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Using Copyrighted Figurines

freelance writingDear Anne,

I wonder if you can help me. My husband and I have been making stop motion animations. We would like to put them up on the internet.

The ideas and music are all original, but we have used well known toys (for example a figurine of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, some well known wrestler figurines)

What are the copyright issues regarding this usage?

Hope to hear back soon

Rachel (in comments)

Hi Rachel,

I’m far from an expert and you probably need to consult one.

My hunch is the well known figures are under copyright – but what exactly that means to your project I’m not sure. At a minimum you should credit the maker of the toy and if they’re well known that should be easy to determine. That may not get you off the hook.

Another approach and maybe the best would be to approach each manufacturer and get permission – that would cover you for sure.

I wrote an article about two sources of information about copyright. It’s aimed mostly at words, but the links may lead you to the expert your need.

Good luck, and come back and tell us what you find out.



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