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 Characters for whom only some sources are PD

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Polar Bear



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PostSubject: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:01 am

Hi! I'm a newcomer w/a question I can't find on the forums.

GIVEN #1: If a movie or book falls in the PD, their characters are PD, too. Example: Bela Lugosi's White Zombie falls in the public domain; therefore, the villainous character Murder Legendre is PD.

GIVEN #2: A Trademark owner must use a TM'd character at least once every 17 years to maintain that TM, or else it falls into the PD. Example: Tarzan has not been in continuous publication since his first appearance, but he appears frequently enough that he has not fallen completely into the PD (though people can use concepts from the character's PD appearances as long as they don't use his name).

THEREFORE: What do we do with a character when their originating works are NOT in the PD (post-1922), but they do appear in some works whose copyrights have been allowed to expire? Example 1: The Shadow & the Lone Ranger, whose trademarks are intact, but whose radio shows are PD. Example 2: Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, whose 1950s TV series is PD. Example 3: Mr. Moto, 1 movie of whose (Mr. Moto's Last Warning) has fallen into the PD. Example 4: Superman, whose 1940s Fleisher cartoons have fallen into the PD--that animated version only???

The intended use is to include their (possibly shortened) character biographies & stats in an RPG I'm currently writing, with hopes to get it published. I would not use the characters' names in advertising.
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captainwhizz

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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:55 pm

If a work falls into the public domain, only elements wholly within that work are public domain. So, using the example of Tarzan, you can use the story and the characterisations that appear within PD works, but not anything that happens to the characters in protected works.
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Polar Bear



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:07 am

captainwhizz wrote:
If a work falls into the public domain, only elements wholly within that work are public domain. So, using the example of Tarzan, you can use the story and the characterisations that appear within PD works, but not anything that happens to the characters in protected works.

So, I'm supposing that since Margo Lane originated in the Shadow radio shows, not the pulps, Margo Lane is therefore PD. Similarly, the "Mechanical Monsters" that Superman fought in the similarly-named Fleisher cartoons are PD, but not Supes himself.

Does this mean the Daily Planet, Perry White, & Jimmy Olsen, all introduced in Superman's now-PD radio show The Adventures of Superman, are public domain, too?
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great dude



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:40 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Hi! I'm a newcomer w/a question I can't find on the forums.

GIVEN #1: If a movie or book falls in the PD, their characters are PD, too. Example: Bela Lugosi's White Zombie falls in the public domain; therefore, the villainous character Murder Legendre is PD.

GIVEN #2: A Trademark owner must use a TM'd character at least once every 17 years to maintain that TM, or else it falls into the PD. Example: Tarzan has not been in continuous publication since his first appearance, but he appears frequently enough that he has not fallen completely into the PD (though people can use concepts from the character's PD appearances as long as they don't use his name).

THEREFORE: What do we do with a character when their originating works are NOT in the PD (post-1922), but they do appear in some works whose copyrights have been allowed to expire? Example 1: The Shadow & the Lone Ranger, whose trademarks are intact, but whose radio shows are PD. Example 2: Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, whose 1950s TV series is PD. Example 3: Mr. Moto, 1 movie of whose (Mr. Moto's Last Warning) has fallen into the PD. Example 4: Superman, whose 1940s Fleisher cartoons have fallen into the PD--that animated version only???

The intended use is to include their (possibly shortened) character biographies & stats in an RPG I'm currently writing, with hopes to get it published. I would not use the characters' names in advertising.
Wow,that is awesome news.i have some questions though:
1.what is the name of your RPG?
2.when will it be published?
3.are there other public domain golden age characters in your RPG?
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captainwhizz

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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:53 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
captainwhizz wrote:
If a work falls into the public domain, only elements wholly within that work are public domain. So, using the example of Tarzan, you can use the story and the characterisations that appear within PD works, but not anything that happens to the characters in protected works.

So, I'm supposing that since Margo Lane originated in the Shadow radio shows, not the pulps, Margo Lane is therefore PD. Similarly, the "Mechanical Monsters" that Superman fought in the similarly-named Fleisher cartoons are PD, but not Supes himself.

Does this mean the Daily Planet, Perry White, & Jimmy Olsen, all introduced in Superman's now-PD radio show The Adventures of Superman, are public domain, too?

They should be. Although DC might choose to bully you anyway. "The Planet", Percy White and James Olsen might be safer.
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great dude



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:57 pm

captainwhizz wrote:
Polar Bear wrote:
captainwhizz wrote:
If a work falls into the public domain, only elements wholly within that work are public domain. So, using the example of Tarzan, you can use the story and the characterisations that appear within PD works, but not anything that happens to the characters in protected works.

So, I'm supposing that since Margo Lane originated in the Shadow radio shows, not the pulps, Margo Lane is therefore PD. Similarly, the "Mechanical Monsters" that Superman fought in the similarly-named Fleisher cartoons are PD, but not Supes himself.

Does this mean the Daily Planet, Perry White, & Jimmy Olsen, all introduced in Superman's now-PD radio show The Adventures of Superman, are public domain, too?

They should be. Although DC might choose to bully you anyway. "The Planet", Percy White and James Olsen might be safer.
Yeah,play it safe,and good luck with your RPG.
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Polar Bear



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:57 am

great dude wrote:
captainwhizz wrote:
Polar Bear wrote:
captainwhizz wrote:
If a work falls into the public domain, only elements wholly within that work are public domain. So, using the example of Tarzan, you can use the story and the characterisations that appear within PD works, but not anything that happens to the characters in protected works.

So, I'm supposing that since Margo Lane originated in the Shadow radio shows, not the pulps, Margo Lane is therefore PD. Similarly, the "Mechanical Monsters" that Superman fought in the similarly-named Fleisher cartoons are PD, but not Supes himself.

Does this mean the Daily Planet, Perry White, & Jimmy Olsen, all introduced in Superman's now-PD radio show The Adventures of Superman, are public domain, too?

They should be. Although DC might choose to bully you anyway. "The Planet", Percy White and James Olsen might be safer.
Yeah,play it safe,and good luck with your RPG.

Thank you, Captain. I appreciate it.

Great Dude, I only have character generation 2/3 done & combat about 1/2 done, so I still have to complete those two parts and then get on to all the world-building that for now resides only in my head. It'll be at least a year until I'm even finished, let alone can talk about a publishing date. I haven't yet decided on the exact number of fully-statted heroes and villains to include in the initial release, but it'll be substantial, with many supplements to follow.
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great dude



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:10 am

Polar Bear wrote:
great dude wrote:
captainwhizz wrote:
Polar Bear wrote:
captainwhizz wrote:
If a work falls into the public domain, only elements wholly within that work are public domain. So, using the example of Tarzan, you can use the story and the characterisations that appear within PD works, but not anything that happens to the characters in protected works.

So, I'm supposing that since Margo Lane originated in the Shadow radio shows, not the pulps, Margo Lane is therefore PD. Similarly, the "Mechanical Monsters" that Superman fought in the similarly-named Fleisher cartoons are PD, but not Supes himself.

Does this mean the Daily Planet, Perry White, & Jimmy Olsen, all introduced in Superman's now-PD radio show The Adventures of Superman, are public domain, too?

They should be. Although DC might choose to bully you anyway. "The Planet", Percy White and James Olsen might be safer.
Yeah,play it safe,and good luck with your RPG.

Thank you, Captain. I appreciate it.

Great Dude, I only have character generation 2/3 done & combat about 1/2 done, so I still have to complete those two parts and then get on to all the world-building that for now resides only in my head. It'll be at least a year until I'm even finished, let alone can talk about a publishing date. I haven't yet decided on the exact number of fully-statted heroes and villains to include in the initial release, but it'll be substantial, with many supplements to follow.
Wow,I Hope your role-playing game is self-published.keep up the good work!


Last edited by great dude on Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:54 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : i said the wrong thing at first)
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captainwhizz

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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:58 am

Keep us updated with how it goes, and good luck!
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great dude



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:41 am

Keep up the good work.


Last edited by great dude on Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:39 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : I MESSED UP THE FIRST TIME)
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great dude



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PostSubject: Re: Characters for whom only some sources are PD   Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:25 am

How is everything coming along on the RPG?


Last edited by great dude on Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : i messed up the first time)
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