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 Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady

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artless



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PostSubject: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:12 pm

Hello all, I'm new here and have had a good look at the posts but thought I'd ask the specific question I've been wondering about, as I can't see it addressed exactly.

If I were to draw (and sell prints of) pin-ups of the Golden Age version of The Phantom Lady, would this be legal?
A quick search on Zazzle (a Print-on-Demand site) shows sellers using the actual Golden Age comic artwork on t-shirts, etc., and Zazzle are pretty hot on copyright infringement, so that seems okay, but would it be equally permissable to sell my own pin-ups? As long as I keep them to her blue & red costume, with no DC references. I see they've been a bit strong-arm with her in the past.

Thanks for any help with this.


Last edited by artless on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CodeAndReload

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PostSubject: Re: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:01 am

I can't talk for Zazzle but from my experience, CafePress's automated system determined that certain designs of mine were too similar to another one (of my own designs).

The automated system isn't aware enough of the uploader to take that into consideration.


I assume that Zazzle is pretty similar.
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artless



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PostSubject: Re: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:22 pm

I think Zazzle is more based on tags & names, etc. They don't allow any personality likenesses for instance.
But I was using them as an example - I'm more interested in knowing if the principle of selling prints of my own Golden Age Phantom Lady artwork is sound.
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MikeDiBaggio

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PostSubject: Re: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:16 am

Technically, all fan art of copyrighted characters is copyright infringement -- including that done by comic artists at conventions or who do commissions on the web. It's just that the the copyright holders usually turn a blind eye to it, especially since they don't want to alienate their employees. On the other hand, it's not unprecedented - Marvel countersued Gary Friedrich for his Ghost Rider art prints after he sued them for ownership of the Ghost Rider character. Marvel initially won, and then got slapped down again. That such murky areas even exist and cannot be consistently resolved even in a court of law is a huge indictment of the copyright system.

Anyway, if Phantom Lady is in the public domain (and I am convinced she is), none of that applies. The key is that your prints be of the Golden Age version of the Phantom Lady (or whatever other versions are in the PD), or some adaptation thereof.

I think DC realizes that a lot of its Fawcett and even Charlton characters have original iterations in the public domain, and they have been trying to distance "their" versions of these characters from the originals by killing off the originals. The current Phantom Lady in DC does not have the same identity, costume, nor even the same nature of powers as the original. Virtually none of the Uncle Sam-family characters are the same, and even the Captain Marvel characters have been updated to death (Shazam the wizard is gone, replaced by Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman is the new Cap Marvel (or just Marvel), etc...) I think this is one of the big reasons why they killed off Ted Kord (Blue Beetle II) and Vic Sage (the Question), too.
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artless



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PostSubject: Re: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:44 pm

thanks for the clarification Mike, much appreciated
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CodeAndReload

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PostSubject: Re: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:14 am

MikeDiBaggio wrote:
Technically, all fan art of copyrighted characters is copyright infringement -- including that done by comic artists at conventions or who do commissions on the web.

People like Adam Hughes can get away with it, when he does it for charity.

MikeDiBaggio wrote:
I think DC realizes that a lot of its Fawcett and even Charlton characters have original iterations in the public domain, and they have been trying to distance "their" versions of these characters from the originals by killing off the originals.

I'm curious to know how they are going to handle Earth 4 in Multiversity.

Quote :
Earth-4, where the Charlton Comics characters - The Question, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, etc. - are the heroes of a Watchmen-influenced world.

From the page on TV Tropes.
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MikeDiBaggio

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PostSubject: Re: Selling newly created artwork of Phantom Lady   Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:46 am

DC can still use the public domain versions of the characters, of course, same as anyone. It's just that they don't seem to like doing that. They went through so many different versions of the Freedom Fighters it's ridiculous.

I haven't read Multiversity yet, but I very much want to. I loved the original Ditko versions of Blue Beetle and Question.
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