megsck wrote:not to mention that he didn't create mickey, someone who worked for him did...he did make bambi either, people who worked for him made it.
And to the other side, one could argue that because Harrison Ford played Han Solo, he owns Han Solo.
There are obvious reasons why you should not work as an artist for a company. You sign away any ideas which may be profitable. But you also go into it saying "hey, I'm making this for Disney," or "I'm making this for Warner Bros" or "I'm making this for Fuzzy Door," and by selling your soul to that company, your work becomes theirs, not yours. It's not "right," but it's how it goes. It's not like there's no credit given for the person who came up with Mickey.
There is also the issue of adaptation. You can't adapt visual to visual without making things dramatically different. You certainly can adapt book-to-film and put your own stamp on it. In the case of Bambi, the story rights were secured at the time of production. In the case of numerous other Disney works, no copyright would have been applicable. Again, is it right for a source to be buried? Does an animation company operate honorably by relegating their animators to brief references? It's a moot point. Just as Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings required actual builders who will never be properly acknowledged, but who signed on to build, not to get credit for the building, so too does every animation studio have grunts who have signed on to be grunts. So too does Nabisco have someone to design their Oreo packages who will never be seen. Art by committee boils down to that. The ethics of that sort of situation can be debated to high heaven, but it doesn't change the fact that Disney, as a company, owns Disney property. Sure, Disney also tries to own Non-Disney property, but that doesn't change the fact that Mickey Mouse is owned by Disney, and therefore, the only person who has a shred of claim to the character besides Disney is the man who created him. Outside of a damn strong parody (in the actual terms of parody, as opposed to "slapping mickey mouse on the death star for some reason"), there is no justification for using a Disney character. You're either stealing from the rightful owners, or you're perpetuating a continued theft against the true creators, depending on how you look at it.
The corporation-as-artist is a completely different argument, and one that doesn't apply to woot directly, since woot always makes their artists clear, and gives a justifiable wage to their artists. Artists don't design for Woot. There's no woot company headquarters where all these artists are sketching and sketching until they hit on a geeky enough or ugly enough tee. They are offering their own work for their own credit, and it remains their work when and if it is rejected for print, and it remains their work even if it is accepted for print, despite woot gaining the print rights. IP boils down to, someone owns each piece of art. It should always start with the creator itself. If that creator sells their creation, whether through a contract that strips them of rights or a flat out sale of rights, it is owned by the new owner of the rights. And so on. And while one can argue that Joe Rightbuyer should have no right to the profit off someone else's art, anyone other than the creator and joe rightbuyer has even less right to it. It's the same way that Ramy, despite mooching his style off a million shoddy otaku worldwide, isn't fair game for someone else to mooch off either, without a legitimate statement being made.
It's a sticky and convoluted world, this whole art game, but there should be no question on the very basics: if it ain't yours to use, don't use it. And that's what's being done here.