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Thread: Dark Tower Copyright question

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    Goldmember Kevin will become famous soon enough Kevin will become famous soon enough Kevin's Avatar

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    Default Dark Tower Copyright question

    Returning from a long absence from this site to ask a very specific question I'm hoping one of you lovely people may have an answer to.

    I currently work at a retail store that offers an embroidery service for customers. I would love to stitch the 'ka' symbol on some of my own apparel (or perhaps the eye of the Crimson King, or the 'unfound' symbol, etc) but my company is very strict about not doing anything that could be seen as theft of intellectual property or a copyright infringement.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this? Perhaps who I could contact to get written permission, or maybe just some insight on Kings general stance on this subject?

    If anyone has any info, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Kevin

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    I think if you modify it slightly you can avoid copyright issues. I think there is also a grey area with items that are done for personal use.

    Full disclosure: I am not a lawyer of any kind, nor is this legal advise. I am also probably very wrong.

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    The question I would ask myself: "How would my workplace ever find out if the Ka symbol or eye of the crimson king picture belonged to someone else?"

    But then you are talking to a guy whose cricket team has "borrowed" a logo from a professional sports team from the other side of the planet, and so perhaps my morals aren't quote in the space you need advice from lol!

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    As the symbols are not copyrighted logos and are part of an illustration, I doubt very much if anybody is going to go after you legally. I'm sure Michael Whelan didnt go through his lawyers the first time he drew the Ka symbol when he signed his name in a book for example!

    There are many, many examples of these symbols being used in clothing or other items for mass commercial sale. Again, this doesn't make it legal, but it demonstrates non pursuit of the legal ownership of the design.
    It's always a grey area and basically comes down to the concept of 'fair use' If you buy a book or a movie or a game and then decide to incorporate some aspect of the artwork onto a t-Shirt you personally wear then that's almost certainly going to come under 'fair use'. If you start a factory printing 1000's of said garments and selling to make a profit then thats probably not. When does the line cross? 10? 20 ? 100? who knows.

    My advice? dont trace or photocopy the original design, create a freehand approximation and you are going to be fine.

    Oh and as for SK's stance - he has seen many fans at his signings wearing T-shirts with images from his books - his usual response is "Nice T-Shirt"

    As I like Joe's sign off...
    Full disclosure: I am not a lawyer of any kind, nor is this legal advise. I could be very wrong, but I've read a lot about copyright law on the interweb...
    "A real limited edition, far from being an expensive autograph stapled to a novel, is a treasure. And like all treasures do, it transforms the responsible owner into a caretaker, and being a caretaker of something as fragile and easily destroyed as ideas and images is not a bad thing but a good one...and so is the re-evaluation of what books are and what they do that necessarily follows." - Stephen King

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    my company is very strict about not doing anything that could be see as theft of intellectual property or a copyright infringement.
    As well they should be. The Ka symbol was created by Michael Whelan and I'm sure if he got wind of it he'd be only to happy to dispatch cease and desist orders.

    The "unfound" symbol is possibly a different case, since it isn't so much an illustration as a rendering of text in a particular typeface. King's creation, but possibly not protected art.

    I don't know who created the Crimson King eye illustration. You should ask Ms. Mod at King's message board -- she would be able to point you in the right direction.

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    You would have to "alter" it A LOT. Our lawyers suggest 80% alteration to be safe and sound!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimimck View Post
    The question I would ask myself: "How would my workplace ever find out if the Ka symbol or eye of the crimson king picture belonged to someone else?"
    The problem is, in order to convert it to a file format our machine can use, it has to be sent to our digitization team, who are responsible for checking to see if it is protected or not. They dont look kindly on people submitting stuff that is copyrighted, and since this is my place of employment I thought I'd do a bit or research before I shoot myself in the foot by submitting something that would get me in hot water with the boss-man.

    I appreciate the input from everyone! I tweeted at Stephen King but thats probably a pipe dream. Conctacting the mod on the official SK website is a great idea.

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    I was always under the assumption that, as long as it's not for profit, there's a certain allowance when it comes to copyrighted images.

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    It's completely up to the holder of the copyright. "Not for profit" is not a legitimate defense.

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    Yeah, that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    Returning from a long absence from this site to ask a very specific question I'm hoping one of you lovely people may have an answer to.

    I currently work at a retail store that offers an embroidery service for customers. I would love to stitch the 'ka' symbol on some of my own apparel (or perhaps the eye of the Crimson King, or the 'unfound' symbol, etc) but my company is very strict about not doing anything that could be see as theft of intellectual property or a copyright infringement.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this? Perhaps who I could contact to get written permission, or maybe just some insight on Kings general stance on this subject?

    If anyone has any info, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Kevin
    You could try asking question here as well: http://tumblr.michaelwhelan.com/ask

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    OH MAH GOD. It's Kevin!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany View Post
    OH MAH GOD. It's Kevin!
    Oh hey there... *shuffles feet awkwardly, looking bashful*

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    OT but, Kevin... name rings a lot of bells...
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