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View Full Version : Kickstarters for fan comics of licenced properties


Rob Norton
09-28-2015, 06:59 PM
...is that possible? like FAN comics... I swear I have seen stuff like this done before.. like a fan made Ninja Turtle comic where the money went to the artist or whatever to pay for the time/effort, but then the book made available to people who donated?

am I completely up in the air about this? this cant be done right? but has it? is there some way around this...to have a fan comic and help get it put together and NOT be violating copyright laws n'shit?

I only ask cause for the last 5 yrs ive been working on a fan He-man comic and I have like a 100 pages done, but am about 30 more away from being done.. and other things keep coming up and delaying it..sometimes delays a year long. but I REALLY want people to see/read this and it would look its best if I could PAY a letterer to do it up properly and maybe have a skilled colorist greytone or color it..to make it looks its absolute best.

I couldn't kickstart a project to get it done and printed up could I? not even an option right? right?

probably a dumb question but.. in case im missing something, I thought id ask...cause y'all are smart folks

rob

dmh_3000
09-29-2015, 04:26 AM
I can sort of remember seeing it but I can't remember a specific project. Best bet is to look at the KS guidelines and see if it's okay. Alternatively you could go to the company, explain the project idea, and see if you can get permission.

Troy Dye
09-30-2015, 06:06 PM
If you do that, you're infringing on someone else's intellectual property. Kickstarter shouldn't allow it, but some campaigns slip through the cracks.

Keep this in mind ... a company must defend its trademark, or they will lose it. If they find out, they will tell Kickstarter to shut you down.

You could ask permission, but a company doesn't let you use their IP for free. Hasbro (or whoever owns it now) may agree to license it out to other companies to make derivative products (e.g. t-shirts, games, mugs, etc.), but this is for a fee and royalties. And they don't grant licenses to just anyone. They have a brand to protect.

If it's posted as "fan fiction" that's available for free, maaaaaybe they'll let it slide, but you never know.

Rob Norton
09-30-2015, 09:55 PM
im sure that's exactly the case. I couldn't imagine how anyone could get away with it outside of doing it totally for free/making no money off it.

im sure I just am mistaken in my thinking that it had been done before.

rob

ward1976
10-01-2015, 12:59 PM
Wow!

Rob Norton
10-01-2015, 03:41 PM
wow!


wow!

Bishop
10-01-2015, 03:51 PM
Some examples of what I think you are talking about...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1787418981/predator-repentance-0?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1144130879/star-wars-the-old-republic-revan-fan-film-0?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonrhigdon/star-wars-original-fan-film?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/129435952/godzilla-heritage-phase-one?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1343479712/white-armour-a-star-wars-fan-film?ref=nav_search

Rob Norton
10-01-2015, 06:24 PM
Some examples of what I think you are talking about...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1787418981/predator-repentance-0?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1144130879/star-wars-the-old-republic-revan-fan-film-0?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonrhigdon/star-wars-original-fan-film?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/129435952/godzilla-heritage-phase-one?ref=nav_search

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1343479712/white-armour-a-star-wars-fan-film?ref=nav_search

yeah see...that's basically what I was talking about..

one of those is a fan film that raised almost $20,000?!?! how are they getting away with that? just pure luck that they haven't been tracked down? I don't understand. but it DOES make me want to try and fund my stupid little thing... maybe. maybe...

rob

dmh_3000
10-02-2015, 04:43 AM
yeah see...that's basically what I was talking about..

one of those is a fan film that raised almost $20,000?!?! how are they getting away with that? just pure luck that they haven't been tracked down? I don't understand. but it DOES make me want to try and fund my stupid little thing... maybe. maybe...

rob

I think they get away with it because they specifically say it's non-profit. So as long as you're doing it that way, you should be fine.

NILgravity
10-02-2015, 04:39 PM
It could also be that they are doing something different enough that it could be considered parody but I suspect its actually because the owners of the property are so giant they didn't get around to doing something about it.
Legally speaking if they don't sue you for doing that it could become public domain. the law demands that companies viciously defend their property.

B-McKinley
10-05-2015, 10:15 AM
Well, Star Wars has been extremely tolerant of fan films for ages, to the point of actually having fan film awards. Star Trek is also pretty tolerant of fan films as long as they remain in the "not for profit" realm. But both of those tend to feel differently about printed projects. But then in print, at least on the Trek side, that is usually avoided by keeping the actual trademarked bits off of the cover (i.e. don't say Star Trek, Klingon, etc.)

You could always just change the names. That is after all how we get things like Star Wars (couldn't get rights to Flash Gordon) and Fifty Shades of Grey (never mind).

ETA:
Trademarks have to be enforced to be maintained, copyright does not. Copyright is automatic and for life+(a number of years).
Modern works only enter the public domain because the copyright holder explicitly makes them public domain.
Since copyright only protects works, not ideas (or names, etc.), the thing at issue is that you can't make a derivative work of a copyrighted work without permission.

By the time you finish your comic the rights might have lapsed and then you just need to find out how much that costs, and that (plus printing) would be your Kickstarter goal.