Question regarding Mickey Mouse/ disney characters

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  • Can mickey and any disney characters be recreated/ re drawn so as to look different from the original and used for business purposes without infringing on copyright :?:
  • Jonni,
    What you are proposing seems a bit like playing with fire to me. The Disney Corporation is well known for pursuing those who use their characters without permission. Since the Disney Characters are so easily recognized, I'm not sure how you would make them different. Aside from trademark issues, about which I am not very well versed, the copyright problems I see are numerous. Using the characters for commercial activity which would result in a profit is one violation. Another is you want to use a creative work rather than a factual one. By recreating the character, as you call it, you are taking the "heart of the work" which is the character's perceived identity/personality.
    While this is my opinion and should not be construed as legal advice, I would not embark on this course. If anyone has another opinion please feel free to join in.

    Good luck!
  • Jonni,

    If I were you I would do some research on trademark law and the rights confered upon trademark owners. The Disney characters are indeed protected by trademarks (I don't think copyright applies to your situation) and the Walt Disney company is known for aggressively pursuing infringers. Trademark protection usually has limitations in terms of scope (e.g. specific areas of commerce) and territoriality (although I'm sure Disney characters have worldwide coverage). If you are proposing to draw the characters differently enough that they're no longer "Disney" characters, then that might be enough to protect you from an infringement lawsuit.

    I agree with MKardick that using Disney characters is playing with fire, so be sure to think about your options before you proceed.

  • How would you go about getting permission to reproduce Disney characters?

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