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Where can Tintin fan art and fan works be posted?

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ZGDK
Member
#11 · Posted: 30 Sep 2008 23:47
Moulinsart is no more worse than other corporations. Look at You Tube right now, those media moguls have gone off the deep end with so called infringment.
Amilah
Member
#12 · Posted: 13 Jan 2009 16:33
No. Sorry if that's an old debate. I totally understand the forum rules and their reasons, the threat that any non-official (or official) tintin reproduction would be on the website. I understand that a tintin or tintin-related image can't be allowed here.

But what shouldn't be allowed either, is to claim that Moulinsart SA isn't much worse than other corporations, and that their usage of copyright laws isn't more restrictive than anyone else's. Moulinsart's copyrights policy is a NOTORIOUS and SPECIFIC scandal, that is unheard of in the world of french/belgian comics. Masses of articles (and even books) have been written on the problem of Moulinsart SA's behaviour -not on other comics copyright holders- and that's not because of Tintin's notoriety. Many authors or librarians have faced laywers for Tintin usages that were judged fair when it came to Lucky Luke, Gaston, Asterix, etc. Publications (from studies to exposition catalogs) have been cancelled because of Tintin solely, even when they were about comics in general and contained images from many other series. A library sign featuring Tintin's head among five other famous comic characters has been attacked by Rodwell even though 16 years earlier Herge himself used to go to that library and be amused by that sign. There's a long consensus in the comics circles (authors, booksellers, specialists) about Moulinsart's short-sighted, caricaturally greedy and petty practices - so claiming there's nothing to see there is just false.

You can abide with their imposed rules, because there's no choice there. You can ask us to "respect" them in order to protect the site. But excusing them, and pretending there's nothing particularly evil behind this zero tolerance policy, is wrong. More than that, it's an insult to all the authors and copyright owners who have a decent, fair approach to their character's ownership.
jock123
Moderator
#13 · Posted: 13 Jan 2009 22:01
Amilah:
But excusing them, and pretending there's nothing particularly evil behind this zero tolerance policy, is wrong.

It’s far too strong to characterize anything that Moulinsart does as “evil” – no matter how you cut it, that is a reaction far out of proportion to anything a comic-book proprietor does, surely?

You also appear to be mixing up various aspects of copyright: you don’t show that the people who use Gaston and Lucky Luke haven’t been granted the right to use their image by the copyright holders. It is the same right which they exercise to have the images used, as is that Moulinsart does to have them not used. All it is is a different outcome. Either way, they both involve the legal right to grant (or not to grant) usage. “Zero tolerance” is in fact the only path recognized by international copyright law, if by that you mean setting a policy which grants how material is used, and making sure that that policy is applied. As has been talked about elsewhere, some artists grant usage of their work/ characters, but they are using their right to do so. If someone takes your material and just uses it, then if the copyright holder doesn’t want you to, but doesn’t act, they can lose those rights.

You also don’t mention that rights are granted to use the images all the time - the public lecture on Tintin and the Secret of Literature by Tom McCarthy, to name just one off the top of my head, used numerous images from the books, with permission, without it being vetted in any way, and without cost, in spite of the fact that the book has what might be thought of as questionable material.

Sure, there may be questions about the way Hergé’s artistic legacy has been handled, and whether or not the property will continue to live and breathe, but that said, the money that is being made is being channeled into a charitable foundation which is producing a museum as both a monument to Hergé, and as a resource for Tintinologists everywhere - what is so very bad about that?
Amilah
Member
#14 · Posted: 13 Jan 2009 23:22
jock123:
It’s far too strong to characterize anything that Moulinsart does as “evil” – no matter how you cut it, that is a reaction far out of proportion to anything a comic-book proprietor does, surely?

Not really. Evil is a matter of morality, not of the magnitude of the effect : you can be evil about petty things. The point is, few comics character owners are being as procedural as those Moulinsart people. The fact that Gaston or Lucky Luke are occasionally used without the right being explicitely granted only shows that there isn't the same ruthless and systematical hunt for all characters. "Zero tolerance" is not a norm, the same way "judicial harassment" isn't : copyright laws protect artworks as much as the author wishes to or cares for, and this mostly depends on said author's mentality, his judgement on what usage he'll tolerate, what he wishes to close his eyes on, and what he won't. To take that old exemple again, Rodwell clearly decides to forbid usages that didn't bother Herge, or to ask compensation for images that other authors let be used in the exact same context. It is a personal policy, and policies define how nice a person (or institution) is. Compared to the average "comics character copyright holders", Moulinsart isn't. Hence my moral judgement. I call them evil, anal, or nasty - whatever opposite to "easy-going, understanding, clever and open-minded" you want. They have my full antipathy, increasing each time I stumble on a new anecdote. Funding their own charitable museum, allowing limited display with a total control on any image leak, doesn't impress me much. Especially as controlling Tintin's image is as absurd, in our culture, as controlling Dracula, Jesus, Cthulhu or Frankenstein.

Between "zero tolerance" and "public domain", there is a wide grey area of formal and informal usages - acceptable or not. How a given copyright holder maps it depends on his values and priorities, and what category of human beings he belongs to. I have little respect for Rodwell's. And I gather few people have, in the francophone world of comic books. So it is at least worth stressing that Rodwell's attitude is judged atypically inhumane by most of the comic books community, and NOT -as some implied- accepted as perfectly normal. Moulinsart IS special.
separtedTINTIN
Member
#15 · Posted: 14 Jan 2009 10:45
Allowing Fan Arts for Tintin will never be good, but worst.

Moulinsart is great, in my point of view.
jock123
Moderator
#16 · Posted: 14 Jan 2009 20:39
Amilah:
Not really. Evil is a matter of morality,

But what are they doing that is immoral? What is “evil” about it?

There is nothing that says that if Mr. X owns a lawnmower, and Mr. Y wants to borrow it, that Mr. X has to lend it to them, or let them take it if they don’t ask. Mr. X isn’t evil or immoral.

So some people don’t care if anyone borrows their mower - doesn’t make Mr. X wrong.

You may think Mr. X is rude, or selfish, or greedy, but so what? Mr. X may need his mower for his own garden, or to do the lawn of the old-folks home - that’s his business not mine.

Seems to me that Mme. Hergée bis (she being the copyright holder, not Nick Rodwell or Moulinsart) has her reasons, and they are nobody’s business but hers. As I’ve said, we as fans are going to benefit to the tune of a museum and an educational foundation: if that means Moulinsart (who act on Mme. Hergée bis’s behalf) keep the rights under control, then it doesn’t add a whit of “evil” to the world...
Amilah
Member
#17 · Posted: 14 Jan 2009 22:48 · Edited by: Amilah
jock123:
You may think Mr. X is rude, or selfish, or greedy, but so what?

How would you tell nice people and evil people apart if it wasn't for their greed or selfishness ? We're not talking of keeping a lawnmower to use it at the moment, we're talking of sitting on it by principle. Nothing is lost through a visual quote on a forum, a catalogue, a clumsy fan-fiction, etc. It's not because Tintin's icon is "busy being used elsewhere at that time" that Moulinsart threatens innocent usages of that cultural reference.

I don't like the analogy much (because physical objects and virtual images aren't the same), but if some people "share their eraser" and others not, it does indeed mean some are better people than others - or at least that's how I've been endoctrinated in school. I doubt Tintin barking "NAW, it is MINE" would have been judged as a very noble exemple to print, even by the current "tintin spirit" watchdogs. Going "what, you touched my eraser while I wasn't here, this will cost you 6000$" may be a legal right, it still belongs more to a Rastapopoulos confession than to a Tintin deed. What I'm getting at is that such differences of attitude are exactly what defines the position of people on the "good/evil" continuum. And by annoying and suing innocent people (that is, people making decent usage of the tintin image), Moulinsart does add its share of ugliness to the planet.

It's not a matter of "rights". Laws allow (and at times support) quite a bit of regular everyday evil - and it's people's "right" to be evil to some extend (vote for the fascist party, insult beggars, steal someone's place in a row, belittle fragilized people, exploit workers, select friends on the colour of their skin, whatever). It doesn't mean people who do are as good as those who don't. A lot of choices have no moral significance (like, what consentant people do in bed, or what music they hear), other choices contribute to make the world more difficult, hostile or grey. The history of Tintin copyright is full of the latter, moreso than any other character copyright.

You can check for other comics forums, also supervized by author widows, and find colorful "visual quotes" illustrating posts points, or even little "draw the next page" fanfiction games. Imagine Moulinsart's reaction if I was to spontaneously illustrate a tintin quote with a scanned image (without having written them a letter and paid them 500 Euros per post), or if a multi-users fanfiction was created here. I can already hear their lawyer's hands being rubbed, with a gleeful "yay, that'll make us $14000 per participant, sue sue". They're legally entitled to that. But it does make them antipathic people in my book (greed, selfishness, and not-lending-your-lawnmower does). "They have their reasons", yes. Precisely.

Or maybe I've just read too much Tintin.
jock123
Moderator
#18 · Posted: 15 Jan 2009 21:46
Amilah:
How would you tell nice people and evil people apart if it wasn't for their greed or selfishness ?

Well, I certainly don’t apply terms like “evil” to matters as trivial as this - mass murderers, yes, warmongers, yes, things like that. But not to whether or not something that someone does with what they own. I may like it, I may not, but I certainly couldn’t get aggrieved by it, and I think it makes for a very unbalanced “continuum” if being protective of the rights in a comic book image puts you up the “evil” end of the scale. It doesn’t leave a lot of room down the “good” end.
Your example of people sitting rubbing their hands doesn’t hold much water, when it is perfectly possible for you to not pay them a penny by designing and writing your own text and images. Nobody is forcing you to use someone else’s work. If you wish to use images and text in the manner which is covered by law - academia has this well covered, that is fine. So I still can’t see the problem, and I still think, morally, ethically, philosophically, that the word “evil” just doesn’t apply.
Captain Chester
Member
#19 · Posted: 16 Jan 2009 01:17
Using the Mr. X metaphor, what if Mr. X is a gardener, and uses the mower to make a living?
jock123
Moderator
#20 · Posted: 16 Jan 2009 07:22
Captain Chester:
Using the Mr. X metaphor, what if Mr. X is a gardener, and uses the mower to make a living?

A very good point, Captain, and worth remembering. We have members of the forum who make their livings from the sweat of their pens (as it were), and copyright protects them too - would they be wrong in getting cease and desist action if they needed it? How should they respond if someone ripped them off, and were told, “But we’ve got a picture of Lucky Luke and Gaston too! Francophone message boards say it is okay, so stop complaining!”?

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