This principle [that reproducing public domain publicity images on new surfaces doesn't infringe copyright in the characters depicted] would not apply if the new surface itself is independently evocative of the film character. For example, reproducing a publicity image of Judy Garland as Dorothy on a ruby slipper might well infringe the film copyright for The Wizard of Oz.If this is true, why wouldn't making ruby slippers--themselves highly evocative of the film character--also infringe the character copyright? In what way are ruby slippers, whether picture-adorned or not, substantially similar to the film character of Dorothy Gale? Or, what is the copyrightable element that makes the picture-adorned slippers a derivative work of the film rather than a reproduction of the public domain picture? The court's opinion is in other places quite careful; this footnote makes no sense.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Copyright gets around the world while the public domain is still putting on its shoes
From Warner Bros. v. X One X: