcome of all this. I wish to see if my believed outcome holds true or I should keep on researching.
 

dinosaurdammit

White Devil
What's your deal with going after people. You have been told like 3 times its not money for the character but for the work.

Companies like FAN ART even if people commission for it because it is free advertisement. Also pokemon people arn't going to sell individual artwork.
 

Fay V

Lost to this world
I'm curious. Are you counting OC my little ponies? As in, people use the style, or just draw a horse and stick a picture on its butt.
The reason I ask this is because you seemed pissed that neer stole a digimon idea, but I was unaware that it was an original digimon, just something with the same concept...which would be impossible to deal with...
 
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