Copyright Infringement?

Does anyone know if I’m breaking any laws (or bending any ethics) by posting Calvin and Hobbes as my banner?  This is my MOST favorite Calvin and Hobbes (for obvious reasons) and I’d love to keep it up, but will cease and desist if I’m committing a huge no-no here.

Anyone know anything about that?



Filed under Questions

5 responses to “Copyright Infringement?

  1. I think technically it might be illegal, but it’s the internet! I see people post copyrighted things all over. I know the estate of Edward Gorey is really rabid about keeping his things offline, but I haven’t heard anything the same about Bill Waterson.

    If someone contacts you about it, take it down with your apologies. Until that unlikely event you should be fine. But you should probably add @ bill waterson somewhere on the image or on the site — if you don’t have a graphics program I can do it.

  2. I’ve had Krazy Kat up at Verb-Ops for a year. For a while I had Charlie Brown at first. I had the same concern–The Schulz estate is pretty proprietary, and King Syndicate Features is big business. But nobody noticed or cared.

    Calvin and Hobbes are in the public domain, as far as most peole are concerned. I think you’re good. Now, if you put the original Calivn and Hobbes up there, you’d be courting trouble~,:^)

  3. Lovin’ the new site… I have no idea whether or not Calvin and Hobbes will get you in “hot water.”

  4. I think Feather is right. As long as you give props to Mr. Waterson somewhere on your site, you should be golden.

  5. Sooza

    Not to toot my own horn, but I have become the default copyright guru at my place-of-business. Illegal? yes. Reprints of original work that are copyrighted (or copywritten? I’ll leave that for all you grammar snobs out there), cannot be published without the permission of the author. This includes Internet, blogs, etc. The real question is whether or not the author cares. If he doesn’t care, then go for it. If he does, and you’re not making money on it (I call this the “no cash, no foul” clause), taking it down with a nice note of apology is usually sufficient. Some people get around this by posting (c) material for a limited period of time. My advice is if you want to be conservative about it, replace it with something that is truly in the public domain. Public domain has a specific definition, and includes material that has either lapsed out of copyright, or something that was produced by the government specifically for the public. FSA Photograph by Dorothea Lange perhaps? Or something that is so old, copyright has expired. Or you can develop something new for yourself. But if you would like to join the growing ranks of those disenchanted with the current copyright law, you could try claiming fair use, and see where that gets you.

    More than anyone wanted to know, I’m sure. But maybe it will help you (and anyone else) to make an informed decision about the wonderful world of copyright. [Did that sound too pompous?]

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