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How do you copyright a gag?

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#11 · Posted: 22 Jun 2004 14:29
Truth is if you got a letter from a lawyer from Moulinsart, you'd be scared. But it probably is just bullyboy tactics

But as far as I'm aware nobody has really set any sort of precadent in court on such matters

Maybe if they take a dislike to my JZ&J site i might fight them on it!

#12 · Posted: 22 Jun 2004 15:48
jockosjungle said:
as far as I'm aware nobody has really set any sort of precadent in court on such matters.
Maybe if they take a dislike to my JZ&J site i might fight them on it!

I’d have to make a distinction here - Moulinsart have the right to control and exploit the work of Hergé: they make their living from that.

What I am questioning is whether they have clear title to all the elements they cover in their statement. There are, as our legal (and in my case, non-legal) team have been discussing, plenty of precedents by which they might make their claims - the question is, could they win? sometimes yes, sometimes no.

You would, I believe (and I’d ask m’learned friends to correct me) have certain rights to fair use on your site, if you are conducting it as an academic, educational resource or for review purposes; this involves using no more than a minimal amount of the author’s work for the purpose of illustrating a point, or clarifying an idea. You couldn’t set up a CaféPress page to sell t-shirts and mousemats with JZ&J on them.

In the former example, they could possibly try to show you have been too free with your use of their material, or are using it inappropriately (you may not be, and they might lose); in the latter, you’d be way out of the realm of fair use, and they’d clap you in irons in the chateau dungeon...

I can’t see as a community, that fans serve themselves well by antagonising or demonising “The Chateau” out of hand; likewise, I can see that Moulinsart sometimes don’t do themselves any favours, and that they would reflect better on themselves if they more strongly defended the things they genuinely control, while not trying to assimilate everything and anything.

So by all means, they are as entitled to control the use of Tintin’s image and Hergé’s work, the stories and his implementation of situations - but they shouldn’t claim they own slapstick out of hand, or gags about dogs peeing on lamposts.
#13 · Posted: 6 Jul 2004 17:19
I said:
For those wishing to check out how similar they are, I can’t remember where about in the book it comes, but Kazimir’s original is here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~russ15/russia_PI/avant_garde.html. They share a lot in common, I think you’ll agree... ;-)

And now this! Don’t know how long the item will stay, so you might need to hurry, but look at the Metro newspaper cartoon “Nemi”, for not one but two homages to Malevich!!

tybaltstone said:
Page 102 in the 1989 book of Soviets... Hergé copied Malevich exactly!

There could be an argument that he only copied a fragment of Malevich the size of his frame, which might be said to be a small enough sample of the original to constitute fair usage, rather than a wholesale copy - doesn’t it look like the top right corner to you?

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