Comics fair use policy?

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Comics fair use policy?

Post by Hourglass on Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:41 pm

When referencing for an academic article it's often advised that one should limit the amount one copies directly from a text. Usually I use a paragraph or less if I need a quote. I'd never use more than that. If I make reference to something I'd use a referencing method rather than a direct quote if it's avoidable.

Anyway I was wondering, given some companies being quite protective about online scans and scanlation (translation of Japanese comics which are uploaded online illegally) what would you say is the limit one can use for a comic.

For example, if for a joke on a forum I posted one panel from a comic book, would that be breaching copyright or is it under a fair use policy?

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Re: Comics fair use policy?

Post by GBF on Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:40 pm

Hmm - not sure, but I can't see how anybody would complain about free advertising and that's what it amounts to. It's not like you are making any money on it or promote things as your own. As for quotes, you're unlikely to quote a whole book, so a para or two here and there should be okay as long as you include a reference as to where it's from (and maybe even the publisher). I think you're more likely to run into problems if you actually re-DREW the characters from the comic - and I can say this from personal experience: when we published issue 1 of Crikey! we got an artist to draw all the comic characters from the Beano etc. The FIRST email we got Crikey! was from DCT who were very unhappy that we'd drawn their characters and not contacted them for permission and then produced our own versions: they would have willinglly supplied scans for the cover drawn by their artists. We of course apologised and things are now fine between us. Another case is Crikey! 16's cover showing 'Daleks'. It took me quite a while to get permission from the BBC (who I think own the design of the Dalek - Tony will confirm that) and the Terry Nation estate who own the actual name.
If I were you. I'd contact the relevant people in the first place and get their OK. They may even send you decent scans to use!

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Re: Comics fair use policy?

Post by tony ingram on Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:49 pm

As I understand it, single images are usually fine, or even whole pages as long as they can be interpreted as being used for review purposes. You are breaching copyright, however, if you reproduce a complete story without permission.

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Re: Comics fair use policy?

Post by felneymike on Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:15 pm

A panel or page ought to be OK. I have uploaded a complete page from a recent (that week's, at the time) 2000AD to my blog and never heard nowt about it. I also uploaded a complete story but that was from a 1940's story paper nobody's ever heard of so i didn't hear anything about that either.

More pertinent is when are the scanlation lot going to tear themselves away from the land of the rising sun and translate the Edge comic adaptions from the land of the... er... prancing horse? Bet those are brilliant!

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Re: Comics fair use policy?

Post by felneymike on Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:17 pm

Also if you're at university or college the copiers may have a sticker on saying how much of something you are legally allowed to use (i think it's quite generous for academic works actually, like whole journal articles or book chapters... but of course your essays aren't going to be widely copied and distributed). If not the librarian/reprographics people will probably be able to tell you the actual law.

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Re: Comics fair use policy?

Post by Hourglass on Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:54 pm

Thanks for the info.

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