can you use drawings of your dolls in books?

Mar 26, 2019

    1. Could you use heavy referenced drawings of your dolls in selling books?

      I was wondering if it could be considered stealing the company's work if you drew the characters very close to the sculpt? Not pictures but drawings that used the dolls as heavy reference. And I'm referring to the more nongeneric looking dolls, like Doll Chateaus sleepy; where you can easily tell. Because I know it would probably not matter if a very usual looking doll would be used since they could not immediately be recognized. should you credit the companies at the end? or just not do it at all?
      (talking about books that would, in theory, be sold)
    2. I think you’d have to seek permission to do that. If it’s for sale, you’re profiting off another’s intellectual property. They might not be happy with that. If you seek permission, they may even consent in return for a credit or a fee.
      • x 2
    3. yeah i agree
    4. This is such an interesting question!

      Legally, I think you're safe. If the drawings are different/original in any way (i.e. no joints, etc), it wouldn't be possible to prove in a legal sense that you violated copyright or infringed on their intellectual property, as far as I understand it. "Fifty Shades of Grey" is openly known to be a fanfic of "Twilight," but because it is original work, and sufficiently altered, it is legally safe.

      Ethically, is a whole different question. Would you feel right profiting off of anyone else's artistic design, even if they couldn't legally stop you? Bear in mind that there is a difference between inspiration and copying, though. If you had an original character in mind already that drew you to that sculpt and you use the doll to pose like an artist's model, that seems perfectly fine to me. It might be nice to credit them or let them know, but not a problem. If, on the other hand, you're writing a book about BJDs as dolls and drawing pictures of their doll in that context, trying to replicate their exact sculpt and/or logo, that would be a baaad idea without permission.

      BJDs are ultimately art pieces that invite collaboration. The line between collaborating and copying isn't always a thick red line. I think, when in doubt, contact the artist. (A big part of the reason 50 Shades is able to be so successful with no interference is because Stephanie Meyers has no interest in trying to prove it's infringement). Who knows? The sculptors/companies might be thrilled to see what their work has inspired!
      • x 4