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View Full Version : A question for experienced writers.



Ford
11-04-2008, 01:33 AM
I've been thinking about writing a book about how the terrorist attacks of 9-11 were foretold in comic books, and I wanted to know if publishing certain pages or covers of certain comic books would violate copyright law if they were used without permission but in an educational sense. I know the Fair Use Act is kind of open to interpretation, so what do you guys think?

ChaosTitan
11-04-2008, 02:09 AM
If the comics are outside of their copyright and fall within Fair Use, then you're fine. But most comics are still in copyright, I believe, so you'd need permission to reproduce any images.

katiemac
11-04-2008, 02:36 AM
Both DC and Marvel are pretty rabid, if I remember correctly, about their trademarks and copyrights. It might be a case where you're not only dealing with the company, but also the authors and illustrators. Not sure though, but most likely you're going to need permission.

I have a copy of Comic Book Nation by Bradford W. Wright that reproduces some pages. You might be able to use this as an example and see how they got permission.

Ford
11-04-2008, 05:17 AM
If the comics are outside of their copyright and fall within Fair Use, then you're fine. But most comics are still in copyright, I believe, so you'd need permission to reproduce any images.

What do you mean by "outside their copyright"?

katiemac
11-04-2008, 11:40 AM
I believe Chaos means outside of their copyright dates. Many times, copyrights only exist on a product for so many years and eventually expire. That's when they become Fair Use, within some limits.

Check out the copyright law FAQ at www.copyright.gov and see if that helps.

ChaosTitan
11-05-2008, 03:30 AM
What Katie said. :)

Namatu
11-05-2008, 09:38 PM
If the comic publisher no longer holds the rights, you would also have to determine if those rights reverted to the author or illustrator. Since you'd be writing your book for profit, you would need to request permission. "For educational purposes" often only applies to schools and is limited to a certain number of copies. Book distribution goes beyond that number.