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Re: 3d GROO!!

On Tue, 8 Feb 2000 08:46:45 -0800, "Ken Fritts" <dalgar@home.com>

>Which brings up a question I have on that kind of thing. Many times in the comic book industry I see 
>other artists putting in characters and such. A good example is the satire in MAD magazine. Aot of times 
>very similar or like characters appear. Do they have to get permission from the artist to do that or is there 
>some kind of thing that says one can do that?

ME: MAD does not get permission.

This is kind of a grey area.  You can use other folks' properties as
part of a commentary or satire.  On the other hand, they can claim
that you've exceeded reasonable usage and are exploiting their
copyrighted property.

Anyone can sue you over anything and if you do a satire of Mickey
Mouse someplace, there's a good chance that Disney will send you
threatening letters, which you may or may not decide to just tear up
as a bluff.  If they think your usage of their character is
particularly egregious, they may sue...which, of course, doesn't mean
they can win.  On the other hand, being sued can be expensive so some
people don't want to run the risk of a lawsuit, even though they know
a court would agree with them that what they were doing was satire.

Lately, most publishing companies are getting more and more reticent
to take the chance of being sued.  DC Comics -- which publishes MAD --
is getting really timid about this in everything except MAD.  They
feel that MAD has a long tradition of using everyone else's characters
in its pages, so no one is going to sue...or if they did, it might be
good publicity for MAD and very defensible in court.  But they will
not allow you to do that kind of thing in their other publications.

Mark Evanier - PMB 303 - 363 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036