On May 20, 2006, at 3:27 PM, Stan Shebs wrote:
like the "only accept canon depictions" is the rule to go,
since it seems silly and arbitrary, and in any case, far less
important than "only use free content". Artist depictions would be
appropriate in this case, just like almost any other case where we
only have fair use images to use.
Doesn't get you off the hook though, since an artist's depiction is
a derivative work. In fact, the more accurate the depiction, the more
of a copyright infringement it is. So you end up making a choice
between accuracy and freeness.
Only if the artist chooses to reproduce one photograph or still.
If the artists references multiple photographs and produces an image
of Han Solo where Han is standing in a pose different from any of the
photographs, or in a different or neutral setting, then it's not a
derivative work of any one photograph.
*Still* not off the hook! The copyright covers any sort of
depiction of the character, irrespective of the mechanics of
production. For instance, a Han Solo action figure is not an
exact reproduction of any screenshot from the movie, but it
can only be legally sold under license from the moviemaker. Ditto
for 3D meshes and textures ending up in a Star Wars-themed video
game. As I said in another message, the pros at this are wise to
all kinds of trickery, and there is case law for a remarkable
variety of attempts to find loopholes.