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02-06-2001, 08:10 PM
Hello! I am finally faced the big problem of copyrights and patents. Here's what i have done...i liked an animation i saw on the web, and i took the concept and made something similar. Ofcourse i re-made all the graphics but they do look similar to the ones on the actual site.However,the animation i have made is not 100% similar and though a few features are alike i have incorporated my own ides as well. Can someone please tell me if i can use my animation on the web or does it have to be trashed?

I would also like to know if i can go to some internet forum or get some document that describes patency/copyright laws for the internet.

Please let me know as many details about this as possible.I would also like to know if the country i am in doesn't have any laws regarding internet related copyrights/patents can i still be sued for making this animation ??

Thanx in advance............Dimple
[Edited by Dimple on 02-07-2001 at 03:11 AM]

02-06-2001, 09:12 PM
I'm no lawyer, but I'd try typing "internet law" into Google or some such place. Other peoples work inspires everyone and too what extent this affects ones own work and to what degree of hot water you might get into seems a mite shady to me, but you will not be alone in the kettle, that much I can safely advise you.

02-06-2001, 09:32 PM
I'm actually an undergraduate in the law program at University of Iowa and, trust me, this is a very tricky situation. In order for you to infringe on any copyright that exists on the animation you *imitated* (not copied), there has to be a definite and clear copy of the other work. The fine line here is that you are allowed to imitate other work without blatantly copying it. Some people throw around percentages, like "if it is 60% the same" but that is very unclear.

Now, if you simply swapped different text or a different image into the animation, then that would be copyright infringement. However, if you simply were inspired by the concept and it caused you to create something similar but different, then you should be okay. There is no serious claim to "copyright" a concept or idea, even a style.

Here's the test: if can look at the animation and you aren't completely sure that you will be safe, continue to change it slightly until you are.

Hope that helps. :)

Think of it this way: If no one could imitate or even be inspired by someone's work, then there would be very little out there. It's very hard to come up with someone that *no one at all* has thought about or tried before.

agent vivid
02-07-2001, 06:11 AM
moved to the boardroom :D

02-07-2001, 06:24 AM
Is it ok to actually take(yes I mean take) someones work and tamper with it?

02-08-2001, 02:21 AM
Here's my 2-cents. I believe that the best ideas are built on good ideas. We are moving into the "open-source" era... (of which I'm a HUGE believer in), and fully promote the idea of someone taking my work into the next level. Of course... it's always nice to place acknowledgements. I say go for it, Dimple! More often than not.. they will simply ask you to remove it before it gets legal if there is still question.
1). It costs money to go to court
2). It costs time to go to court
3). It's more "opinion" than "fact", which means long court time.
Any company would certainly talk to you first, and ask you to remove it, before they threaten you to court and fine you.

Just make sure there are "obvious" changes in it.


02-08-2001, 05:14 AM
good point!

And even better...make something completely different?

mad clown
02-09-2001, 05:26 AM

i wouldn't take someone's work and slightly modify it and repost it unless they are cool with it. Taking it and learning from it yourself and never doing anything more is something entirely different of course.

If they are cool with screwing around with it, by all means do, but otherwise it's just disrespectful. unless of course, it's parody, which should strive to be as disrespectful as possible.

02-09-2001, 11:27 PM
Taking a concept aint all that bad!

02-10-2001, 08:38 PM
I like the open source era. Ideas are shared, (and unfortuantly copied), and morphed - changed - altered - mixed-with-other-ideas, etc.

I think this is great way to share ideas. And I support and contribute. But I always ask to have a little credit for the stuff I've done.

Is there any way to legally FORCE this? thanks