Pretending to be someone is not an art form reserved for a made-up idea character. Many within the animation industry depend on applying a certain degree of copying when expressing their art. Whether in the form of funny imitation (imitations of work for funny or critical, in a way that makes fun of the dumb things people do). Exaggerated picture. way or art, musical or other work of art/artistic combining of elements made up of selections from different sources that pretends to be the style of another artist or period, borrowing and building upon the idea or style of another isn’t a new form of art.
As most are aware, under UK copyright law, it is a violation to use someone else’s work, like when you change a little of their work and you fully use for profit. The copyright works of another without the copyright owner’s permission. However, looking for permission to use copyright work for purposes of funny expression, exaggerated picture art is often met with a firm NO or a demand for payment of a thief-like licence fee, possibly interfering with and stopping creators.
How does COPYRIGHT affect you as animators?
First of all, it depends on the work created. Is it your own idea done on your own? If so, then copyright will rest with you. If it is work done “for hire” then it does not.
“For hire” is an exception to the rule that the creator of the work is carefully thought about/believed the author or owner of the copyright. It is also called “corporate authorship”. A good example of this is anything you create for a studio. While you created the actual content, you were paid by way of compensation for it so this means that the studio retains the copyright for themselves.
Like i have said above that copyright only covers work that is actually your idea meaning that if you are creator it is best to first get your idea on paper.
Copyright may also affect you when it comes to your personal works. While you are free to use copyrighted material for influence, direction and inspiration, you cannot create works that could be thought about as violating on the original piece.
Do animators work have to be covered by copyright?
Not necessarily. As essential as copyright is, it is also worthwhile knowing that submitting works under copyright is not a must. While it is an automatically granted legal privilege, you are quite free to publish your work under a a very big number of alternative methods if you so wish. Alternatives such as the public domain and the multiple of Creative Commons licenses.