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Re: Are Minor Characters/Ideas Free to Grab?

Subject: Re: Are Minor Characters/Ideas Free to Grab?
by pijon on 2018/5/18 21:33:33

Oh man! 1st off, let me say, great forum post, Ozzy!!
This was a real jaw dropper when I first heard this news! BTW, I can't get the Bleeding Cool News Adams response to come up so I'm not sure what he had to say on the matter but I am disheartened by this news and I don't think Netzer's complaints are unfounded. This is a very complex issue though.
Apparently, Netzer had written a very forgiving and thoughtul response to Adams on the matter a year earlier but apparently he's had a little time to rethink it. Sure, it makes Netzer look a bit more hypocritical but I think that Netzer's career in comics is considerably less landmarked than Neal Adams so I'm sure it really gets Netzer's goat much more as he dwells on the way Neal hijacked his character. Part of Neal Adams' legend is how he championed creator rights and this stains that history a bit. It's all very sad to me.
Now me, ...I believe that ego is the devil in all of us that warps our perception to make ourselves look like the hero in spite of all that f**ked up sh*t we do. I think it's going on with Neal and Mike. Neal should publicly apologize for stealing Mike Netzer's character without permission. Period! But Mike should realize that Ms Mystic is nothing more than the most menial footnote in the history of comic book characters because neither he nor Neal bothered to develop her enough to make her very memoriable to anyone. (BTW, I say this as someone who bought those original issues!) Yet neither man appears capable of seeing beyond their own perspective.

Now, ..."In the opinion of this people, as I understand it, it is OK to steal/borrow someone else idea/character IF its not a big one or well know... "?
Well, in the opinion of THIS person, that's not so easy to define as simply "yes" or "no". Legally speaking, yes, it is okay to steal someone else's idea if it resides in the public domain. BUT that does not automatically assume the creator has given his/her permission so whether it's right or wrong depends on your value system. Of course, it's ALWAYS wrong when someone steals YOUR work! but what about when YOU use others characters?
Most of us here use others' characters ALL THE TIME!! Not JUST public domain...AND we use others creations (like 3D models and sets, photos, even their art) ALL THE TIME TOO! Let me not even get into how often folks doing "original" work are "borrowing" concepts and ideas from others!
So me, I'm okay with borrowing or stealing... up to a point. I agree with Netzer on his position: if someone steals your creation, claims it entirely as their own, and publishes and profits from your creation, it's flat out wrong! But if anyone wants to pay me a commission for a fan art illustration or render of a DC or Marvel character, I'm totally cool with that!
As to my own original characters, my present view is largely that I would allow others to use them IF they asked permission from me AND credited me for their usage of my creations (and perhaps credited the original work from which they appeared) BUT I firmly maintain my right to change my mind on these permissions so ask first, kiddies!