copyright / designright question


New Member

we've all seen those t-shirts with simpsons characters on them smoking splifs and similar stuff.

I want to create an illustration for the front page of a website in the style of the popeye cartoon with all the characters in it. The scene will be of my own division but in the popeye style. nothing will be copied directly, the illustration will just be in the style of popeye and containing the popeye characters.

What is the law on this? Am I allowed to do this?

I'm presuming that as the scene is totally of my own division that copyright doesn't apply. Or does it? but could there be design rights that apply to the style and characters or as the characters will all be in poses that I have chosen does design right not apply either?


As far as I know if you use an image and make it unrecogniseable from the original then that is ok. As you are not using a specific character and using your own take on it then I would THINK that would be fine. I have looked into the information I have and apparently "the work itself may be protected by copyright, the idea behind it is not."

Other than that as already mentioned above, the copyright remains until 70 years after the authors death.

Have a look at Intellectual Property Office - Welcome to the Intellectual Property Office
The characters will remain copyright of whoever made them, unless you change them to be unrecognizable, in which case then they wouldn't be the characters. I would think that the t-shirts you speak of are breaking copyright laws but it would be very difficult to track down who made em so that's why they get around.

That said, the 70 year rule does apply, so if popeye is 70 years old, hes free game! :icon_thumbup: