Monday, February 02, 2009

Great drawings on dude-a-day...and copyright?

The site posts a different character drawing every day. At a glance, they appear to be new versions of well-known comic and movie characters.

The art is distintive and enjoyable. But it made me wonder what the copyright issues are here. I hope no one would be so stupid as to sue the guy. But the comic companies seem to try to claim rights to the images of their characters. Does the fact that the guy drew new art in his own style protect him enough? 

I hope so. If the law is against this kind of creativity, then it's wrong.


  1. I'm sure that would qualify as parody and so fall within fair use. The problem however is that if the copyright holder decided to challenge him, he would have to spend more money that he probably has (and certainly that it is worth to him) to protect what should be his right.

  2. I figure MAD Magazine has probably caricatured thousands of recognizable characters during their run (

    So this guy is probably safe, particularly if he isn't making any money off of his drawings of these characters. If he tries selling t-shirts with obvious caricatures on them, it might be an issue.

  3. David, I'm glad you mentioned parody, I'd forgotten all about that aspect of fair use.

    I worked for a company that did a t-shirt with a Star Wars takeoff on it. I think that was fine until we got bought by a company with deep pockets. A big company can't take those kinds of risks. :)