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When Princesses Go Bad
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unimportant



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yay, sleeping Beauty! Creepy, but not as much fun as the others I think. Still awesome.

You know, Disney hasn't freaked out about any of the other popular fanarts on DA yet, hopefully they won't go psychotic this time.
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple things...In this case, while derivative works, they're not trying to mimic the original designs, and fall far into the realm of artistic freedom. Not only that, you could EASILY argue they fall under the fair use guidelines of parody. Fair use isn't always the strongest case, but parody has a long tradition of being upheld in court, and these DEFINITELY qualify.

In addition, even Disney wouldn't want to tick off all the other artists creating derivative designs, or they'd never get people applying to their animations studios Razz Disney sues easily when you're blatantly knocking off their characters, but they'll hesitate pissing off potential employees Razz
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure I buy the claim that the artist isn't trying to mimic the original designs. Clearly he's done them in a totally different style, but the subjects of the pictures remain instantly recognizable as Disney characters to anyone who's ever seen the corresponding films.

I'm also not convinced that they're parody. The parody exemption protects works which have a satirical or humorous intent. Particularly the former, since satire involves deliberately mocking important people, companies, or beliefs and therefore is an excellent way to get yourself in trouble with people who can't take a joke.

If this is satire, who's the target? If they're humorous, what's the joke? They're definitely amusing, but my impression was "Oh, neat twist" not "ha ha ha!" Anyway, the artist said in the text below the first one (Belle) that "I just thought it would be cool to see creepy looking Princesses."

Even if there's a reasonable case that it's fair use in terms of copyright, they could probably still nail him for trademark infringement. And they may well have to -- companies which don't defend their trademarks can lose them.

And you have no idea how deeply weird it feels to be arguing a pro-copyright stance on an issue like this.
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YatesOfYore
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
I'm not so sure about that. Back in 1989/90, Disney sued three daycare centers in Florida for unauthorized wall paintings of Disney characters.


Yes... and in said situation they were using the likeness' for business purposes. This is just fanart. He's not selling prints.

If HE could get in trouble for those, then Bri-chan is in some serious trouble
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Asa



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing is that they give copyright credit to Disney. I saw that Bri-chan did, but I can't remember if the guy in question did or not.
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giving copyright credit doesn't absolve you of anything whatsoever unless you've been given permission already Smile It just something people do to say that they didn't come up with the original work so your average layman knows, not to mitigate legal responsibility.

Also Tin: I don't believe Disney has a trademark on characters from most of their movies, only copyright. Trademarks are MUCH harder to obtain because they must be a crucial and unique symbol for your business. Mickey Mouse is a trademark, since it is the company symbol of Disney. The titles of movies are often trademarks. Most other characters from those movies, however, are not. Trademark law is quite a bit more restrictive in what can be registered than copyright is. In general, a Trademark is a MARK, that is, a symbol used for a product. Not only that, but it must have been used in the realm that the trademark was registered under (A type of roofing material called Mickey Mouse would NOT be a trademark violation).

Here's a search I did on USPTO website for possible trademarks on Snow White. Here are the relevant marks:
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4002:8omoja.13.6
and
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4002:8omoja.13.5

As you can see, the trademarks are on specific branding for their products, not on character designs.
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thespaceinvader



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd also suggest that those works fall under fair use by way of being parodies. Disney wouldn't have a leg to stand on in any court claim, as long as the author wasn't making money. Probably wouldn't stop them trying, though.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said, I'm not convinced that they meet the legal definition of "parody".

Probably nothing will ever come of it. I just find the legalities interesting.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The law refers to intent, whether it actually is funny or not is largely beside the point. Potentially all the creator has to do in order to qualify is to claim that he created them with humorous intent, something that could easily be made to line up with a term as subjective as cool. Of course there's probably loads of case law and he might not be able to afford to go through the courts to claim such a right.

Heh, satirically you could see it as being a criticism of the princess myths. That while people view princesses as being respected figures of beauty and female empowerment they were closer to politically traded baby making things. There are entire departments of Art and English students that do nothing but come up with weird interpretations like that, I’m sure people could come up with some rubbish to justify it as satire.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, you're talking to a guy who spent four years as a graduate student in a bunch of English departments. I know there's all kinds of ways you could interpret the images, and that you could argue that they're parody.

But in a court, you would need to make that argument -- it isn't enough simply to assert that they're parody, you would also need to provide evidence and reasoning to back the assertion up.

That's particularly important because (contrary to what I thought earlier), "parody" is not explicitly protected in U.S. law. Copyright is defined in U.S. Code Title 17. It's 326 pages long, and it does not contain the word "parody" on any of them. Just download the full PDF version from that link and do a search for yourself. It's neither explicitly protected nor even defined.

Since "parody" is not formally defined in U.S. law, we have to rely on precedent instead. The most recent legal definition comes from precedent, not law. In the 2001 case SUNTRUST v HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals used this definition:

Quote:
For purposes of our fair-use analysis, we will treat a work as a parody if its aim is to comment upon or criticize a prior work by appropriating elements of the original in creating a new artistic, as opposed to scholarly or journalistic, work.


By that definition, the Twisted Princesses images are quite clearly parody. However, the same ruling notes that "The fact that parody by definition must borrow elements from an existing work, however, does not mean that every parody is shielded from a claim of copyright infringement as a fair use." So it needs argument.

For myself, I'm convinced that the Twisted Princesses images constitute a fair use. All I'm trying to say is that the case is not 100% clear cut, and if Disney chose to sue him, I wouldn't be too surprised. They're very protective of their brands.

I hope they don't though, he's got five more planned. ^_^
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Rolaoi



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone heard that Disney has two new princess movies planned? In 2-D?(well, one is) The first is The Princess and the Frog put in a New Orleans, jazz-era setting. The other is a more traditional telling of Rapunzel. The one about Rapunzel is using a very interesting form of animation. They're apparently trying to use CGI in a way to make the story appear like it was done with oil paint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Princess_and_the_Frog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapunzel_(film)
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had heard about the princess and the frog, but not the Rapunzel film. Interesting artistic approach, though, with the CGI oil-paint animation. Pixar did something like that as part of the closing credits for Wall-E. I wonder if they're working on it?
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Rolaoi



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
I had heard about the princess and the frog, but not the Rapunzel film. Interesting artistic approach, though, with the CGI oil-paint animation. Pixar did something like that as part of the closing credits for Wall-E. I wonder if they're working on it?


I like that they have Dean Willens from Iron Giant working as co-director. That was a really good film, and hopefully Rapunzel will be too. I hope the oil-paint style works out. I think if done right it would work extremely well with a classic fairy-tale.
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooo...The Rapunzel ones is news to Squee. Sounds fascinating. One thing that I love about the new Disney/Pixar is how Pixar is focusing on photoreal and Disney can go back to its roots of traditional animation (or in this case, non-traditional but artistic). If it means we'll get some excellent artistic films like this, Squee's going to be even happier. Squee <3 non-photorealistic rendering.

And if they're basing the look and feel off of Fragonard's The Swing well...<3 <3 <3 That's Squee's most favorite pre-19th centurty work.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apropos of Disney and princess movies, this video came in across Digg today:

Disney only made one movie, and they've been tracing it ever since. ^_^

Warning: although this particular video is entirely benign, some of the others have language fit to scald a sailor's ear hairs.

I can hardly imagine how long it took to put that video together, by the way. Jeez.
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