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From: Duncan Gray
Subject: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 4 Feb 2004 20:45:54
Message: <4021a052$1@news.povray.org>
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.

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.

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?

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?


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)


Thank you kindly
-- 
Duncan Gray   (warning may contain traces of nut)
n.b. remove "-nsp" from email address if replying


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From: John VanSickle
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 4 Feb 2004 21:13:36
Message: <4021A6CF.F5E64605@hotmail.com>
Duncan Gray wrote:
> 
> Anyone else having problems coming up with an anim for the theme
> "Classic Sci-Fi" without treading on copyright issues?

Not I!

> 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.

Regards,
John


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From: Tom Galvin
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 4 Feb 2004 23:34:55
Message: <Xns9485EFA9CD3Atomatimporg@203.29.75.35>
John VanSickle <evi### [at] hotmailcom> wrote in
news:4021A6CF.F5E64605@hotmail.com: 


> 
> 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.  
> 

That is IMP reference material for this round ;)



-- 
Tom
_________________________________
The Internet Movie Project
http://www.imp.org/


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From: Warp
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 5 Feb 2004 04:09:30
Message: <4022084a@news.povray.org>
Duncan Gray <dun### [at] eclipsecouk> wrote:
> Anyone else having problems coming up with an anim for the theme 
> "Classic Sci-Fi" without treading on copyright issues?

  Make it a satire and you shouldn't have a problem... :)

  (Of course if the copyright owner really wants to sue you, you may have
hard time proving to the court that it really was a satire.)

-- 
plane{-x+y,-1pigment{bozo color_map{[0rgb x][1rgb x+y]}turbulence 1}}
sphere{0,2pigment{rgbt 1}interior{media{emission 1density{spherical
density_map{[0rgb 0][.5rgb<1,.5>][1rgb 1]}turbulence.9}}}scale
<1,1,3>hollow}text{ttf"timrom""Warp".1,0translate<-1,-.1,2>}//  - Warp -


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From: Warp
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 5 Feb 2004 04:14:28
Message: <40220973@news.povray.org>
John VanSickle <evi### [at] hotmailcom> wrote:
> 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.

  Actually I think the issue is more complicated than that.
  Besides copyrights, which extend to some extent to ideas as well as
actual works, there are trademarks enforced by the correspondent owners.
For example many names are often trademarked. The owner of the trademark
can sue someone using it without permission.
  I don't know if for example the name "Star Trek" is trademarked, but
I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

  When you see popular names used in movies, games, publications etc,
you'll often see somewhere a long list of "abc, def, xyz etc etc are
trademarks of blaa blaa" and so on. AFAIK this means that they have
specifically asked permission to use those names from the trademark
owners and got it.

-- 
#macro M(A,N,D,L)plane{-z,-9pigment{mandel L*9translate N color_map{[0rgb x]
[1rgb 9]}scale<D,D*3D>*1e3}rotate y*A*8}#end M(-3<1.206434.28623>70,7)M(
-1<.7438.1795>1,20)M(1<.77595.13699>30,20)M(3<.75923.07145>80,99)// - Warp -


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From: Duncan Gray
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 5 Feb 2004 14:17:47
Message: <402296db$1@news.povray.org>
Thank your help all,

Looks like my safest option of the short-listed is to go with the book 
that is old enough to be in the public domain (the one that isn't the 
invisible man, but for the sake of argument could be) - see if I can 
demonstrate to Hollywood how they _should_ have done the special effects 
when they made the movie somewhere back in the 50's (haha, dream on Duncan)

As the other two idea's look like they are not permitted, or at least 
tread a little to close to some form of copyright infringement to risk, 
then there is no harm letting everyone know what the intended subjects 
really were:

Thunderbirds was the 70's series I considered to have not dissimilar 
copyright issues to Star Trek - I fancied trying to re-make the intro 
sequence but keep it puppet looking, and try and make the vehicles and 
scenes still look like models. I thought this one would be the most fun 
to put together, blob-based humanoids with fake strings attached to the 
limbs and trying to mimic that 'thunderbirds walk' - arms and legs 
walking in unison and the figure bouncing more than walking; feet not 
touching the floor for much of the time - of course building all the 
thunderbird ships would have been fun too.

The other book I was considering - the one still copyrighted and looking 
like it is shortly to be made into a movie ... Hitch Hikers Guide to the 
Galaxy. I had not decided what scene to try yet, probably the whale and 
the petunias (excuse spelling) hardly 'Classic Sci-Fi' but the topic is 
vague enough for it to be acceptable I think, I've got away with more 
tentative connections in the past  ;)

So, the p.d. book that isnt 'the invisible man' it is then.

Let's hope I manage to get this one finished to an acceptable level - I 
have started half-a-dozen or so entries since my last anim round entry, 
alas in each case have bit off a little more than I could chew and 
failed to complete on time.

Thank you all once again

-- 
Duncan Gray   (warning may contain traces of nut)
n.b. remove "-nsp" from email address if replying


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From:
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 6 Feb 2004 06:22:32
Message: <402378f8@news.povray.org>
"John VanSickle" <evi### [at] hotmailcom> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:4021A6CF.F5E64605@hotmail.com...

> > 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.

sorry about that, but I don't get it.
If I would do an animation that looks almost the same as a sequence from any
movie.
But, I do everything (the modelling, objects, scene, FX just everything from
scratch again on my own).
-- To much work, but just as a question --
In that case, I would have to ask the guys who made the movie for
permission???

Patrick


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From: Tom Galvin
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 6 Feb 2004 08:32:20
Message: <Xns948756A58CC9Ftomatimporg@203.29.75.35>

news:402378f8@news.povray.org: 

> 
> sorry about that, but I don't get it.
> If I would do an animation that looks almost the same as a sequence
> from any movie.
> But, I do everything (the modelling, objects, scene, FX just
> everything from scratch again on my own).
> -- To much work, but just as a question --
> In that case, I would have to ask the guys who made the movie for
> permission???
> 

It's a copy! Right?

-- 
Tom
_________________________________
The Internet Movie Project
http://www.imp.org/


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From: John VanSickle
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 6 Feb 2004 11:50:54
Message: <4023C5EB.1A535A72@hotmail.com>

> 
> sorry about that, but I don't get it.
> If I would do an animation that looks almost the same as a sequence
> from any movie.
> But, I do everything (the modelling, objects, scene, FX just
> everything from scratch again on my own).
> -- To much work, but just as a question --
> In that case, I would have to ask the guys who made the movie for
> permission???

First, while Paramount owns the trademarks for Trek, they do not
own a trademark or copyright on the concept of space travel.  If your
ship flies through space, it is not a violation.  If your ship is
designed with a saucer section and warp nacelles, then you are on much
shakier ground (and you're not being terribly creative, either, which
will hurt you in the contest anyway).

You notice that the ships in Trek look different from the ships in
Star Wars.  That is why the Paramount producers cannot win a suit
against LucasFilms.  Lucas didn't set out to copy Star Trek, but rather
implemented the same idea (space travel) using his own unique vision.

Then Battlestar Galactica came out, and through being clearly an
attempt to ride Star Wars' coattails, did not result in any litigation
(or did nothing more than make a couple of lawyers rich); the stories
(such as they were) were sufficiently different from Lucas' work that
it was not simply Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off.

The upshot is:  If it looks like you are consciously copying another
work in the genre, you may be in trouble.  If it looks like you are
applying the same concepts with a different vision, you'll be fine.

Regards,
John


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From: Roberto A 
Subject: Re: it's a question of copyright ...
Date: 6 Feb 2004 15:40:40
Message: <4023fbc8$1@news.povray.org>
"John VanSickle" <evi### [at] hotmailcom> escreveu na mensagem
news:4021A6CF.F5E64605@hotmail.com...

> 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.

Great page. I agree with most of the things there, with one exception:

 (red cross) Space vessels bank in order to make turns.

I would suggest you to upgrade that to a yellow cross, since there is a
reasonable explanation, at least for fighters with human pilots: humans are
much more tolerant of high G's on the vertical than with side movements. Of
course, that assumes the same kind of maneuvering you have on a
earth-compatible atmosphere, instead of a more physically correct newtonian
model on space, but that's passable in a few cases.

Man, the more I read stuff like that, the more I love Babylon 5. It's the
only show with reasonable explanations and correct physical models... even
though it follows the usual conspiracies of aliens, both attacking and
defending mankind... but Plato knew better. :-)

Congratulations on the page. I think I might find some inspiration for this
round after all. :-)

Wolfox


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