Takara King Walder Jr. Plantman - Self Portrait

Posted by cae 
cae
[toyboxdx.com]

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hassenpfeffer
Well, I still like your photos at least as much as I like Warhol's toy series. Which is to say, quite a bit.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
I don't see how these are plagiarism. In effect, you are saying that all the other similar books that fill our shelves should not have been made? Or just because you add a fanciful background, that makes them improper? I disagree. And I've seen plenty of artwork featuring toys in precarious situations, and AFAIK, the artists have not been sued.

Imagine if the toys were cars. You cannot create images with these? If an advertisement has an auto in the background, do you think they obtained rights to have it there or paid royalties? I doubt it.

I think you've been misled (not intentionally, of course).

Unless the toy is used in a way that the manufacturers feel is hurting or defaming their brand, then I find it highly unlikely there would (or could) be any repercussions.
cae
Read the part about Disney again think about it. There's gulf of distance between shooting an image of a car and shooting an image of a licensed character.

"And if Warhol's a genius, what am I?
A speck of lint on the penis of an alien
Buried in gelatin
Beneath the sands of Venus"
- King Crimson - The ConstruKction Of Light

Thanks, Paul

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hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/23/2011 04:48PM by cae.
There are plenty of similar books already on the market. A quick search turned up this, for instance:

[www.amazon.com]

I understand what you are saying about the characters, not the toys themselves. But see here:

[www.amazon.com]

I would think Barbie is a licensed character at this point, not just a toy.
cae
First book doesn't appear to be using major character toys "Because the toys that McCarty photographs are simultaneously art objects and consumer goods, many of his images were created to serve both creative and commercial goals.", second book is in a format I *could* approach (but don't wanna 'cause it's self-publishing: not my goal) - Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

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hassenpfeffer



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/23/2011 05:05PM by cae.
cae Wrote:
>
> Thanks, Paul

Think nothing of it.

Your King Crimson quote reminds me of a song which is very dear to me, about the stifling of ambition, "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror" by Jeffrey Lewis. The parts I'd like to quote are a bit long-winded to just paste in here - in short, Lewis imagines that he meets indie rock icon Will Oldham on the subway and accosts him, spilling out his trepidation about his own attempt at following his artistic avocation and pleading with Oldham to deliver some affirmation that it's worth it.


cae Wrote:
> second book is in a format I *could* approach
> (but don't wanna 'cause it's self-publishing:
> not my goal)

Well, if you ever did want to produce and sell a book yourself, I know quite a few people who have self-published comics and I could get you some good recommendations for print-on-demand houses.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, but have you considered approaching some of the license holders, or finding someone who can on your behalf? If you can't get the big boys to deal, perhaps you can find some smaller toy makers who would agree? I know this is probably more limiting in scope or a change in focus, but I'd suspect with your portfolio of images, it wouldn't be a hard sell--not that I'm any expert on this subject, but I believe we have people in this community who might well be.

I'm tangentially remembering that there was a young woman on Flickr who shot great photos of a licensed character from Japan (Yotsuba) and was later tapped to have their work published officially by the original publisher.
I am pretty sure that taking pictures of objects that are registered designs and incorporating them in a book *DOES NOT* consist plagiarism - if it does in the US, then US copyright law is even more fucked up than I ever imagined, and you should considering publishing the book with a company abroad, in a country with more sensible laws.

Now if you were producing exact 3D replicas...

If the problem is using an image of a character and comparing it to a toy, indeed you should approach the license holder(s), carefully explain your objective, and hope for the best.

Worst case is they ask some exhorbitant license fee.
cae
> "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror" by Jeffrey Lewis.

Hilarious and annoying.

> have you considered approaching some of the license holders

Given the rat's nest of characters, licenses, companies involved, I think the costs would be prohibitive. One of the other factors not mentioned in the post is the fact that I would likely sell around 200 copies, tops. I mean - who cares about this shit but people like us - and most of us are putting our money towards toys, not stupid books. Sure, some non-toy folks see it and like it but ... as a novelty. It'd sell better as a remainder, and not even well, then. The whole idea is just ... wrongheaded.

> if you ever did want to produce and sell a book yourself

Again, if I thought I could sell it, I might consider it but, as stated above, one of the realizations was, no one wants this book.

> I am pretty sure that taking pictures of objects that are registered designs and incorporating them in a book *DOES NOT* consist plagiarism

I say again - go ahead and try what I've done with toys of Goofy, Mickey, and Donald. Or Bugs, Daffy, Porky. I double dare you.

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hassenpfeffer
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> > I am pretty sure that taking pictures of objects
> that are registered designs and incorporating them
> in a book *DOES NOT* consist plagiarism
>
> I say again - go ahead and try what I've done with
> toys of Goofy, Mickey, and Donald. Or Bugs, Daffy,
> Porky. I double dare you.

First, you and your friend are mixing up plagiarism and copyright infringement. They are NOT the same thing.

Whatever Disney's or Warner's lawyers say, taking pictures of objects and publishing those pictures is not copyright infringement, nor plagiarism. Otherwise a whole lot of product reviews published in commercial magazines would be illegal, and obviously they are not, since those magazines are not all banned. Nor do all those reviews feature text reading "pictures licenced from <insert manufacturer here>" (unless the pictures are actually *from* the manufacturer, obviously).

The problem with Disney (and some other companies) is that they have a whole lotta money, and can file courtcase upon courtcase against you - in certain jurisdictions (like the US). In other jurisdictions, filing a case against someone for publishing pictures of an object would be chucked out before it even reached the judge. It's not the supposed copyright infringement that is the problem, it is that some asshole companies have such unlimited resources that a normal person can't defend against them.
cae,

We have here on this very board folks who have produced a book of super robots #1 photos. Certainly whatever applies there applies here: permission was either (1) given or (2) not needed. What other options are there besides these two? Am I missing some subtext here?
Corey, you state that you don't want to self-publish, but then you say you only expect to sell about 200. So if you don't expect a wide distribution, why not self-publish? Here's one dude who self-published, and the finished product is quite nice.

[www.robot-japan.com]

I'm not sure what the reservations about this approach are.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you've convinced yourself that you can't do this. I hope you listen to the folks posting in this thread and pursue this (or at least look further into it). Considering how deeply this affected you, I think you need to reconsider. But I am done pushing. Its all in your hands now. Good luck with whatever path you choose.
cae
Thomas - My friend isn't mixing anything up - these are my words and I meant tantamount to plagiarism. The term was used along the same lines as one might say "soul rape" obviously you're not actually locating their soul and plooking it against it's wishes ... but the gist works. This is what I get for being a sloppy thinker/writer.

"Otherwise a whole lot of product reviews published in commercial magazines would be illegal"
I have to ask - have you seen my pictures? See below for further elucidation.

Lemel - there's a rather wide gulf between a *catalog* of character toys (SR#1) and a book of fanciful composites placing the toys in non-contextual situations - Granzel peeing in a urinal, Gan Gara Gan Chan selling liquor. This is not quite the same as the sterile museum display that SR#1 is. It's a joyful, mischievous re-purposing. If I wasn't such a dork it'd almost be punk.

Kingboy - Sorry I wasn't clear - *if I had a publisher pushing my book* I expect I would sell about 200 copies. Self-publishing and pimping myself? Let's see, if my calendar's are any indication, I think I might sell up to 5 copies the first year.

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hassenpfeffer
cae Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thomas - My friend isn't mixing anything up -
> these are my words and I meant tantamount to
> plagiarism. The term was used along the same lines
> as one might say "soul rape" obviously you're not
> actually locating their soul and plooking it
> against it's wishes ... but the gist works. This
> is what I get for being a sloppy thinker/writer.

I believe Kigboy D is right, and you have convinced yourself it is not gonna fly, even if you haven't actually bothered asking.
>
> "Otherwise a whole lot of product reviews
> published in commercial magazines would be
> illegal"
> I have to ask - have you seen my pictures? See
> below for further elucidation.
>
Yes, I have. Here's two examples that come down to the same thing:

Twisted Toyfare Theatre

Top Gear (arguably, the whole series)

And they're not the only ones doing it.

> Lemel - there's a rather wide gulf between a
> *catalog* of character toys (SR#1) and a book of
> fanciful composites placing the toys in
> non-contextual situations - Granzel peeing in a
> urinal, Gan Gara Gan Chan selling liquor. This is
> not quite the same as the sterile museum display
> that SR#1 is. It's a joyful, mischievous
> re-purposing. If I wasn't such a dork it'd almost
> be punk.

So it just comes down to "Does Disney have a sense of humor or not?".

They might say "No". They might say "Yes", They might say "Yes, but not those involving urinals". If you don't ask them, you're never going to know.
One last example I'd like to make is a pretty obvious and also an extreme one - Robot Chicken. They make no disguise to hide the characters and they are doing some pretty improper things. I have no doubt that the licensees of most of those characters would be strongly opposed to having them portrayed in that fashion (i.e., I doubt they obtained authorization to use the toys/characters in those situations).
MSW
Oh COME on!

FAIR USE, bitches!
[en.wikipedia.org]


Even if you wanted to sell photos of Disney toys in a bath of human urine(see PISS CHRIST) ...Disney CAN'T stop you!
cae
Well now, food for thought. Inneresting.

Still not convinced it would sell worth a damn, though.

Maybe I'll knock one together and try self publishing after all.

I mean, why not?

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hassenpfeffer
cae Wrote:
> Well now, food for thought. Inneresting.

Your work is certainly fair use in terms of the amount of creative material added to the original piece that you're using as a subject. Your background photos are all original, right? Between that, the original photography of the toys, and the compositing work done, you certainly have a case for substantiality.

I think your concerns about the copyright holders being able to take legal action are justified, though - since they could theoretically argue that your book interferes with their ability to produce similar material of the characters they own. Of course, this is only a concern if you're publishing it on a scale that would even attract the notice of Japanese rights holders - and if Super #1 Robot was publishable, and so many other guides and photo books about vintage toys make it to market - and your book would be on a much smaller scale - it's probably not something to worry about. And if they order you to cease and desist? Well, as long as you can unload whatever books you got printed, you're just back to square one, having diffused a pollen-like spray of books into the world, to be eaten by the hungry bees of toy fandom and never seen again. Wait, what was I talking about?

> Still not convinced it would sell worth a damn,
> though.
>
> Maybe I'll knock one together and try self
> publishing after all.
>
> I mean, why not?

Some POD printers let you order VERY small quantities. I'm not sure what minimums would be like for larger formats with full color interiors, but friends of mine who have printed their comics with monochrome interiors at about trade size (8"x5") have been able to order just 20 or 40 at a time, and periodically re-up when they sell out, instead of having to place a big order at once.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
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