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Selling Simpson Character Style Photos Copyright

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by SJ2345, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. SJ2345

    SJ2345 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I would like to start a business that draws people as Simpsons characters and sells the photos, very similar to (NO ADVERTISING or clickbait permitted)

    Would this be considered copyright infringement if I didn't use any of the characters or sets from the show, and just drew in that style?

    Can I say that the art is "in the style of The Simpsons"?

    Would the copyright owner (Disney) still send a cease and desist, even if I didn't break any copyright rules? And what would my options be if they did?


    Well if you ever saw the show. It is yellow caricatures. However, no actual characters from the show or any backgrounds from the show would be used The sample is in the attachment.

    I would like to start a business that draws people in the style of characters from The Simpsons and sells the photos, very similar to (NO ADVERTISING or clickbait permitted)

    be same yellow style but no characters or sets from the show will be used. I would only draw people as yellow caricatures with backgrounds unrelated to the show in any way.

    Would this be considered copyright infringement? What would happen if I received a cease and desist and did not think that I violated any copyright laws. What could happened after the cease and desist?
    How, in your opinion would the courts review a case like that?

    The sample of the art is in the attachment.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Anybody can send you cease and desist letters regardless of whether they have a valid claim or not. There's not only copyright but also trademark issues to deal with here. Your best bet would be to run your artwork by an IP attorney.
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you associate your project with The Simpsons in any way you will likely run into trouble.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    In other words, you want to try and capitalize on someone else's work.

    It is impossible to assess this intelligently without seeing your work. However, it is certainly possible that incredibly wealthy owners of the incredibly successful intellectual property to which you have referred will train their substantial resources on you in the form of a lawsuit.

    I have no doubt that you have this ability. If your intent was to ask whether some sort of disclaimer like this would turn something that is otherwise infringing into something that is non-infringing, the answer is no.

    While a Disney subsidiary distributes Simpsons cartoons, I expect that most of the relevant intellectual property rights are still owned by Gracie Films. Nonetheless, it is certainly possible for a rights owner to send a C&D letter even if the target of the letter is not infringing. That sort of thing happens all the time. It's also worth pointing out that Disney is one of the most zealous enforcers of its intellectual property rights.

    Ummm...to cease and desist...or not.
     
  5. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Disney (well 20th Century Fox) owns all the trademarks and most of the copyrights as near as I can see. Gracie doesn't create the Simpson's material, they're just the production company.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You've already got a thread on this subject - no need to start another:
     
    zddoodah likes this.
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    The following quote is taken from the other thread that you started and which likely will be consolidated with this thread.

    Copyright infringement? Probably not. Trademark and/or trade dress infringement? Almost certainly yes.

    What would happen if you receive a C&D letter? You'd have to tell us.

    What would happen after you receive a C&D letter (assuming you didn't stop doing what you're doing)? You'd almost certainly be sued.

    I assume the last question isn't what you actually intended to ask and that your intent was to ask whether you'd win or lose in a lawsuit. In that regard, since I assume you lack the financial resources to engage effectively in litigation with the owner of the IP in question, I suspect that you'd be rapidly overwhelmed and that the IP owner would obtain a very large judgment against you (even if you have the financial resources to litigate effectively, I think you'd still lose). As mentioned above, you are pretty clearly trying to capitalize on someone else's efforts and intellectual property, and I strongly suggest you at least consult with a local IP attorney before continuing.
     
  8. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    A friend of mine is one of the writers for the Simpsons... They have a legal team in place just for issues like this.
     

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