Duncan Gray wrote:
> Anyone else having problems coming up with an anim for the theme
> "Classic Sci-Fi" without treading on copyright issues?
> while lots of idea's come to mind, they all involve ripping off (to a
> greater or lesser degree) a copyrighted work.
Correction: We will be using ideas that are used in prior works.
*NOBODY* can copyright an idea. Only actual works, that take a material
form, enjoy copyright protection.
Ever notice how often a made-for-TV movie touches on the same ideas as
a theatrical release made at about the same time? TV studios are always
taking ideas from movie studios.
> If for example I wished to copy the intro-sequence to a well known
> Sci-Fi series from the 70's (I prefer at the moment to keep my chosen
> topic secret but for the sake of argument assume "Star Trek" - the
> arguments and copyright issues should be the same as my real topic). In
> copying the sequence I will be modelling the ships, craft and vehicles
> as accurately as I can manage in POV. While my intro-sequence will be
> different to the original (I'm not that good with POV), it must remain
> visually close enough to be obvious what it is. Am I permitted to do
> this? n.b. I assume the title of the series must be changed as this is
> no doubt trade marked.
The Trek material is not in the public domain. If your work is set in
Star Trek's fictional setting, you need Paramount's permission or you
are technically in violation.
> Another idea I have would be to build my interpretation of a scene from
> a particular classic Sci-Fi book (again my theme for the moment remains
> secret, for the sake of argument "The Invisible Man" should suffice).
> The book is over 100 years old, and it's copyright has expired. However
> Hollywood have made a movie of the book since, this movie must have some
> form of copyright protection. Can I still do my interpretation of a
> scene from the book (which is quite different to the Hollywood
> interpretation)?, can I still use the book's original name even though
> it is the same name as the film?
Hollywood has made at least three films based on the book you cite.
Simply making a movied based on a book does not gain for the producer a
copyright to the book.
You may adapt a work in the public domain without regard to how others
have adapted it.
You can even write a book, title it "The Invisible Man," and your story--
assuming the story is your work--is your intellectual property.
> Same idea, but copying a scene from a different book. This book is
> recent enough to be still be covered by it's copyright, and it would
> seem it is shortly to be made into a movie. Can I build a scene that is
> blatantly taken from such a story?
Making a work derived from a work that is not in the public domain requires
the consent of the copyright holder.
> Is there anyone here that can enlighten me as to these issues and
> anything else relevant (in particular with respect to ensuring
> eligibility as an IRTC entry)
http://enphilistor.users4.50megs.com/cliche.htm contains ideas that
have been used so often in SF that you will not be accused of ripping them
off if you use them. I maintain the page, BTW.
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