Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Rights to original art (slightly OT)

Expand Messages
  • Dava
    The past few months, I ve been sorting through about a billion new Magic cards at work, and I ve noticed something about the newest ones that bugs me. I
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 29, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      The past few months, I've been sorting through about a billion new
      Magic cards at work, and I've noticed something about the newest ones
      that bugs me. I wasn't sure on the ethics/legality of what WoTC's
      doing here, and I figured someone here would most likely know the
      answer. Also, it relates to Phil and Kaja (though not Agatha, thank
      goodness).

      And here's hoping we can use javascript! Otherwise WoTC will come
      repo everything in my labs. >:P

      <script language="Javascript"> function WizardsAutoCard (cardname)
      { windowName = "WotCWindow"; params = "toolbar=0, location=0,
      directories=0, status=0, menubar=0, scrollbars=0, resizable=0,
      width=450, height=400"; win = window.open
      ("http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name="+cardname,
      windowName, params); }</script>

      Okay, for those not familiar with WoTC's art policies, here's the
      background on it as I understand it. (It's all from water cooler
      discussions at a hobby shop, so some details might be off.) Back
      when Magic first came out, WoTC commissioned lots of artists to make
      really cool art for the cards. The contracts usually allowed for
      royalties on the artwork, which was great incentive for the artists
      to make fabulous art that could be widely used, IMHO. After a few
      years, WoTC reorganized their system for art contracts, and
      eliminated royalties. New contracts did not grant royalties, and if
      WoTC wanted to reprint an old card with an image that would require
      them to pay royalties, they simply commissioned new art.

      I'm not sure which contracts ended up being better for the artists,
      but I know that after a while all my favorite Magic artists (Phil and
      Kaja, Quinton Hoover, Melissa Benson, and Anson Maddocks) were all
      gone.

      Here's where it gets shady. WoTC ordered new art for royalties-
      linked cards. That's fine and dandy and within their rights, and
      often the new art was nicer than the old art. Recently, though,
      they've reprinted some cards with new art done "after" the original
      art. That is, they have another artist recreate the original artwork
      in order to avoid paying royalties. I don't know if WoTC orders the
      art to be that way, or if the artist chooses to do it as a sort of
      homage.

      For example, Kaja did the original illustrations for <a
      href="javascript:WizardsAutoCard('Spirit Link');">Spirit Link</a> and
      <a href="javascript:WizardsAutoCard('Bottle Gnomes');">Bottle
      Gnomes</a>. If you click those links (assuming javascript works
      here) you can see the new versions of these cards. In Spirit Link,
      the art Kaja created was copied right down to the outfit the woman is
      wearing. Similarly, her design for the Bottle Gnomes was copied.

      I'm not sure how WoTC can do this legally, because it seems like
      theft of intellectual property. And even if it _is_ legal, it
      certainly doesn't seem ethical. Commissioning new art is fine, but
      having older art copied just to avoid paying royalties seems kinda
      sneaky to me. Is this legal? And if you create art for a company,
      what rights do you have to it?

      Dava
    • Dava
      Ach!! Alright, I ll attempt regular links... Spirit Link
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 29, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Ach!! Alright, I'll attempt regular links...

        <a href="http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name=Spirit Link"
        target="_blank">Spirit Link</a>

        <a href="http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name=Bottle
        Gnomes" target="_blank">Bottle Gnomes</a>

        Good grief, I hope that works!

        Dava
      • studiofoglio
        Wah ha ha ha! Look at that Spirit Link! They even used the circle-y magic-y thingie that I like to put around people s heads to make the background less
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 29, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Wah ha ha ha! Look at that Spirit Link! They even used the
          circle-y magic-y thingie that I like to put around people's heads to
          make the background less boring...

          I must get a copy of the new card. Thanks for pointing it out.

          No panic in this case, because all of the work that I did for Magic
          was work-for-hire. They have all rights and they own it. I also
          designed the complete costume for the Spirit Link lady, head to
          toe, for their use on a live model at a show somewhere. So they
          are completely within their rights here, and I'm very glad that they
          seem to like my original painting so much. I am sad that they
          lightened her skin, tho.

          --Kaja

          --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "Dava" <dizzydava@a...>
          wrote:
          > Ach!! Alright, I'll attempt regular links...
          >
          > <a
          href="http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name=Spirit
          Link"
          > target="_blank">Spirit Link</a>
          >
          > <a
          href="http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name=Bottle
          > Gnomes" target="_blank">Bottle Gnomes</a>
          >
          > Good grief, I hope that works!
          >
          > Dava
        • Anthony J. Albert
          This is an interesting question - thanks for bringing it to our attention, Dava, and thank you, Kaja, for a prompt response, before this became a flame-fest
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 30, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            This is an interesting question - thanks for bringing it to our
            attention, Dava, and thank you, Kaja, for a prompt response, before
            this became a flame-fest against WoTC. *grin*

            Personally, I like the new Bottle Gnomes illustration, but the Spirit
            Link just doesn't do much for me. I also don't agree with them
            lightening up the skin tones, but hey, their perogative, it appears.

            Remember, always settle the details of your contracts _before_ starting
            construction of your clanks, constructs, or other inventions.
            Otherwise, all of your effort will likely be wasted, ignored or worse.
            And you don't want to have to make them Rue The Day _AGAIN_ do you?
            Especially not after the last time, when you had to repossess Malta
            from the Crusaders. (First they order a floating fortress, then they
            want a floating island, and when you delivered a fortress island, they
            said they wouldn't pay... *sigh* )

            Anthony Albert

            On 29 Jan 2004 at 22:46, studiofoglio wrote:
            >Wah ha ha ha! Look at that Spirit Link! They even used the
            >circle-y magic-y thingie that I like to put around people's heads to
            >make the background less boring...
            >
            >I must get a copy of the new card. Thanks for pointing it out.
            >
            >No panic in this case, because all of the work that I did for Magic
            >was work-for-hire. They have all rights and they own it. I also
            >designed the complete costume for the Spirit Link lady, head to
            >toe, for their use on a live model at a show somewhere. So they
            >are completely within their rights here, and I'm very glad that they
            >seem to like my original painting so much. I am sad that they
            >lightened her skin, tho.
            >
            >--Kaja
            >
            >--- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, "Dava" <dizzydava@a...>
            >wrote:
            >> Ach!! Alright, I'll attempt regular links...
            >>
            >> <a href="http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name=Spirit Link" target="_blank">Spirit Link</a>
            >>
            >> <a href="http://www.wizards.com/magic/autocard.asp?name=Bottle Gnomes" target="_blank">Bottle Gnomes</a>
            >>
            >> Good grief, I hope that works!
            >>
            >> Dava

            ===========================================================
            Anthony J. Albert albert@...
            Systems and Software Support Specialist Postmaster
            Computer Services - University of Maine, Presque Isle
            "This is only temporary, unless it works."
            --- Red Green
          • Dava
            ... to ... Pbbbt!! I m tempted to send you mine. ... That s what I figured, but I just wasn t sure. I noticed that Mr. Snoddy recreated an Urza s Mine
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 30, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In girlgenius@yahoogroups.com, studiofoglio <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > Wah ha ha ha! Look at that Spirit Link! They even used the
              > circle-y magic-y thingie that I like to put around people's heads
              to
              > make the background less boring...
              >
              > I must get a copy of the new card. Thanks for pointing it out.

              Pbbbt!! I'm tempted to send you mine.


              > No panic in this case, because all of the work that I did for Magic
              > was work-for-hire. They have all rights and they own it.

              That's what I figured, but I just wasn't sure. I noticed that Mr.
              Snoddy recreated an Urza's Mine illustration that Anson Maddocks did,
              and he doesn't strike me as the shady type. I'm still curious
              whether it was his choice or WoTC's, though. ;)

              Incidentally, WoTC's brought Ron Spencer back into the fold! I hope
              a few other artists come back.


              > So they are completely within their rights here, and I'm very glad
              that they
              > seem to like my original painting so much. I am sad that they
              > lightened her skin, tho.

              So was I. I think the whole thing seems a little washed-out,
              though. Maybe the scan quality was poor?

              Dava
            • studiofoglio
              ... Oh, don t do that. I ll get my own. In fact, I see from the artist s Web site that the original is still available, so now I m trying to scrounge up the
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 31, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                > Pbbbt!! I'm tempted to send you mine.

                Oh, don't do that. I'll get my own. In fact, I see from the artist's
                Web site that the original is still available, so now I'm trying to
                scrounge up the money for that. I'll probably have to wait and
                hope it doesn't sell for a while! I have one of the life-size Spirit
                link statues from the WotC stores in my studio, along with the
                two little statues, so I try to keep up the collection. When I find
                the time, I'll post some photos online.

                Mr.
                > Snoddy recreated an Urza's Mine illustration that Anson
                Maddocks did,
                > and he doesn't strike me as the shady type.

                OOhh, he's a sneaky one, that Brian Snoddy. Actually Brian is
                one of the most professional artists I've worked with, and in my
                opinion, brilliant. So if he's re-creating somebody's artwork, my
                guess is that he was told to.
                >
                > Incidentally, WoTC's brought Ron Spencer back into the fold!

                Good for them. He's amazing.

                I am sad that they
                > > lightened her skin, tho.
                >
                > So was I. I think the whole thing seems a little washed-out,
                > though. Maybe the scan quality was poor?

                That may be it, I was thinking the same thing after I posted the
                above comment.

                --Kaja
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.