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Questions Pertaining To Copyright, Trademark & Fan Creations Post


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#1 Ironhand

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:39 AM

The recent post by Jay from Paradox says, among other things,

we ask that if you would like to create any literary, visual, or other type of creative work using one or more of Howard?s properties, you do not commercially exploit your creations, do anything to defame or dilute the brands, or in any other way infringe Paradox?s intellectual property rights in the properties.

What is meant by "defame"? Does that mean we can't slam the "Conan the Barbarian" movie? Or the Keller Conan tv show?

Edited by Strom, 25 April 2009 - 03:41 PM.
Added link due to starting new topic - so members can link to Jay's post

"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#2 amster

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:57 AM

The recent post by Jay from Paradox says, among other things,

we ask that if you would like to create any literary, visual, or other type of creative work using one or more of Howard?s properties, you do not commercially exploit your creations, do anything to defame or dilute the brands, or in any other way infringe Paradox?s intellectual property rights in the properties.

What is meant by "defame"? Does that mean we can't slam the "Conan the Barbarian" movie? Or the Keller Conan tv show?


Actually, you can "defame". As long as your film (or whatever) is clearly a parody, the subject matter can be whatever you want it to be. That's why Saturday Night live and other shows routinely do spoofs of recent films, etc. without the need to get the trademark holder's permission ahead of time. I've seen two or three Conan spoofs on Robot Chicken.

we ask that if you would like to create any literary, visual, or other type of creative work using one or more of Howard?s properties, you do not commercially exploit your creations, do anything to defame or dilute the brands...


...and yet Paradox apparently has given its blessing to Dark Horse comics to go ahead and...

...reprint J.M. DeMatteus and Bruce Jones era Conan stories.
...allow Arvid Nelson and Will Conrad to give us African Picts, and a Kull who's married.

...and don't get me started on Brett Ratner...

...but its good to know that Paradox has finally greenlighted the existence of "fan films (at least that's how I interpreted it)". It would be nice if they went further and actually encouraged fan films like George Lucas does.

Edited by amsterdamaged, 25 April 2009 - 06:35 AM.

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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#3 Strom

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 03:36 PM

Created a topic - and added a link to Ironhand's first post - so members can discuss/comment on Jay's post regarding fan creations.

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#4 Ironhand

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 07:07 AM

Thanks, Strom. I had to start a new thread since Jay's post was pinned and locked. :)
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#5 Jay@Paradox

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:25 PM

Actually, you can "defame". As long as your film (or whatever) is clearly a parody, the subject matter can be whatever you want it to be. That's why Saturday Night live and other shows routinely do spoofs of recent films, etc. without the need to get the trademark holder's permission ahead of time. I've seen two or three Conan spoofs on Robot Chicken.


Parodies rule. I love Korgoth of Barbaria and had the series been picked up it would have been really cool if Conan and Korgoth met. Who do you think would win? Defaming is to damage the brand by for instance taking it completely out of context, creating a bad image and connotation that would make it difficult for us to work with it.

...and yet Paradox apparently has given its blessing to Dark Horse comics to go ahead and...

...reprint J.M. DeMatteus and Bruce Jones era Conan stories.
...allow Arvid Nelson and Will Conrad to give us African Picts, and a Kull who's married.
...and don't get me started on Brett Ratner...


The idea with the reprint program is to chronologically reprint everything, simple as that. There's something for everyone.

While working to be true to REH there has to be room for adaptations. Going literal and doing everything to the exact word would in most cases not be commercially viable. Our goal is to bring REH and the characters out to a bigger audience and sometimes we need to take a step in a different direction. Some ppl will like it, some won't. If it brings in even a few new Howard fans, then we've succeeded. When you want pure Howard, read the stories. You can never beat Howard's own writing so trying to go literal is surely bound to fail. You die-hard fans all know that if we tried doing a pure/literal movie, we'd be so slammed by you guys if Conan's sword was two inches too short, right? :lol:

No director has as of this morning signed any contract with the studio.

#6 amster

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 09:41 PM

No director has as of this morning signed any contract with the studio.


That's the best news I've heard all day. Thanks for the response!
Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#7 ?sir

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 10:18 PM

Sounds good, Jay. Thanks for the update. Gives us a little something to work with discussionwise. ^_^

#8 Evil Thoth-Amon

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:01 AM

Hello, i?m new to the forum:

I always liked fantasy but i was never been interested in Conan. I have the John Millius film in dvd but it was only "another" sword & sorcery movie for me. Nothing more. In fact, i dont know ANYTHING about the real Conan since three months ago, when my fathers bought the original Robert E Howard novels. I love it.

I can understand that a film is not a book. I can understand that moviemaking is a hard bussines. I can understand that trying to keep each little detail is impossible. But i can?t understand why studios think that being faithful is not commercial viable.

In fact, "the Hour of the dragon" is, by far, MORE commercial and MORE cinematographical than "Conan the destroyer". Even a novella like "People of the black circle" can be a better movie than the original "Conan the barbarian". Forget the loyalty to the original material. I speak about entertainment. Robert E Howard work is PURE Hollywood. Much more than Tolkien. I?m the only one that see it?

In the revealed script we have an absurd "vengeance mission" with Conan being the last cimmerian. The story ignores too the siege of Venarium (probably the first heroic deed of the character). We have White werewolfes instead of lovecraftian monsters. And an evil sorcerer that is not Thoth Amon. Why? With a few little changes it can be one of the best adventure movies of all time!!

Edited by Evil Thoth-Amon, 01 May 2009 - 11:09 AM.

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#9 Crom's bells

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:48 PM

Aye it is good news to hear that, thanks so much Jay. No director is always welcome over a bad director

#10 Sermon Bath

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:28 PM

do an animated version of Kings of the Night
I don't worry...I have to much on my mind

#11 Evil Thoth-Amon

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 12:50 PM

I have a big question...

It is the work of Robert E. Howard on the "public domain" in Spain?
The natural state of mankind is slavery. The only question is who commands and who obeys...

#12 Waldgeist

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 09:32 AM

I have a big question...

It is the work of Robert E. Howard on the "public domain" in Spain?

I don't understand spanish but this: http://es.wikipedia....i/Public_Domain might help.

In Germany everything that REH has written, be it published or unpublished has gone into "Gemeinfreiheit" (something like PD) after 2006. There is no renewal of "Urheberrecht", because only the Creator (Urheber) or in some cases his heirs can hold "Urheberrecht" on a work, it can not be sold.

Sadly that does not apply to the german translations of his stories as they are much much younger and get refreshed all the time, to keep the "publishing rights" and ownership on them.

Cheers,
Waldgeist

Edited by Waldgeist, 06 June 2009 - 09:34 AM.

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#13 Jay@Paradox

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

Sadly that does not apply to the german translations of his stories as they are much much younger and get refreshed all the time, to keep the "publishing rights" and ownership on them.


Truth be told, I am biased (for obvious reasons). ;) But I'd rather have the lavisly illustrated Del Rey editions than free e-texts downloadable from the Internet, once everything REH eventually falls into public domain. Now THAT would be sad. It's either or. No producer will invest in a high-end REH product without control and exclusivity in the market.

#14 Sam Inabinet

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 07:33 AM

Hello, i?m new to the forum:

Hello, me too.

In fact, "the Hour of the dragon" is, by far, MORE commercial and MORE cinematographical than "Conan the destroyer". Even a novella like "People of the black circle" can be a better movie than the original "Conan the barbarian". Forget the loyalty to the original material. I speak about entertainment. Robert E Howard work is PURE Hollywood. Much more than Tolkien. I?m the only one that see it?


i agree, and have ever since i first read REH at age 13, years before the Milius movie came out...

#15 Kortoso

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

Seems that any people who are involved in deciding whether this or that is public domain, or covered by copyright/trademark or not, are mostly people who could stand to make some money off it. Gold has a tendency to change one's perspective.

As a person who is not likely to see and gold from any of this, all I care about is a consistent vision. Having half a dozen different Conans running around, true to different people's visions, you know that's going to suck.



#16 ?sir

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 09:42 AM

Having half a dozen different Conans running around, true to different people's visions, you know that's going to suck.


But make gold.. :rolleyes:

#17 Guimas_moraes

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 01:44 PM

Hi,

My name is Guilherme Moraes and I am the owner of a small publishing company in Brazil, the RetroPunk Publications Ltd., recently opened and specialized in roleplaying games.

However, our project goes beyond the RPG books, since the literature is directly linked to the gender, we intend to porvide Howrad's work for the brazilian reader, a literature still "unknown" in our territory.

I apologize for our request, but to reach our goal, we need to known the information regarding copyright of his work. From what we can observe, it seems that the author's work in the public domain (in Brazil), how to have access to the original stories of Solomon Kane?

Any help that you can give us is very important to us.

Thank you in advance,

#18 Jay@Paradox

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:19 PM

Dear Guilherme,
Welcome to the REH forum! I have PM'ed you about your inquiry.
/ Jay

#19 Roquefort Raider

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 04:55 PM

Truth be told, I am biased (for obvious reasons). ;) But I'd rather have the lavishly illustrated Del Rey editions than free e-texts downloadable from the Internet, once everything REH eventually falls into public domain.


So would I, and that's why I did buy the Del Reys (and the Gollancz hardcover) despite the availability of most Conan stories online. I also bought Gibbons' Decline and fall in hardcover form; nearly a hundred bucks worth of books that could have been downloaded. (Ditto for the Iliad and the Odyssey, come to think of it). I don't think the lack of exclusive rights is necessarily a death sentence for the publication of great books. Some texts you just want to own in book form., and the prettier the better.

No producer will invest in a high-end REH product without control and exclusivity in the market.


I understand why a producer would be prudent about such matters, but the Bible (in myriad forms, from cheap paperbacks to rich leather bound editions) remains a best-seller to this day despite being in the Public Domain. That's because the demand is easy to evaluate beforehand. I think dealing with PD material would indeed make a producer more reticent to invest in a risky product; when dealing with sure values like REH, the risk is not that great.

Cheers!

- Ben

#20 Urthur the Brythunian

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 07:35 PM

From what i read in a rules/announcement, Paradox and CPI do not allow Fanfic to be put out commercially. that i understand. but is there a place, maybe in this board or someplace else on the internet, where people can(legally of course)write non-prfit/commercial fanfic? Also, say i write some at home, is that allowed, and if so, can i post a link so people on this board can see my work?

Many thanks for heeding my queries,

And may Mitra bless you!(No use calling to Crom,really)

Urthur.