Intellectual Property Law

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Hello... My name isXXXXX and i specialize in making

Hello... My name isXXXXX and i...
Hello...

My name isXXXXX and i specialize in making custom shadow box action hero frames.

I take a shadow box anf take an ALREADY PAID FOR action figure...(DC Action figure, DISNEY Action Figure, HORROR Action figure, CARTOON Action figure...etc)...take comics of said action figure and take comic book cut outs of said action figure...and place these all in a shadow box frame and sell these frames or raffle them off....am I in danger of copyright infrindgement of these characters....?

I am taking my personal belongings and putting them arrangened in a frame and selling them can I be sued by the owner of the character?
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6/5/2013
BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience: I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
Verified

BizIPEsq. :

Hello, I will be assisting you

BizIPEsq. :

Let me review the question. Please bear with me

Customer:

Thank you

BizIPEsq. :

This is a very interesting question because it stands in the intersection of the first sale doctrine and copyright law. Let me explain

Customer:

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

BizIPEsq. :

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)

Customer:

whats the difference If I collect pepsi cans from all decades make a statue and raffle the statue?

Customer:

Yes all materials are original, all legally purchased

BizIPEsq. :

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

Customer:

can you assist me with the answer to that question?

BizIPEsq. :

that's what I am trying to do please bear with me

Customer:

thank you

BizIPEsq. :

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...

Customer:

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

Customer:

should i keep this to family in friends or pursue the avenue of being legitimate for commercial sales?

BizIPEsq. :

in your case your reasonable position is that you are NOT creating copyright derivative work. Rather you are selling your stuff inside a frame...

BizIPEsq. :

kudos to you for being thoughtful and concerned about doing the right thing!

Customer:

i have been encountering alot of road blocks

Customer:

and I say I am taking my toys from the closet..putting it in a frame and selling it

Customer:

and then everyone is like ...seems OK....but when they see the frame....it just looks so professional they think I am shady

BizIPEsq. :

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

Customer:

so is there a law number that I can reference for my personal education?

Customer:

i understand...but really...a billion dollar corp...to come after a man trying to make a dollar?

BizIPEsq. :

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

BizIPEsq. :

as noted one is the "first sale doctrine"

BizIPEsq. :

the other one is "copyright derivative work"

Customer:

thank you for your assistance...

Customer:

i really appreciate it

BizIPEsq. :

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

BizIPEsq. :

you are welcome

BizIPEsq. :

please rate my answer

BizIPEsq. :

without your rating I do not get compensated for my work

Customer:

will do

Customer:

how do i rate?

BizIPEsq. :

the button is below

BizIPEsq. :

excellent will be awesome

BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience: I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
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BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
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Experience: I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters

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