by Asher
13 replies
I've read several books and often, I see a
cartoon in it and I notice on the bottom
of the cartoon, there's the copyright symbol
and some text crediting the original source of it.

Question - can we make use of cartoons we
find online as long as we credit the original
source?

I know there are certain sites you gotta pay
to use it but often, that's when the image is
in physically printed material.

If I only plan to use it in digital format (text/
video) can I use it without legal repercussions
as long as I tag it with the copyright and
the source?

-- I know I've got to seek my own legal advice
for stuff like this but I was wondering if there's
someone who has already done this before?

Asher
#cartoons
  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
    Originally Posted by Asher View Post

    I know there are certain sites you gotta pay
    to use it but often, that's when the image is
    in physically printed material.

    If I only plan to use it in digital format (text/
    video) can I use it without legal repercussions
    as long as I tag it with the copyright and
    the source?
    Every publisher will have their own rules of course, but as an example here's the reprint request form for Universal Press Syndicate.

    Short answer: They'll never let you reprint a cartoon without paying a fee except for some exceptions for educational purposes.

    Universal Press Syndicate: Reprint Request Form
    PLEASE NOTE: No permission is granted without a fee. Payment is required prior to use.

    One thing to note: For printed/physical material, their fees are based on circulation/print run. If you want electronic rights (CD-Rom, ebook, etc) there's a $100 fee on top of the normal fee.

    It's always theoretically possible to find a less well-known cartoon from someone who thinks they could benefit from the exposure, but in general the above info gives you a good idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author hermescave
    i think for most you will have to pay a small fee
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  • Profile picture of the author bocephus
    As a visual/graphic artist, I can tell you that the simplest assumption is that unless you are explicitly granted permission to use the image, you are violating copyright law.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ilya Feynberg
    You really should have them custom created for you anyway. As for their effectiveness...Comics, Quizzes, and Stories - The Oatmeal
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  • Profile picture of the author bigcullie
    Originally Posted by Asher View Post

    I've read several books and often, I see a
    cartoon in it and I notice on the bottom
    of the cartoon, there's the copyright symbol
    and some text crediting the original source of it.

    Question - can we make use of cartoons we
    find online as long as we credit the original
    source?
    Hi Asher,

    I would say 9 out of 10 such sources would be ok with this, maybe even complemented that you are using their work.

    However, it is my experience that the tenth one would want to cash in on this, imagining you are making money from their work, and usually nasty with it.

    It maybe takes time, and some money, probably not a lot, but it would give you peace of mind getting the necessary permission from the source in the first place. Sorry it is not what you want to here, but can you take the chance. In fact I know people who purposely make money by sueing such innocent use. So please be careful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by Asher View Post

      If I only plan to use it in digital format (text/
      video) can I use it without legal repercussions
      as long as I tag it with the copyright and
      the source?
      The format is irrelevant. If you want to use it, get permission.

      Originally Posted by bigcullie View Post

      I would say 9 out of 10 such sources would be ok with this, maybe even complemented that you are using their work.

      However, it is my experience that the tenth one would want to cash in on this, imagining you are making money from their work, and usually nasty with it.
      You can't make any assumptions like that. If you want to use someone else's work, ask permission.

      Additionally, making money off a work is one of the things that will be considered when determining whether the use of a work constitutes copyright infringement, but it is not a requirement that the user made money off of a work in order to be considered as having infringed the copyright of the work.
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      Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
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      • Profile picture of the author bigcullie
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        The format is irrelevant. If you want to use it, get permission.



        You can't make any assumptions like that. If you want to use someone else's work, ask permission.

        Additionally, making money off a work is one of the things that will be considered when determining whether the use of a work constitutes copyright infringement, but it is not a requirement that the user made money off of a work in order to be considered as having infringed the copyright of the work.
        Correct I cannot make that type of assumption, I was however trying to highlight that you may get away with it, but you may not; and if you do not, it will cost you.

        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        "but it is not a requirement that the user made money off of a work in order to be considered as having infringed the copyright of the work. ".
        This is correct also, the point I was making was the motivation to challenging you on copyright abuse. Yes you can get sued for any illegal use, making money or not. I stand corrected.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lawrh
    You may be seeing 'toons that are under the Creative Commons Attribution license. There are lots of public domain 'toons available this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
    There are some cartoons which are now in the public domain.

    Check out the Internet Archive, and then check with a lawyer - but you will find something which you can probably use.
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  • Profile picture of the author Asher
    Thanks for all the great advice.

    I was gonna use "ask for forgiveness
    rather then ask for permission" but
    decided against it since it would suck
    if I were the author and someone
    did the same thing to me.

    Golden rule.

    Thanks once again!

    Asher
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Asher View Post

      Thanks for all the great advice.

      I was gonna use "ask for forgiveness
      rather then ask for permission" but
      decided against it since it would suck
      if I were the author and someone
      did the same thing to me.

      Golden rule.

      Thanks once again!

      Asher
      Ask forgiveness instead of permission may work if you borrow your neighbor's wheelbarrow without asking, but it's a horrible legal defense when you steal someone's intellectual property. It's the old LYA defense...Lose Your A$$.
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      Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    There are some pretty decent cartoon creation programs around that you could use. I bought my son Anime Studio 6 and Manga Studio EX for Christmas and he's enjoyed using them.

    Here's a clip of the Watchmen artist using Manga Studio

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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Ski
    Always check rules before posting any image but in the majority of cases giving credit where credit is due usually always does the trick.
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