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Copyright of doll vs Copyright of photos of dolls?

Jun 15, 2006

    1. Hypothetically speaking, if someone were to use images of their own BJD/s to commercial purposes, are there any copyright issues involved?
    2. I was wondering about this too.
    3. If its their own there shouldnt be problems right? unless other use ur pics for commercial use.
    4. Because the doll molds *are* copyrighted to the various companies, I think...
    5. ahhh ic


      i wonder~
    6. Do you mean selling phots of them?

      If so, I don't think that's a copy right infringment unless you claim to be the creator of the actual doll. People sell artistic photos of cars and motorbikes with not copyright issues, so I think it would be fine so long as it was understood that you are photographing a doll by a certain company....

      ...I think..... I might be wrong....
    7. Even if there is an issue I really doubt any companies would enforce the law if it's just fans of their dolls taking photos to show them off or whatever. Interesting question tho...
    8. There was a 9th Circuit case about this just a few years back. Mattel Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions.

      The doll molds themselves may be copyrighted to Volks and other companies, but any photo that you have taken is your own artistic property to do with as you wish, so long as it is transformative more so than derivative (IE, creative).

      If someone uses one of your photos in a non-invasive way (such as for an avatar on an Internet forum like this one), it is considered to be personal use and perfectly legal. If they profit from your image or use it for commercial purposes, it is infringing upon your artistic rights over the image; namely those regarding its marketing. This is something that you can seek damages over once you have obtained an official copyright for the image, but whether it would be economically feasible or advantageous to do so is another matter entirely.
    9. Are you talking about selling photos, or use in commercials for doll related products?

      If it's the first there should be no problems with current copyright laws - if the photos are to be considered pieces of art. The doll molds are copyright to the doll companies that make/sell the dolls, but you are the owner of your doll.

      But if it's the latter case there may be a problem as you are using their dolls to advertise competing products.

      Still, I think VenusThruTheLookingGlass may be right that even if there is an issue the companies wouldn't enforce the law if it's just fans making stuff and selling them to other fans for a +-0 profit, like in most cases.
    10. with most items, if you change it by 30% it becomes yours, and I think that would include doing faceups, adding scars, wigs..etc.
    11. I didn't think about that, Catdancer, but I read that somewhere too, so you must be right. Then to prove its 30 per cent is a wholly different matter, but that issue is two wayed so there shouldn't be a problem really.
    12. If you're concerned, I'm pretty sure all you need to do is state very clearly that you did not make the actual doll - and then no-one can call you up on it. The photograph is your work, after all.

    13. This is helpful. ^_^

    14. To clarify, the use of BDJs for the generation of images for sale, like using them as characters in a photo-comic or doing a stop-motion film with them.

      Of course, this is all strictly hypothetical...
    15. I would think that would be ok, since you are using them sort of as props in your own artwork and you aren't claiming that you made the dolls. You should probably state somewhere on the finished work where the dolls came from, though.
    16. A brief mention on the stop motion film side of things...

      If you were thinking of doing such a project and making money out of it (And boy howdy would I like to...) it would probably be worthwhile asking the company itself beforehand and specifically detailing the script. Given that that one horror film (Dollmaster, was it?) got made, I think most companies would probably be completely fine with it and happy you asked them beforehand.

      The reason I mention it is a rather obscure film called 'Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story'. Various western dolls, including Barbie, were used to portray all the different characters in a quite unpleasant real life story with some rather nasty issues, specifically anorexia. Mattel would have taken 'em to court and sued the hell out of 'em if the film hadn't got banned first, on the grounds that it was damaging to their company and Barbie's image. Now, the BJD companies certainly don't have Mattel's itchy trigger finger (They're rather fond of sueing people, Mattel, especially when it comes to Barbie) and they also don't have the same 'image' ideals which creates much less of a problem plotline wise, but it's always better to play safe. When in doubt, ask!
    17. if ur own Bjds i dun think there is any porblem but if someone would use the Bjds photo of other ppl own without permission, just worry about this. then u gotta copy right it. Mostly, my own pics, I will mark something on it just as a represent of compy right that pics belong to me... So may be ya can do that as many ppl do that too. XD
    18. Mattel also sued a company that was producing images of 'fat' Barbies for a feel good about yourself promotion. They felt that having overweight Barbie was damaging to her image, and that she was used without their permission.

      Mattel is pretty well known for suing the heck out of artists making profit off of/unflattering photos of/unflattering mods of Barbies. They used the people selling the "trailer trash" Barbies as well, despite the fact that those were modifcations of existing Barbies rather than recast dolls.

      So while they may not win every case if it were dragged out to the highest court, they have enough money that most small artists just kind of have to roll over and give in when they come barking with a cease and decist order.

      Whether it's legal to make money off doll photos: Perhaps.

      Is it ethical? I'd have to say no, because you didn't make the doll, and you likely didn't make the wig or the eyes. By taking a photo and selling it you're profiteering off the work of whoever DID make the doll, the wig, and the eyes simply because you can operate a camera.
    19. I have to disagree with you on this, you don't see France sue people selling photos of the Statue of Liberty - to take one example.

      The Statue of Liberty was designed by French artist Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, by the way.
    20. I make all my doll's wigs. *shrug*

      Anyway, it is interesting to see the issues relating to this. Just to reiterate,


      I'm not planning anything...