Journal Entry: Sat Sep 24, 2011, 7:25 AM
Someone needs to write up a section here in DA about copyrights and such. And I don't mean a journal, I mean an informational page. I've noticed that about 99.9999% of the people out there are so confused about copyright and put marking on their art.
The rules are almost simple.
Copyright: rights to something you own that can be copied.
Trademark: a design, phrase, title, name, logo
Patent: process, idea, invention
So, if you were to draw Spider-man in your own pose, that has never been drawn before. Marvel DOES NOT own the copyright to that work at all. There would be nothing that Marvel could lay copyright infringement to. However, they would nail you on trademark infringement. Because they have a trademark on the design of the costume and the logo of the spider.
Now, if you were to take an existing comic book cover of Spider-Man and remake it in traditional oil painting style...you would get nailed on copyright and trademark infringement. Because it is in essence a recognizable copy of the original art, even though it is changed a bit.
When you use a character like Spider-man in your own design, you own the copyright, but Marvel owns the trademark. Marvel would not have the rights to recreate your art without your consent.
However...good luck sueing them.