Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Copyright Infringement?

Hmm. This is interesting! I am making a brochure for UMG Productions, and I showed it to my mom and sis. They liked it, but my mom said that one thing that bothered her is that I used this picture in my brochure:

That's a picture of Caroline, the lemur, looking up at images of the Marx Brothers, which was drawn by me. I put it on the title page of the story Caroline Falls In Love. It's meant to demonstrate in part what the story is about. Now, those are my drawings. They're not drawings I copied from someone else's work, they are specifically MY drawings. It's called a caricature. That's where you make a drawing of someone (usually a celebrity or politician) and accentuate the characteristics that makes them unique. Caricatures are protected under the US Parody Act, or US Fair Use Act. The same thing with my INXS Goes to Mount St. Helens story. The whole story is burlesque, and I did drawings of all the guys and had them interact with the animals in the story. It's not a story that is meant to be taken seriously. It's a parody of the guys. So is the story Jon's Nightmare, which is centered around Jon Farriss and is indeed a parody.

While I was in Reno, I noticed there had been some purchases of some of our books from UMG Productions, and they were the INXS compilation stories and Caroline Falls In Love. That, and what my mom and sis said today made me think, is someone trying to get me in trouble? Well again, parodies are protected under the Fair Use Act, and those stories are parodies. The caricatures look like the people they are supposed to because well, that's what caricatures do. How else is the reader supposed to distinguish them?

Besides, there are several YouTubers who use images of celebrities they drew in their videos. AgentXPQ being one of them. I can specifically remember him using images that he drew of the men from Pulp Fiction, as well as The A Team in a couple of his videos. Well, no one--not even YouTube--has docked him for copyright infringement. He not only used their images, he also mentioned them by name. But it's a parody. Nothing more, and is protected under the Fair Use Act. If you want to learn more about the Fair Use Act, Wikipedia has a nice article about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use Also, I do not make any money off my INXS stories. The vast majority of the money paid for those books goes into the cost of printing. Not into my pocket.

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