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 How drastically would one have to change a disputed character to avoid a suit (rough estimate)?

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Yzz

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PostSubject: How drastically would one have to change a disputed character to avoid a suit (rough estimate)?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:51 am

Let's say I take Charlton's Captain Atom, change the costume to red and silver, change him into an African-American woman, and name her Captain Atomic. Do you think DC might bite?
Also, what if there are metafictional references, like that she disappeared in October of 1961, a reference to Captain Atom's disappearance from Space Adventures?

Thanks.

~~Yzz
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argosail

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PostSubject: Re: How drastically would one have to change a disputed character to avoid a suit (rough estimate)?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:56 am

I think that would be more than sufficient. It almost sounds like parody. I don't know there's much dispute over the original Captain Atom to begin with (other than the trademarked name), but even if they owned the copyright thoroughly, I think those changes would be sufficient. I think you would have more to fear from Marvel who has an African American woman in a silver costume named "Captain Marvel" (later renamed Photon) who has similar powers. But even with the veiled references to Captain Atom, it's quite a bit different. You can come pretty close to a blatant copy with superheroes, because they've all been done 1000 times, and they are all derivative of each other. How many Batman, Superman, Punisher and Wolverine clones are there??? More than I can count! Have you ever seen Rob Liefeld's work? I don't think he's ever created an original character? I think his process is to pick a character, rename it, changes the colors and patterns of their outfit, and maybe put a slight new spin on their powers or weapons.
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Yzz

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PostSubject: Re: How drastically would one have to change a disputed character to avoid a suit (rough estimate)?   Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:44 pm

Thanks for opining. I had a hunch that such is the case.

argosail wrote:
Have you ever seen Rob Liefeld's work? I don't think he's ever created an original character? I think his process is to pick a character, rename it, changes the colors and patterns of their outfit, and maybe put a slight new spin on their powers or weapons.
"He's like [Spider-man/Superman/insert hero here], except he kills people!" -my view of Liefeld's creative process.

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Ultimosteve



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PostSubject: Re: How drastically would one have to change a disputed character to avoid a suit (rough estimate)?   Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:14 am

I think the key question to ask yourself is "Could my character created market confusion?". That seems to be what most publisher are concerned with (that and is your knock-off making more money).

Like others have said I believe Ditto's Captain Atom is already in PD. I would say to be safe stick to the early issues for inspiration. Also use the red & yellow costume (my favorite anyway).
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PostSubject: Re: How drastically would one have to change a disputed character to avoid a suit (rough estimate)?   Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:45 pm

argosail wrote:
Have you ever seen Rob Liefeld's work? I don't think he's ever created an original character? I think his process is to pick a character, rename it, changes the colors and patterns of their outfit, and maybe put a slight new spin on their powers or weapons.

OMG Liefeld. Can't draw feet, or backgrounds, and every one of his characters have basically same features. All shoulder pads, pouches, and none of his characters have a proper grip of their guns or swords.

Look what happens when he tries to make a 'new' character... http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/05/01/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-153/


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