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Just wondering if it's a copy right infringement to design and print out space invader themed tees and accessories? I mean the block retro style of them and other art work is awesome and retro.

There seems to be so many on the market and I want to create a few.

Am I going against Atari on this one? Thanks.
 

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why would the 8-bit pixelated designs not be copyright infringement? it was one of atari's biggest carts ever, if not *the* best-selling, and the image is instantly recognizable as being a space invader that atari designed....

i don't know if it falls under transformative works to be considered fair use. merely by pixelating an image into an 8-bit format doesn't mean you've acquired some kind of loophole that i'm aware, as evidenced by kindofbloop that had a pixelated image of miles davis on the album cover. it cost that guy $32.5G (he settled out of court). fair use is murky when it comes to this, as i understand it.
 

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are you saying that if i created something and applied an 8-bit effect to it, i'd be okay? i'd say, sure, why wouldn't it be? lol. if you're saying that taking an individual element out of a game and using that as your design (as plenty of shirts are simply of that space invader dude, nothing more), hmmm, i'll have to research that one as i don't see how it's vastly different than taking a scene out of a movie and using that solely as your design. in other words, short of taking a screen shot as a design, how is anything in a video game protected then?

now, taking that space invader dude and putting him on a shirt that looks like an argyle sweater, as someone here has done, and that could be a transformative work, imo. then again, i'm not a judge, and since no two judges seem to agree on what these definitions are from decade to decade, who's to really say? lol. it almost falls under pot-luck law in some cases, it seems.
 

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are you saying that if i created something and applied an 8-bit effect to it, i'd be okay?
As long as what you create is original and not taking existing IP, then yes, it would be ok.

if you're saying that taking an individual element out of a game and using that as your design (as plenty of shirts are simply of that space invader dude, nothing more), hmmm, i'll have to research that one as i don't see how it's vastly different than taking a scene out of a movie and using that solely as your design.
Taking an individual element from a game, movie, tv show, etc would be risking infringement - even if the element is recreated, redrawn, etc.
 

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k, for a second there i thought you were saying it was hunky-dory because it was just an 8-bit image. re-reading it all again, i see where i erroneously got the impression that just because it was an 8-bit image someone was saying that was okay, implying that somehow because of the low resolution of the image things were good to go.

sure, atari can't copyright the 8-bit image look, i don't think (though it reminds me of when harley davidson trademarked its exhaust sound ~ i know, different subject, it just brought that to mind), so pixelate away. but, yeah, that little space invader dude is, imo, wholeheartedly copyrighted.

shokishi, i think a lot of people get away with it, like i said, as transformative works. just the SI dude itself, though, and i'd say that's straight up infringement. very prevalent, but that doesn't make it any less of a no-no.

as an aside, this did have me thinking a little bit today (and i had no time to really come up with anything considering the theme). one thing atari arcade games were known for was their vector graphics, and i began to think of images in vector format for a minute. all i came up was an ad for 'sugar frosted DNAs' cereal box on a green grid, 'part of this genetically balanced break fast,' in a cheesy early 80's look and feel of trying to be futuristic... in a retro kind of way, of course. then i wondered what kind of designs could be had using a wire frame look. a SP dude in wire frame? could be interesting. (damnit, i hope my wife gets us a new computer soon so i can play around with it! lol.)

were i to rip a screen shot, i'd probably be looking at 'tempest.' :)

there are a ton of awesome games to parody and satirize, and it's done, like, constantly to the point where i think atari even quit being specific with their c&d's and just sends one out justified or not without even mentioning what specifically they claim is infringement, lol.

i think i already know the answer, but let me ask your opinion, tim: if i did a shirt with a 100 pac-men on it and a single space invader dude thrown in, is there any pop-art defense to be used?
 

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pfft, you're no help. and here i was wanting to throw out such things as derivative work and transformativeness as it relates to fair use, but noooooooooooo, you just won't be baited today, will you? :) of course IP owners would think differently ~ half of them think, i think, that by looking at their designs you're infringing on their work.

i was reading an article not long ago about some art show in the UK where it was nothing but 'new art' created from copyrighted images. the ironic part was that no photography was allowed. the artists felt that by taking a picture of their infringed images constituted copyright infringement in itself. indeed, the journalist wasn't even allowed to take a picture of the sign saying 'no pictures allowed' as it had some font and layout they didn't want 'copied.'

it seems to usually boil down to who has the deepest pockets to fight the case. win by attrition. why not? it worked for all the major auto makers for decades. :)
 

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well, sir, i could probably have come up with a better example had i given it some thought, though that was just what popped to mind at that moment. still, i would argue that the meaning and message supersedes the original, and that these specific images are crucial to understanding the message of violent revolution with iconic imagery. in other words, i would argue that there is actual meaning present, go into depth on the meaning behind the design, and say that the purpose is to actually reverse the rolls of the images and turn them into something they were never intended to be so that whenever the separate images are viewed apart from that design a new meaning may possibly be extrapolated based on the new philosophic portrayal presented in this design of those images, and thereby make the work transformative. kinda like putting a mustache and beard on mona lisa and aggravating a lot of frenchmen in the process.

granted, when i thought that design up on the fly i had no real specific message involved; but, as i ponder the possible meanings behind it, the message isn't even one i necessarily agree with. on the surface it seemed to be about rampant consumerism to the point where hardly anything was left, as represented by the lone SI dude, and the question then becomes, 'what happens when the last SI dude is gone? are we to begin cannibalism afterwards?' but, then that one last little guy *is* a creature of violence, destruction, oppression and invasion, so does that then become our last hope, an ironic hero of sorts, a parasite we need to keep us from destroying ourselves? when we've destroyed the enemy, who left is there to destroy except ourselves? you could also look at it as an accidental pro-terrorist design (and it wouldn't so much be a pro-militia meaning unless the SI dude was an iconic good guy) or pro-communism design. it would work as a self-implosion of socialized economy only if the wearer was willing to agree that the SI dude representing that system was mindless and evil.

could i argue it? you betcha. :) would a judge agree? well, that's always the $64,000 question, isn't it? i could defend it in court myself, as defending oneself has notably been done before (and thank gawd for those legal pioneers), and still it be a grand waste of time, effort and money. noting the unrealistic chances of doing so, however, it can *conceivably* be done, and that's the only point i'm attempting to make. is there meaning behind the design? absolutely, and that's just on the surface, and the meaning hinges directly on the iconic imagery of those two little video game symbols for effect as each one has a philosophic symbology inherent that's needed to propel a new meaning forward.
 
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