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Thread: Copyright & Simpsons Comics



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  1. #1
    Comic Book Guy MikeStar's Avatar
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    Exclamation Copyright & Simpsons Comics

    Hi guys, I thought this is probably the right place to write this, so I will begin.

    I run The Simpsons Comics Site and have a few questions that the good people of The No Homers Club could answer.

    The question is really based on copyright and what you can and can't do as I would like to be doing the right thing and take down what I'm not allowed to have.

    As I review the comics (with the front and possible back cover images) and show samples of amusing comic quotes (images from the comic), I thought to myself if I was able to use these images.

    So, I started reading Bongo's Terms and Condition on their website (yes, I read it all) and what I found was:

    1. You can't put a link on YOUR site to theirs without their prior approval (as stated in 1.11). So, next update, I'm taking down their links.

    2. It states (1.2), "You may not reproduce, distribute, publish, transmit, modify, adapt, translate, display, sell, license, publicly perform, prepare derivative works based upon, or otherwise use or exploit the Content. You further agree that you will not disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer, or otherwise modify the Content."

    That's the part that is concerning, considering I am publishing the covers and comic quotes.

    The question I ask is, are you allowed to have the comic covers on a site or comic samples? I see a few other sites showcasing them as well.

    I recall there was even a showcase of fan sites for the comics in an issue of Futurama, so surely it's fine, right?

    I sent them an email outlining my concerns, but I never got a reply. That was a few months ago.
    I run and maintain The Simpsons Comics Site

  2. #2
    this is some friendly Charlie's Avatar
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    Hey Mike, not sure if you remember me (username used to be Ivan), but great to see your site back online! It should be fine to use the covers themselves. As you said, other websites have been doing it for years (SNPP, Planet Bongo, When Bongos Collide). I'd say that much like the publication of album covers, that as long as the quality is lower than that of the original source - in that it cannot be used as part of a counterfeit - you'd be fine. I don't see why Bongo would have any gripes with using thumbnail sized comic covers. I'd personally say the comic quotes would be fine as well, it's not like you're offering entire pages or whole comics for download or anything, and you're not charging people to view the samples.

    I know it's not a proper response to the legalities of it all, but I think Bongo would only come after you if you offered downloads of comic strips as opposed to just a panel here and there from some comics. It's kind of like 20th Century Fox - they have similar clauses regarding the use of their property (including The Simpsons), but they only come after websites that would adversely affect their hold on and profit from the show (i.e.: websites that offered episode downloads or long video clips).

    All in all, you should be fine
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  3. #3
    Comic Book Guy MikeStar's Avatar
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    Ah, Ivan! Indeed, I haven't forgotten

    Thanks for your input, it makes me feel a little better now with what I do on the site. I'll continue as normal.

  4. #4
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeStar View Post
    1. You can't put a link on YOUR site to theirs without their prior approval (as stated in 1.11). So, next update, I'm taking down their links.
    Surely they must mean hotlinking images... because that's just

  5. #5
    Comic Book Guy MikeStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Homer View Post
    Surely they must mean hotlinking images... because that's just
    The exact wording is, "You may not create hyperlinks to this Site without our prior approval."

    The way I interpreted that is no hyperlinks which directs users to their site. It is odd isn't it?

    Not sure how that helps them in any way.

  6. #6
    Let's to go! Santa Shoz's Avatar
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    Guy with mace here, last time I checked, some of the websites that the users here mentioned, such as SNPP, have recieved praise from Matt Groening. If I were you though, I would post the cover but the whole copyright thing, a lot of people are illegally doing this, it's similar to pirating, an unnoticed problem, that is unless someone is making profit off of someone else's work. Still, post strips, probably based off of the summaries of The Simpson Comics from the bongo website.

  7. #7
    Junior Camper Sideshow Ben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeStar View Post
    You may not create hyperlinks to this Site without our prior approval
    http://www.bongocomics.com/

    Suck it, Bongo.
    You are hearing me talk.

  8. #8
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeStar View Post
    The exact wording is, "You may not create hyperlinks to this Site without our prior approval."

    The way I interpreted that is no hyperlinks which directs users to their site. It is odd isn't it?

    Not sure how that helps them in any way.
    Hahaha that's crazy

    "Hyperlink" is just a couple notches below "cyberspace" on the outdated phrase-o-meter

  9. #9
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