So, because of this, we have decided to write down properly what is and what is not allowed when it comes to art. In this post, I will go over the general copyright laws, as well as common sense. I'll try and keep things as simple as possible.
1. What is copyright?
Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished "fixed" works, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.
This means in simple terms: If you drew it/wrote it, you hold the rights of it. The finished product is protected by international law. Almost all of the countries in the world have one or another form of copyright law. This means that it's illegal for anyone to violate any of these rights which are provided by the copyright laws.
Copyright laws are meant to protect artists of all kind, if it's a writer, or painter or sculpture maker (But of course, not just limited to these). After all, a lot of these people make a living out of their works.
2. Who can claim copyright?
Well, the original creator is entitled to claim copyright. However, copyrights can be inherited and sold as well. For example, let's say you make a dinosaur tag. Now, you hold the copyright since you are the creator. But let's say Dyr wants a recolor of that tag, and pays you money for it. By accepting that money, you are essentially selling off part of the copyright. In simple terms, this means that you are giving them permission to use the tag as well.
3. Why does Exhibited own copyright to the art on their site?
Exhibited owns the copyright to the artwork on their site because Kitty hired an artist to create intellectual property, better known as made-to-hire work. The artist, agreeing upon this, is basically selling Kitty the full copyrights of the work upon creation.
4. When is it protected by law?
There are variations depending on what kind of work, when it was made, and what country you are in. Though, in most cases a work doesn't have to have a little "Ã‚Â© - 2010" tag on it, or a signature. The final product (song, painting, tag, book) is protected once it's done in its final stage.
5. Pictures found via Google, or other image searches
Now, Google in all its might and glory is often used by people to find pictures, either to use or references. On all the pictures you find, it will say "This image may be subject to copyright."
This means, you may not be allowed to use this picture. You should therefor always check the page, to see if you can use it.
What is allowed?
"A user of Exhibited may not link, distribute or pass off any work that is not originally their own and/or is copyrighted on the game without first acquiring permission from the creator of work themselves."
This means, if you can provide a given permission from the artist to post a picture that you haven't made yourself, you can post it, provided you give link and credit to the artist. This only counts character art of your OWN characters.
If you want to read more about copyright, please check out these pages: What is Copyright? and COPYRIGHT LAW FOR THE SLOW AND MANY
If you see someone you suspect breaking the copyright laws in any form, on any of the boards, don't hesitate to send in a mod report about it. This includes posts on the role playing boards
Posted: 07/03/2012 @ 12:58 pm