Welcome to the forums for Public Domain Super Heroes Wiki and The Free Universe! Discuss public domain and open license properties.
 
HomeCalendarGalleryFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Regarding Popeye

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
PhantomofDoom

avatar

Posts : 175
Join date : 2010-06-17
Age : 49
Location : Nebraska

PostSubject: Regarding Popeye   Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:03 am

Is Popeye and all the other characters associated with him in the Public Domain? I know he was owned by King Feature Syndicates but according to one site, he's in the PD.

I didn't think he was. Anyone have any definitive answers? Just curious. Thanks!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
argosail

avatar

Posts : 481
Join date : 2010-05-02
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Regarding Popeye   Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:09 am

In the European Union, Popeye is now, technically, in the public domain, because it has been over 70 years since the author died. In the United States, the law is 75 years, so he won't become public domain until 2013. A few episodes of the cartoon are public domain, but any derivative work would still be considered derivative of the protected works. As usual, the trademark is firmly protected so your ads or packaging can't use the name.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
PhantomofDoom

avatar

Posts : 175
Join date : 2010-06-17
Age : 49
Location : Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Regarding Popeye   Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:03 am

Thanks. Not that I have any plans to use Popeye but was just curious as I read this on another website.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bchat



Posts : 72
Join date : 2010-05-15
Age : 46

PostSubject: Re: Regarding Popeye   Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:10 am

Small correction: Copyrights actually last a maximum of 95 years (1st term of 28 years plus Renewal lasting 47 years plus 20 year extension), so something published in the United States in 1923 or later that was renewed would remain protected by US Copyright Law through 2018.

International Copyright Laws are, in my opinion, a mess since a foreign country's court has the right to ignore the laws of another country and just use their own natural laws to determine a case involving potential Copyright Infringement. This means it may be possible to get away with using Popeye somewhere depending on how any particular country handles International Copyright Agreements.

Popeye was created in 1929 by American artist E.C. Segar and published in American newspapers through King Features Syndicate, so in the US at least, he's technically not PD (assuming all the proper Renewals were filed), although, like argosail says, some of the Fleischer cartoons are PD now.

Quote :
any derivative work would still be considered derivative of the protected works

Each and every comic/cartoon created carries its own separate Copyright that, technically, does not affect, nor is it affected by, the Copyright status of any other work. You could still make a derivative work from the cartoons, but you'ld have to remove all the Copyrighted elements that the comic strips contain which were published before or up to the time the cartoons were made/released, leaving most creators with anything BUT a Popeye cartoon/story.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
argosail

avatar

Posts : 481
Join date : 2010-05-02
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Regarding Popeye   Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:11 pm

95 years vs. 75 years, as I understand it, depends on whether it was a work for hire. So, if the first Popeye cartoons were a work for hire by King Features, then King Features owns it, until 95 years after they were first published, and it has nothing to do with the date of Segar's death.

However, if the EU status is any indication, then it suggests that Segar owned the first Popeye material, in which case, the copyright expires 75 years after his death. He died in 1938. I believe I've got that much right, though I haven't done enough research to actually know who owns the very first Popeye material.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bchat



Posts : 72
Join date : 2010-05-15
Age : 46

PostSubject: Re: Regarding Popeye   Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:45 am

argosail wrote:
95 years vs. 75 years, as I understand it, depends on whether it was a work for hire. So, if the first Popeye cartoons were a work for hire by King Features, then King Features owns it, until 95 years after they were first published, and it has nothing to do with the date of Segar's death.

However, if the EU status is any indication, then it suggests that Segar owned the first Popeye material, in which case, the copyright expires 75 years after his death. He died in 1938. I believe I've got that much right, though I haven't done enough research to actually know who owns the very first Popeye material.

Since the material originated in the US, you would have to follow the US laws if you were to publish the material in the US. The EU Laws put more emphasis on the individual creators than corporate ownership, so 70 years after Segar died (it was only 50 years in Canada), his work (and only that work he created on his own) became Public Domain in Europe.

In the US, "Life + Xyears" didn't come into effect until 1978. Currently, it's "Life + 70 years". Prior to 1978, there was no difference between work-for-hire or an Individual Creator regarding the length & terms of a Copyright. Between 1923 and '77, the Laws are the same for published works regardless of who or what owns the rights to the material.

I'll admit to being ignorant of who owned the Copyright to Popeye's first appearance, but those stories do not fall under the "Life +" umbrella as they're too old. King Features, from what I can tell, seemed to make sure that anything it distributed to newspapers was owned by them anyway. I doubt that King Features failed to renew the Copyrights on the comic strips, but again, I don't really know as I've never looked into it.

And I focused on the US Copyright Law because it's where PhantomofDoom lives, and so those are the Laws that affect him, me and everyone else living in the USA. Stating international laws to people living in the US will only cause them unneccessary problems down the line if they tried using Popeye for anything that they planned on producing in this country.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Regarding Popeye   

Back to top Go down
 
Regarding Popeye
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Popeye?????
» Popeye...the sailorman "stone version"
» Popeye Wong

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
The Free Universe :: Welcome to the Public Domain! :: Legal Questions and Debate-
Jump to: