Does using the idea behind Wizard of Oz violate copyright?

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Miscellaneous Techniques Does using the idea behind Wizard of Oz violate copyright?

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    • #37534
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I have made a video and submitted it for a contest but it is not being recognized because they say it does not fit the rules. hint about copyright have been directed. Have the tornado from and open source video and all others were done by me. I have attached a link to the rules and to my video any help would be appreciated.

      Rules-http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=pg&p=Promos/youtube/sdc_rules.html

      Video-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhlEcbC9Oos

      Thank you.

      randolph1969

    • #166441
      composite1
      Member

      Randolph,

      Cute video. Your video is similar to the WoOz. Before doing any work that may be considered similar to an established work, you have to check to see if it’s in the public domain first. Since it looks like you’re doing this for a contest, Lowe’s no doubt would reject your work because of it’s similarity to an established work and they like most companies don’t want to go through the hassle of getting the rights to protect themselves should the right holders decide to contest their usage. It was an innocent idea you had, but copyright infringement no matter how serious can get you into a lot of trouble. Better to come up with something on your own as it’s a lot less hassle.

    • #166442
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      … so how do u know if a estabilished work or idea is in the public domain or that someone else besides you alreaduy had the same idea as you?

      I mean, i dont want be sued just because i had a idea that another person had before me, you know?

    • #166443
      jerronsmith
      Participant

      Actually to answer the initial question no using the idea behind another work does not violate copyright. Very specifically ideas cannot be copyrighted. Ideas themselves are pretty general, the idea behind wizard of oz is in fact based on older idea and character archtypes, but they are put together in a novel way.

    • #166444
      composite1
      Member

      Shippocaio,

      Check out the latest videomaker tips and tricks as it talks about this very subject. Though you may be eligible for ‘Fair Use’ according to copyright law, I’d be willing to bet my own money Lowe’s pinched up at project because they immediately assumed copyright infringement. Jerron’s correct in that you can’t copyright an idea. It’s when you permanently affix the idea in a novel or unique way into a medium such as a script or film for example, the ‘idea’ then becomes an ‘intellectual property’. It is the intellectual property which can be copyrighted.

      The best place to see how all that works is on the US Copyright Office website:

      http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

      Since Lowe’s was apparently having a contest, ultimately all the submissions would belong to them. Large corporations consistently balk at anything that strikes them as having infringement potential unless they already own the rights to said material.

      Concerning your ‘not wanting to be sued because you had an idea that another person had before you’, again no one can copyright an idea. However, you have to remember that there are a finite number of plot motivators, so someone has already beat you to whatever you’ve come up with. Take the book ‘Frankenstein’. The basic plot is how a man defies God by creating his own man and pays the price when his creation turns on him. Geez, how many books and movies have been made since then with the same theme? The difference between them is they do not use the exact words, characters and situations from the original story. The theme makes it similar, but the theme is an idea and you can’t copyright an idea.

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