February 2015 - The Needy Animator

Copyright for the Freelance Artist Pt 2: 3 Types Contract Agreement

The 3 Basic Types of Agreement for Artist Freelancers by Lee Morin, Esq. Articles related to Copyright for the Freelance Artist series may be found here: Part 1: Copyright Basics (The 101) Part 2: 3 Types of Employment Agreements Part 3: Copyright Infringement and Defenses  Part 4: A Case Study of Momocon THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS: The Case of Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics Whether you transfer ownership of or merely grant permission to use the exclusive rights to your work depends on the contract agreements in place.  Heated debates have arisen where it concerns agreements between freelance artists and publishers that allowed publishers to exploit characters in the comic book industry. Motion picture adaptations of literary superheroes are an example of derivative works, which provide the film industry with some of the highest earning films of late, grossing more than 15 billion dollars for Marvel, now Disney, since 2000 [11] .  Because copyright law provides that freelancers can terminate transfers of ownership in the exclusive rights to their work [12] , heirs of freelance artist Jack Kirby sued Marvel to reclaim rights to characters Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Spider Man, Thor, and X-Men [13] . Marvel argued that Kirby produced work as made for hire not subject to termination; thus, Marvel was author and owner; neither Kirby nor his heirs had any claim.  The heirs insisted that Kirby had not irrevocably transferred his rights to Marvel, rather that the transfer was subject to termination after 56 years [14] . After petitioning the Supreme Court for certiorari, parties settled their dispute on confidential terms [15] .  Whether freelance...

Copyright for the Freelance Artist Pt 1: Copyright Basics

So today we have an awesome guest blogger Lee Morin, an Entertainment Lawyer here to shed some light about things that artists might not know but probably should, especially if they are freelancing or considering doing so. One of these things that people might be familiar with but not in details have to do with the issue of copyright in art and adaptations. While something we are all probably familiar with at a basic level, here’s some useful information that might get artists more familiar with a bit more than just the definition and a bit of how copyright is important especially to artists. * This guest blog post was written by Lee Morin, Esq.   OF COPYRIGHT, CONTRACTS, AND FAN ART If you are reading this blog, words like “manga,” “cosplay,” or “doujinshi,” may seem ordinary.  To the uninitiated, these words are foreign; but, if you have heard of Pokémon, or Dragon Ball Z, then you know “manga”[1].  My first encounter with manga was the film adaptation of Akira, and later with Ghost in the Shell, whose soundtrack is as haunting as its subject matter.  Following in the footsteps of the crossover tradition was the epic film adaptation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, from the successful media franchise Final Fantasy, which, “centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games, but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise [2].” The film adaptation of Final Fantasy was the first photorealistic computer animated feature film, and most expensive to produce at $137 million with a staff of 200 at 960 workstations rendering 141,964 frames over a span of...

42nd Annual Annie Awards 2015 – ASIFA Hollywood Winners Results

Every year there is the Superbowl, Oscars Award, and plenty of different prestigious Award Shows on the road. For Animation, one of the most esteemed of these award ceremony is the Annie Awards held by ASIFA-Hollywood recognizing achievements in the animation field- both in animated shorts/ animation TV production/ and features. Personally, I was rooting for The Lego Movie, Song of the Sea, Damkeeper, Feast, Over the Garden Wall, and ARCHER. Who did you cheer for? The results are in this year and the winners of each categories are: CURRENT Results from the 42nd Annie Awards Best Animated Feature  How to Train Your Dragon 2 – DreamWorks Animation SKG JURIED AWARDS June Foray Award Charles Solomon Ub Iwerks Award Dreamworks Animation’s Apollo Software Winsor McCay Award Didier Brunner, Don Lusk and Lee Mendelson Special Achievement Awards Walt Disney Family Museum   Production Categories Best Student Film  “My Big Brother” by Jason Rayner (Savannah College of Art & Design-SCAD) Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Joaquim Dos Santos – Legend of Korra – Nickelodeon Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Truong “Tron” Son Mai – How to Train Your Dragon 2
 – DreamWorks Animation SKG Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Illya Owens – Disney Mickey Mouse
 – Disney Television Animation Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated Feature ProductionJohn K. Carr – How to Train Your Dragon 2 – DreamWorks Animation SKG Best Animated Video Game Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft Montpellier Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Benjamin Balistreri – Wander Over Yonder 
-  Disney Television Animation Outstanding Achievement, Character...