Mona lisa with mustache for commercial use. copyright infringement?
The original work is not copyrighted, nor is it copyrightable. Anything published that long ago (other than perhaps certain "royal" works) are public domain, meaning they are not longer protected with any copyright. However, you would still have to find a SOURCE that is public domain, if you want to be squeaky clean, since there are some publishers who still believe they can claim copyright in reproduction of public domain originals. In other words, someone may claim (and enforce) copyright in photographs or other reproductions of ancient works, if those photos/repros were made fairly recently. Consider the fact that I can go to Europe and snap photos of public Roman fountains. I would own the copyright of those photos, not any copyright on the original sculptures. It gets more difficult when the art is two--dimensional and hidden behind guarded walls. You would need "permission" to enter, let alone photograph, making a tightly controlled market for any authorized reproductions. Compare, for instance the 1990s federal cases of Bridgeman v. Corel, stating (in NY anyway) that the museum could NOT prevent further reproduction of photographs of paintings in the public domain.
Are there any laws regarding copyrighted characters in art?
There is no copyright infringement because his character has not been established. If for example a character like Micky Mouse, yes there is merit for lawsuit because we know that belongs to Disney. However, this is the realm of trademark - not copyrights. The character you drew could be anything, there are thousands of furry fan art out there. You drew it, you have the right to display it - unless during the transaction you specifically written the surrender of copyrights of that art to the person who commissioned it. Characters can be copyrighted, in a textual context if your story character is written very similarly to someone else's. The pursuit of copyright infringement rest on the case that you have copied his artwork without his permission. However, I'm assuming what you did was drew your own artwork according to the instructions/ideas given by the commissioner. In the case of McFarlane vs Gaiman of copyrighted character the court said to the effect of "The writer might have contributed merely a stock character (which is not copyrightable) that achieved the distinctiveness required for copyrightability only by the combined contributions of the (artist)" --- meaning his character becomes copyrightable after someone has drawn it from an idea. Lastly, copyright infringement is civil law, not criminal law. Anybody who says you're going to jail for drawing a wolfman is just plain stupid.
Am I violating copyright laws when playing guitar song of a well known artist and upload it on YouTube?
I can’t give you legal advice but I can say a thing or two about this.I’d say it’s similar to the case of fan art on the web. Posting fan art publicly on the web, without the authorization of the copyright-holder (or holders) of the original artworks, is basically copyright infringement but most artists don’t attack it. Most actually encourage fan art. Now, if it’s used in a commercial setting then some might not like it and ask for the removal of the fan art works.In your case, I’d say you can upload the song and wait and see if the copyright-holder asks for its removal or not. You could also just try to contact the person, group or company from the beginning, tell them about your cover song and ask for their authorization. Either way, bear in mind they have the final say.
Is crowd noise copyrighted law?
Copying ANYTHING from a copyrighted source and using it is technically a copyright infringement. If it's a video that is being posted for personal use on youtube, you may be safe. But if you are making a video that will be sold or for some application other than personal use, you should find another source. There are plenty of royalty-free websites that offer clips of countless sound samples. That would be the safest way to go.
Copyright Law: How much does one have to change an original work for the second work to not need permission for use?
Under U.S. copyright law, changing or building on a copyrighted work is known as creating a derivative work and is something only the copyright owner legally may do. A translation of a work from one language to another is specific kind of derivative work, which makes it virtually impossible to do what you are suggesting without the copyright owner's permission, at least assuming the translation would be even remotely accurate. So you're probably out of luck just on the translation part, at least under U.S. copyright law.Also, because you are talking about translation of songs, you have to deal with the non-textual composition elements of the songs such as melody, which are likewise protected by copyright. Starting with a copyrighted composition, unless changed entirely (in which case you aren't actually starting with one work and changing it -- you're actually just creating something completely new), is also creating a derivative work and would be infringement without the owner's permission. So, strike two I'm afraid.A couple of possible (but very unlikely) alternatives do exist. For one, it's possible what you do would be considered fair use. However, fair use is a highly subjective analysis based on a balancing of four statutory factors, which makes it notoriously hard to predict with any certainty in all but the clearest situations. If you want to learn more about fair use, check out Stanford University's terrific resource on the subject here: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/over.... And please don't trust what folks on the internet sometimes say about what fair use is -- there's no formula or percentage or rule of thumb that determines fair use in most cases. Ultimately, it's really only what a court decides in a particular situation that determines whether something is fair use, which makes it a risky legal principle on which to rely.Another (very slim) possibility is that the original works may be protected by another country's copyright law (instead of U.S. law), which could be less strict with regard to derivative works. Which country's law is controlling in a particular situation usually depends on the nationality of the creator and where the work was first published (I don't recall exactly which controls). So that's a possible alternative you could explore, but chances are the law on this subject will be pretty much the same regardless of the country.Sorry for the disappointing response, but I hope it helps. Good luck.
When a person buys an original art work, such as a Picasso painting, do they also own the rights to the image, or is that retained by the artist (or their heirs)?
You never buy the rights to the image when you buy and original piece of art unless it as under a special arrangement. The Intellectual Property Rights remain the property of the artist, or their estate if the the artist is deceased and died less than 70 years ago.Only after the artist has been dead for at least 70 years will you be able to make reproductions of the image without the permission of the artist’s estate and that will be because the artists copyright has ceased and their work has entered the public domain. And you still won’t own the rights to the image - it will be in the public domain. Meaning if you can make copies of it anyone else can as well if they have a photograph of it.*The only way you can ever obtain the Intellectual Property Rights to a work of art that you didn’t create or inherit from the creator is to buy them from the artist or their estate. This would have to be done under a separate legal contract that granted you the rights which has been signed by the artist or their legal representative. That contract should be drawn up by a legal professional who has advised the artist or their heirs of their legal rights. Otherwise, you never buy the copyright of an original work of art such as a painting or piece of sculpture when you purchase it. No art dealer or auction house will ever be empowered to sell you the copyright.There are some variations from country to country as to precisely how many years the artist needs to have been dead before their work enters the public domain. In some countries it may only be 50 years and in others it might be as long as 120 years or more. However, that doesn’t means an artist’s copyright can run out in one country but still apply in another: their copyright runs out for the rest of the world only when it has run out in the country they were a citizen of.It is possible to own the copyright of a photograph of a work of art you do not own the copyright of. It is not a very strong copyright; it doesn’t give you any rights to the original work of art. And if the original is till in copyright the copyright holder can refuse you permission to use your photograph for commercial purposes.
How were the creators of "Sword Art Online II" able to use a lightsaber on the show without infringing on Lucasfilm's copyright?
Because, like so many other media (from anime, to video games, to Western TV shows, to manga and comic books, etc.), they don’t call it a lightsaber, nor does it have any sort of backstory or lore explanation like in Star Wars. There’s a big difference between using a concept that’s executionally the same as a lightsaber (IE, being some kind of laser or plasma sword), and using an actual lightsabr. George Lucas never owned any sort of copyright to the basic idea of a laser/plasma sword as he never invented it in the first place, he did create a specific type of laser/plasma sword which he would have held copyright on (now that would be Disney), but the general concept of some kind of beam sword was not something that Lucasfilm could claim copyright on as it wasn’t something they first invented. Star Wars might have popularized laser/plasma/energy swords, but it wasn’t what invented them, and so they have no rights to the concept.As long as someone doesn’t go actually calling their lightsaber look-alike a lightsaber and doesn’t give it a similar backstory or explanation that’s too close ot Star Wars and the actual lightsaber, then Lucasfilm and Disney can’t do anything about it.