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Thread: When does art become 'yours'?

  1. #11
      geamon is offline
    Guild Artisan geamon's Avatar
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    My take is if the style and majority of elements are collaged or taken from some other source is to have an ask before posting/using policy. People are more then willing to let you know where their limits are and that way you can be consultative and inclusive in the process and prevent the problem from even arising. When it comes down to textures though it's really is a gray area because unless its copyrighted stock photos there's not way to even regulate or prove it's your creation. From what you're telling me is WotC is aware of your project and you have ties/lines of communication then there shouldn't be any issues because they are included in the process.
    Cheers, Julien

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  2. #12
      MarkusTay is offline
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    I can get around the problem simply by posting the map exclusively on the WotC site - their own rules facilitate this (ANYTHING posted on their site becomes their property - there was a bit of an uproar over that some time ago). If I post THEIR property on THEIR site, their property (and anything I have added to it) then becomes theirs (again). That will probably work in regards to keeping them happy, and I can post links here and at Candlekeep to the relevant thread over at WotC.

    I 'think' that will work....

    However, that might just upset Mr.Shley all the more, which is something I DON'T want to do. I will have gone completely around him to the people who have bought his art from him, which he may construe as 'stepping on his toes', and like I said, I RESPECT and ADMIRE him. I specifically take-on obscure projects knowing full-well that they (WotC) will never actually pay anyone to produce what I do (mostly conversions), so as not to take work from real artists.

    And like I said, its a little more then textures - I've created patterns with his terrain, and although I have tweaked the heck out of them, they are still easily identifiable as his work (which was really the whole point).

  3. #13
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Maybe you should just PM Schley and find out what he thinks. I'm not sure how often he comes by, but he does check in here from time to time.
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  4. #14
      mearrin69 is offline
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    I am not a lawyer...there's your disclaimer.

    WotC being what it is (a subsidiary of a major publicly-listed corporation) I find it hard to believe that it has any artists doing work that is not classified as "work for hire". If that is the case then it, not the original artist, holds the copyright to the art and can do with it (or have someone do something with it) whatever they bloody well please. That includes creating derivative works. In fact, they do this all of the time...every time they re-use an illustration and crop or collage or sepia-tone it or whatever.

    It may be that M.S. is big enough to command a different sort of deal...or i may simply be wrong about how Wizards rolls. If I'm right about the WFH thing, however, then your project may be okay. If you're doing this with their permission I'd suggest simply contacting them and getting their legal department (or Hasbro's) to rule on the matter. That's the simplest, safest way. My suspicion is that, unless you yourself are under contract to produce these things, that they will tell you that you're on your own and that all liability rests on your shoulders.
    M

  5. #15
      tilt is offline
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    yeah, I'm with the general sentiment - ask for permission, and if you don't get it - change the middle of the map to your own icons as well. I for one am curious to see the map
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  6. #16
      MarkusTay is offline
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    The problem lies in the fact that my original versions (there are several, which I fortunately saved) were done with other textures/patterns. At first the original 'official' 3e FR map textures, and then with some brushes I found here (doing individual treeas and mountains, rather then those abstract 'clumps' their official 3e maps used). I eventually decided to copy Mr.Shley's work because it was killing me to 'color over' such a beautiful map (seriously, I found it harder and harder to move forward as I painted over more of his terrain).

    So what I have now is a homage to him - it was the only way of doing the conversion that would keep the integrity of Mr.Shley's inspiring map. And it is probably the finest thing I've ever done, if I do say so myself (not that that means a lot here - some of you guys blow me away with your talent).

    I was over on the WotC site yesterday and noted they have made a LOT of changes there, and I can host artwork there now, which sort-of solves my dilemma (posting it to DeviantART or Photobucket would not have worked). Since I can point to the thread wherein a designer (THE designer working on the new Nentir Vale project) said he'd be "interested in what I come up with", that's sort-of like having permission.

    Lots of 'maybes' there LOL - I have been using their IP for over two years now with their knowledge, if not their consent: technically, I don't think they can give me consent without opening a can of worms - its actually legally better for them to just pretend I don't exist (which keeps all the cards in their hand). If I ask them permission, they would be forced to say no, just to protect the integrity of their IP (an undefended IP winds-up in the realm of 'public domain').

    For those that are curious, you can see the original Mike Shley Map of Nentir Vale HERE. I didn't post that - you can find it easily enough in dozens of places all over the web (which is how I initially discovered it). Just imagine it extended outward a few hundred miles from there.

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