Copyright, Why Are You So Complicated?

Last week, I received a comment on an old blog post, Childbook Mashup, asking to use the design on a flyer.

I was super excited at first when I read it, and wanted to say “of course!” But, I was quickly reminded by my boyfriend that part of the design was not mine (what a ruiner!). The awesomely cute illustrations of Luke and Darth Vader are from the book, Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown.

darth-01 darth-vader-and-son-toy

I’ll fill you in on the background details. . .This was one of the projects from ds106, that I did in my Digital Media I class. “Mashup a children’s book based on another cultural artifact.” I decided to do a mashup of Dr. Suess’s book, Are You My Mother? and Star Wars.

The end result:

AreYouMyMother1      are-you-my-father

I was able to use the illustrations under Fair Use since it was for educational purposes. But, I am no expert when it comes to copyright laws, so things get hairy for me real quick. Where is the line drawn? What is the law of usage past fair use? I really do not know!!! Nor do I want to find out the hard way!

After getting opinions from multiple people, I decided it’s never a bad thing to stay more on the cautious side. So, as much as I would LOVE to allow this design to be on a flyer, I’d have to say it’s safer to decline.


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