Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
Hello, I will be assisting you
Let me review the question. Please bear with me
This is a very interesting question because it stands in the intersection of the first sale doctrine and copyright law. Let me explain
thank you....everyone I contact wants a legal document that states it is ok to display/sell/raffle my shadow boxes.....I have paid honstly for all materials...I am taking my personal collection and organizing it into a frame and selling it
Under the first sale doctrine you have the right to sell stuff that you own provided you purchased the stuff legally and the stuff is legit (i.e. not counterfeit)
whats the difference If I collect pepsi cans from all decades make a statue and raffle the statue?
Yes all materials are original, all legally purchased
under copyright law a copyright owner has the exclusive right to create derivative work. The legal question is whether putting the figures in a shadow box + other elements creates a derivative work or is it just selling stuff that you own
can you assist me with the answer to that question?
that's what I am trying to do please bear with me
most times in the law there is no definitive answer. there are no bright line rules of what can and cannot be done. It's all about shades of gray...
I am trying to be very legitimate in this....when people see these frames they think its professionally done....and i say yes I am a professional.....they are really nice at this point its friends and family but this has huge potential and I want to be sure all my ends are covered
should i keep this to family in friends or pursue the avenue of being legitimate for commercial sales?
in your case your reasonable position is that you are NOT creating copyright derivative work. Rather you are selling your stuff inside a frame...
kudos to you for being thoughtful and concerned about doing the right thing!
i have been encountering alot of road blocks
and I say I am taking my toys from the closet..putting it in a frame and selling it
and then everyone is like ...seems OK....but when they see the frame....it just looks so professional they think I am shady
your position that these are things you own that you just put inside a frame is a reasonable one. No one can give an absolute assurance that Disney may decide that they don't like what you are doing and go after you. There is always that chance. I would not be doing you any good if ignores this possibility
so is there a law number that I can reference for my personal education?
i understand...but really...a billion dollar corp...to come after a man trying to make a dollar?
as noted there are no law number and no bright line rules. There are doctrines that give use some guidance but every case is judged individually
as noted one is the "first sale doctrine"
the other one is "copyright derivative work"
thank you for your assistance...
i really appreciate it
I agree a billion dollar corp probably won't come after you. But I have to provide this warning and then it's a business decision that you make
you are welcome
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