In the US, the line gets crossed when the work is printed on salable goods. The Lanham Act substantiates this. Intellectual property is protected from unauthorized use on merchandise. Artists cannot simply rely on freedom of expression when selling t-shirts.There exists, in the design community, in the world of art in general, an integral aspect of authentic expression known as commentary, whether social, political, or simply general. This aspect of expression allows artists to mimic and parody popular culture concepts, images in the media, even corporate branding, so long as they add to the original, do not unduly attack the original, and generally express something awesome, whether this is of value or not (eye of the beholder stuff).
Yes, fair use and parody laws certainly exist. But they are not automatic. They are open to interpretation. IP owners can always take action. It is up to artists to choose how to defend their work. Some do vigorously, some don't at all.What this means is I (and other artists, and there are so many of us) can take a popular intellectually owned concept, such as STAR WARS, and rip the hell out of it. OMG I've just been sued by Lucas Films (read: Disney) said like no artist ever, unless that artist simply copies, directly, without changing and adding value, a recognised mark of this owned concept. This aspect of art is protected legally by FAIR USE agreements, and in the interests of parody and satire artists can do what they want to an image that is owned by someone else, so long as they can argue Fair Use, and they do not infringe on the integrity of the owned concept.
You can do whatever you want. But there's irony in having parody designs get stolen by others.What I need to get across here, and have attempted to do with these examples, is there is a clear distinction between intellectual property ownership and THEFT. Artists who spoof popular culture own the intellectual rights to their work. People who then steal these designs without adding to them are thieves. If this is still not making sense then perhaps you're on the wrong thread/ forum/ planet (no offense intended).
Not only is it ironic, I think it's kind of funny.But there's irony in having parody designs get stolen by others.
You need to understand that the way you feel about those sites, is exactly the way some people feel about what you do. Tim brought up Fair Use. Did you know that here in the US, that Fair Use is a defense of copyright infringement? It means that you're conceding the fact that you infringed on a copyright, but you have a defense for your infringement.My designs aside... there are sites out there ripping off purely, purely original artwork.
True. All True. What about original artwork? Illustration created by an artist without any/ or minimal (nothing exists in isolation) reference, that is then copied by someone else. I used my own work as an example, and OK, I'm scum, but what about sites that simply copy and paste someone else's designs? I listed them for this gadgetbox site. I mean, Glennz Tees (NZ/ made famous on Threadless, now on his own) is an amazing, original, talented master of ironic art. He's one of the best, but hey... he's also easy to copy.Comin'OutSwingin said:You need to understand that the way you feel about those sites, is exactly the way some people feel about what you do. Tim brought up Fair Use. Did you know that here in the US, that Fair Use is a defense of copyright infringement? It means that you're conceding the fact that you infringed on a copyright, but you have a defense for your infringement.
But the problem with that is that your defense may not always be valid. So, just because you haven't been sued and lost, doesn't mean that you aren't in the same boat as the ones you want list here...
No, they haven't been destroyed, but thanks all the same. They didn't create graphic art, they create entire worlds that we cannot escape from. George Lucas needs no introduction, and nothing I do can detract from his vision nor his masterpieces which will survive without me. Trey Parker and Matt Stone do not need me to increase their legacy. I'm talking about graphic art, or photographic art, single art pieces, not creative conglomerates that transcend common folk - small time artists who are removed in the duplication process...The long and short of it is that work will be copied if it's good, it's the nature of the world and you just have to live with it.
I had a good look through your website but I couldn't find the page crediting the South Park creators or Star Wars etc. Have those artists been destroyed?
It's also debatable whether the IP owner of a major property would cross the pond to take action against you for infringement. Let's not pretend that you are cleverly navigating fair use laws. You are operating under the radar in most cases.Yes, I benefit from keyword searches, although how much is debatable... I operate out of South Africa and my sales across the oceans can be counted on a single hand any given month. Within South Africa maybe I'd need both hands...
Under what premise have you managed to achieve satire as opposed to infringement? Have you been sued and won in court? A judge's decision is the only way to substantiate your claim of fair use. Otherwise, it may simply be that you haven't been contested.Fair Use is applicable to individual cases for sure, but on the basis of satire (which many of my designs manage to achieve) I feel I have some ground to defend a lot of what I do.
And herein lies the issue. If you're free to copy everyone else, then everyone else is free to copy you.everything is free to copy. Within reason, surely. Surely within reason.
It ends when you start putting a premium on originality. If you create a completely original design, you own it and can protect it. If someone copies it, the law will - usually - be on your side to protect it.If I make an intellectual connection and someone copies that... where does it end?
Apples and oranges to the t-shirt issue.A comedian comes up with a cool gaff about a popular TV series/ actress. Another comedian tells the exact same joke. Does it matter that the first comedian ripped off a celebrity, or that the second comedian duplicated the gag?
In my opinion, most of the sites that feature stolen/copied designs are crowd-sourced... meaning... the designs are uploaded/submitted by anonymous users without a proper approval process by the site. It doesn't make it right, but it's the reality. And most of the designs that are stolen/copied have very loose copyright protection (including yours) for one reason or another.My designs aside... there are sites out there ripping off purely, purely original artwork.
That's what I want to see here. Where are these sites? What are these designs?
Who are the original owners who do not get mentioned?