Discuss all things Ghostbusters here, unless they would be better suited in one of the few forums below.
#432669
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I was curious how different the GB logo would need to be to be considered parody and not be sued? I know most of you are not lawyers, just looking for ideas. For instance, if you completely changed the face but kept everything else is it still the GB logo? Or perhaps changed the face and hands and had him holding something? How much different does it have to be do you think?
AJ Quick liked this
#432671
Assuming you are asking because you are going to be profiting off of the parody? If not, it really doesn't matter.

Otherwise... redraw everything, and make it ALL look different.

Don't duplicate anything from an original copy. IE. Don't just copy the logo image, and then change the face.
#432673
AJ Quick wrote:Assuming you are asking because you are going to be profiting off of the parody? If not, it really doesn't matter.

Otherwise... redraw everything, and make it ALL look different.

Don't duplicate anything from an original copy. IE. Don't just copy the logo image, and then change the face.
From the research I have done it doesn't "ALL" have to be different. For instance, I think if the hands were the same but everything else was different it would be "legal". Or the shape of the head was the same but everything else was different. But I may be wrong.

I definitely think the red "no ghosts" image would need to be changed. That's a huge part of the image and what makes it theirs. I was thinking of changing the red "no ghosts" image, change his arms, his face but keep the shape of his head. So the only thing that would remain the same is the outline of the head, everything else would be different and redrawn.
#432676
freddy_krugerrand wrote: I was thinking of changing the red "no ghosts" image, change his arms, his face but keep the shape of his head. So the only thing that would remain the same is the outline of the head, everything else would be different and redrawn.
Why not draw a whole new image and not worry about it? If you're changing 99% of it, just change it all.
Sutton621, deadderek liked this
#432696
some people that want to make money on the franchise believe it only takes 10% to change the logo. that's total bullshit, and you cant figure a percentage difference from something like that.

either way, people will still know the point that's trying to be made and it will get you in trouble the more it looks like it.
#432698
If your question is "how different does it have to be to not get sued?" the answer is: if someone decides they really want to sue you, they can. And you can say "but.. but.. but.. it's 74.39% different!" and it won't matter. Another good question is, "how similar to the original does it have to be for them to sue me and win?" but that doesn't matter either because the ONLY question you should be asking is "can I afford to mount a prolonged legal defense against a huge company?" If the answer is no, then you should shoot for 100% different.

Anyway, the powers that be have been pretty cool with letting us use the Ghostbusters IP (intellectual property) for our GB fan purposes. Let's not potentially do anything to draw unwanted attention from lawyers, eh?
ProtonCharger, GhostGuy, Ecto-1 fan and 3 others liked this
#432702
There is no percentage difference like most people think.

What you will want to look into is "Fair Use" and how a parody uses the fair use law to it's advantage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Copyright_issues

If you ask me. The logo needs to be completely redrawn from scatch, and the ghost itself should be 100% different (and I don't mean you just made it a different color, or moved it over a few pixels).
Sutton621 liked this
#432726
I know that the company that owned Casper the ghost sued Paramount over the logo and lost. The judge said "there are only so many ways to draw a ghost". I don't think Paramount would stand a chance suing based on the fact of the "ghost look". I would redraw the entire thing I'm just saying a few small details would remain that looked like the original logo, but most of it would be different.

Not really worried about being sued if it was 80 percent different. They can only sue for loss or profit made unless they can prove defamation, like if the ghost was on toilet or something. Look at MAD magazine for example, they redid the ghost logo for their magazine. There are a few similar things like the red "no ghost " emblem and the shape of the head but the rest is different.
#432762
freddy_krugerrand wrote:I know that the company that owned Casper the ghost sued Paramount over the logo and lost.
Ghostbusters is owned by Sony, not Paramount.

You blatantly have no comprehension of the legal fine points regarding the logo, and despite your so-called "professional opinion", you are obviously not a lawyer. Mad Magazine didn't get sued because they put their own copyrighted content, the head of Alfred E. Neuman on the logo which applied under the fair use/parody allowance.

They didn't, and weren't attempting to make any money off of Sony's Intellectual property.

Do not do whatever it is you're planning to do with your variation the logo, as you have no understanding of the quagmire you could be walking into.

And the red "prohibition" symbol is not copyrighted by Sony, as it existed on road signs and other warnings prior to Ghostbusters.
Sutton621 liked this
#432861
Kingpin wrote:
freddy_krugerrand wrote:I know that the company that owned Casper the ghost sued Paramount over the logo and lost.
Ghostbusters is owned by Sony, not Paramount.

You blatantly have no comprehension of the legal fine points regarding the logo, and despite your so-called "professional opinion", you are obviously not a lawyer. Mad Magazine didn't get sued because they put their own copyrighted content, the head of Alfred E. Neuman on the logo which applied under the fair use/parody allowance.

They didnn't, and weren't attempting to make any money off of Sony's Intellectual property.

Do not do whatever it is you're planning to do with your variation the logo, as you have no understanding of the quagmire you could be walking into.

And the red "prohibition" symbol is not copyrighted by Sony, as it existed on road signs and other warnings prior to Ghostbusters.
Mad magazine didn't' make money doing a parody of Ghostbusters for their magazine?

The logo has been parodied for money many times. Just recently two porn videos "parodied" it and altered the logo. This is an example of what I am talking about. You know what the logo is originally but they changed it enough so that it is their own property. I am not reinventing the wheel, this has been done countless times.

I don't think you understood what I was saying about the red prohibition symbol. My point was that by changing that it goes a long way into making it my own symbol. That is a major aspect of the logo, if that was gone or changed into something else it is much less like the original. I know they don't own that particular shape.

I don't think I ever used the words "my professional opinion." But you are right I did want input into the "legal fine points regarding this logo" That's why I asked the question on this board. I may be wrong, but you seem kinda angry about my question for some reason.

Thank you for the correction on Paramount.
#432863
Also, what is so offensive or scary about my post that it has been "buried by the community". I never advocated doing anything illegal. In fact that was the point of my post. How to create and image that is legal (like the mad magazine, porno, etc.)

Although not for profit, there are tons of altered logos on this site alone. I would think the discussion would be interesting to a lot of you.

I appreciate those that have responded.
Ecto-Fire, Wafflerobot liked this
#432864
Short answer: No matter how much you alter an image, if it can be reasonably traced back to someone elses' property, and they have the penchant to come after you, they can. Even some of the more involved franchise patches floating around, even though wildly original and different would still be based on Sony's IP; It's just the fact that, for the moment, it's not worth their effort to try to make a stink.
deadderek liked this
#432869
ChapterMasterTu'Shan wrote:Short answer: No matter how much you alter an image, if it can be reasonably traced back to someone elses' property, and they have the penchant to come after you, they can. Even some of the more involved franchise patches floating around, even though wildly original and different would still be based on Sony's IP; It's just the fact that, for the moment, it's not worth their effort to try to make a stink.
You are right, they could sue you if you had a bunny rabbit behind the red "no ghost" symbol. They wouldn't win but they could sue you if they wanted. That is a risk I am willing to take. But I want it different enough that the odds of them suing / winning are slim to none.
#432871
freddy_krugerrand wrote:
ChapterMasterTu'Shan wrote:Short answer: No matter how much you alter an image, if it can be reasonably traced back to someone elses' property, and they have the penchant to come after you, they can. Even some of the more involved franchise patches floating around, even though wildly original and different would still be based on Sony's IP; It's just the fact that, for the moment, it's not worth their effort to try to make a stink.
You are right, they could sue you if you had a bunny rabbit behind the red "no ghost" symbol. They wouldn't win but they could sue you if they wanted. That is a risk I am willing to take. But I want it different enough that the odds of them suing / winning are slim to none.

Large companies don't have to "win." They just have to bankrupt you with legal fees.

And I think you miss the point. The "different enough" thing is a bit of a fallacy, since it's all subjective. If ANY design you make can be reasonable attributed to being based on someone elses' intellectual property, it can be a legal issue.

Since Sony doesn't seem to mind in this particular case, what's the point of worrying about it? If they haven't pinned far more obvious examples to the wall, why would yours be an issue?
deadderek liked this
#448817
I just wanted to thank those of you who helped me with the copyright information for the GB logo. I hired a professional graphic artist and the shirts and parody logo came out fantastic with just enough changes to make them a parody and not copyright infringement. I really appreciate the help.

Since a majority of the board doesn't even want my thread seen I'm sure if I posted a photo I'd get banned so I wont risk it.

Thanks again for the help.

-Freddy
#448831
Well from my limited understanding of the law, so long as its a parody it is covered and protected by the 1st amendment. Thats why the Scary/Date/Epic/Some other shit Movie can get away with all of their blatant rip offs. Its also why Weird Al is not required to get permission, though as a professional courtesy he does. Same also applies to Cracked and Mad Magazine, back in the day when they existed and did parodies.

I could be wrong though.
#449010
For a parody to not infringe upon the copyright holder's copyright, the parody must provide some commentary on the original work. Without a sufficient enough commentary, the parody indeed violates copyright.

This post should not be construed as providing legal advice. It should only be seen as an attempt to provide legal knowledge. This post does not create an attorney-client relationship.
#449011
freddy_krugerrand wrote:I just wanted to thank those of you who helped me with the copyright information for the GB logo. I hired a professional graphic artist and the shirts and parody logo came out fantastic with just enough changes to make them a parody and not copyright infringement. I really appreciate the help.

Since a majority of the board doesn't even want my thread seen I'm sure if I posted a photo I'd get banned so I wont risk it.

Thanks again for the help.

-Freddy
As AJ said you wouldn't be banned, and I'm pretty sure based on the posts and the lack of information you provided about your project before, everyone would like to know what your project is/was. Please post what you have created.
#449016
As for the whole 10% thing; this was mentioned several times in art history and some of my other classes so it doesn't come from no where. Obviously it's a lose figure as it's difficult to gauge what exactly is 10%, but you also have it backwards. It's not "change 10%", it's "change 90% so that only 10% remains".
#4966217
What about this one?
Edit: this is not my design, this is used by a cleaning company that drives around in my city. Yes! a cleaning company called cleaningbusters! Yeah no kidding! I absolutely hate it and every time I see one of their cars pass I feel like confronting them on this poor ripoff. I posted it it because I was curieus if they are actually infringing on copyright or that I am just overreacting!
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