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  1. But You Can Call Me Rich RPF Premium Member Moviefreak's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 11:40 AM - Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #1

    Edit: I know this was brought up in the Solo pre release thread, but I figure the discussion could have its own thread and not detail story discussions and such... I think a debate thread over this topic could keep from going off topic in that thread.

    79DBDC4F-56D5-459F-813B-26FB6528B77F.jpeg

    Read the story here:
    https://www.google.com/amp/comicbook...n-plagiarized/

    I have to say it really doesn’t look too good for Disney here. Way too similar in my opinion.
    Last edited by Moviefreak; Mar 4, 2018 at 11:45 AM.
  2. Greenie's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 11:55 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #2

    I've seen low budget movie posters imitating more successful blockbusters but for a Star Wars movie this is embarrassing. Time for a good shake up at LFL.
  3. Bryancd is offline Bryancd
    Mar 4, 2018, 12:28 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #3

    Certainly begs the question what agency was hired to do this part of the marketing and how/why would they have made it literally identical. What's odd is there is zero effort to obfuscate it.
  4. spacebob's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 12:37 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #4

    Well at least sony get a lot of free publicity for their CDs, I wonder if they are any good
  5. RPF Premium Member ItalianNinja86's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 12:51 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #5

    Actually I think this is brilliant cross promotion. Each character has their own soundtrack.
  6. RPF Premium Member JoeG's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 1:34 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #6

    I could see how some random person on the internet that is trying to come up with something to advertise their little project could think that it would be no big deal to copy some CD covers from some albums only released in France, but it seems a professional graphic artist would know better.
  7. RPF Premium Member Psicorp7's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 2:17 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #7

    If there was no manipulation of the colors in that image then someone did some blatant copying. The shades of the colors are just WAY too close for that to be an "oops". Combine that with the style of the words with images inside and the even the background color, there are just too many points of matching. Someone is losing their job and someone is getting a surprise payday for a set of obscure covers they did for probably a couple hundred bucks.
  8. But You Can Call Me Rich RPF Premium Member Moviefreak's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 3:28 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #8

    Bryancd said: View Post
    Certainly begs the question what agency was hired to do this part of the marketing and how/why would they have made it literally identical. What's odd is there is zero effort to obfuscate it.
    Sad thing is the design firm has a pretty good resume of films that they handled marketing for. They have the obvious talent to not have to go this route:
    https://www.bltomato.com
  9. SethS's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 3:56 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #9

    Before I worked in film, I worked as a designer. I was the last generation of designers who went to a four year college, learned art history, and were taught to actually use some problem solving and creative combo to cook up designs.

    These days, designers are pumped out by certification academies that assume if they can teach you photoshop, you're a designer. I certainly would look to other designs for inspiration and ideas-- and even totally ripped stuff off if I really loved it-- but generally I followed the rule of 2. If you copy the font and the color scheme, have your own layout and elements. If you copy the layout and color, don't use the same fonts. Generally, working with your own assets you'd end up doing something original, or let it lead you to something new.

    That's not how the younger generation of designers see it. Not ALL of them mind you-- but the ones who coast certainly do. My GF is an illustrator who is ripped off constantly to the point of having an IP lawyer on retainer. I really don't want to be a "kids today" person, but the generation raised on the internet think that if something is online, it's fair use to copy/resell/bootleg/whatever.

    And just to play devil's advocate-- I know people who have worked at BLT. Like most ad agencies that work in media, they work people to the bone. This could have been the result of an entire team of junior designers pitching ideas for days, and at 3AM the day before they had to pitch to the art director, when they were exhausted, burnt out, fearing for their job, and still one comp short to pitch-- maybe they looked at a CD on their desk and said-- I'll just copy that to fill things out.

    And oops-- it got picked.

    Odds are though, it was a lazy art director who gave the CDs to a JR designer and said "make it like this, no one will know or care." SURELY THERE'S NO OVERLAP BETWEEN STAR WARS AND VINTAGE AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC!
  10. robn1's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 5:06 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #10

    This is nothing new, the industry has been eating itself for years. Nothing is new, everything is an imitation of something better that came before.

    Remember these?
    the-dark-knight-rises-teaser-poster.jpg star_trek_into_darkness.jpg

    And before that it was costume design. Superman had little "S"'s all over his suit, then Jar Jar Drek had little delta symbols on the uniforms. I'm surprised the First Order officers didn't have little "SW"'s on their uniforms.
  11. JD's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 5:43 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #11

    It's obvious that the posters were lifted from the CD design. Whether or not it is plagiarism is something else completely. It almost certainly is a derivative work and not legal unless...

    ...if (and that's a big if) the design was licensed - or some agreement was made with Sony (the copyright holder) - then the folks did the right thing. It would be unfortunate that Sony didn't notify the original artist; but, it is (most likely) Sony's work to do with as they please.

    Most likely, some artist at BLT (aka not DIsney) ripped off the design; and Disney ultimately approved it. Does that make Disney liable or does that fall back on the designer - BLT Communications? I don't think it's fair that Disney shoulder the blame in this case.

    Of course the current climate at the RPF with the venom and outright hate being sewn against Disney, some are ready to throw them to the wolves based on assumptions. It's ironic and maybe even shameful that this will used to further fuel their vitriol Disney and Disney people... despite the nature of this very forum. That said, two wrongs do not make a right.
  12. cboath's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 6:05 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #12

    It's not like they have the option of running it through a poster database to look for possible similarities or copies.

    I'm sure it boils down to one guy doing it and the bosses not having an idea - unless the same company did both.

    It looks bad for sure, but it seems to be a contractor at fault. I'm sure that contractor just got barred from doing anything in the Disney empire as well, so they'll definitely pay.

    Too many are dumping this on on Disney/LFL and they're not the ones at fault. Just because you approve the design does not mean you're aware of the copying in the slightest.
  13. MooCriket's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 6:14 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #13

    "Good artists copy great artists steal"-Picasso, also graphic arts 101 apparently at Disney.
  14. SethS's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 7:21 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #14

    cboath said: View Post
    It's not like they have the option of running it through a poster database to look for possible similarities or copies.
    They could actually. Every year there's a publication that's a Key Art annual that shows exactly this. I don;tr have a current one, but I had one a few years ago. It's crazy to see how much alike everything looks.

    Despite the level of copying involved in these posters, no actual IP or trademarks were stolen. There's not really a legal standing for somebody to sue Disney. A layout design can't be copyrighted that I know of.

    If you're going to have a copyright infringement case you need to prove damages. You need to be able to say "this person stole X from me, and it effected my bottom line in this way."

    Disney and/or BLT should 100% make good and kick something over to the designer of the CDs, and fire whomever ripped it off, but there's no lawsuit here.
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    Mar 4, 2018, 7:40 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #15

    Moviefreak said: View Post
    Sad thing is the design firm has a pretty good resume of films that they handled marketing for. They have the obvious talent to not have to go this route:
    https://www.bltomato.com
    Looks like they just burned a bridge with Disney. Ouch.
  16. somerset fox's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 9:14 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #16

    For years, you haven't been able to look at a DVD cover without seeing a two tone, half in shadow face(s) of the main actors mournfully staring back at you. It seemed like a tired format then:
    . 41AYSZ59PBL._SY445_.jpg Supernova-2000-film-images-8aae3231-e391-4df4-89c3-9bad50c8c10.jpg star-trek-generations-movie-poster-1994-1010190499.jpg

    Today, nothing is different:
    41JX8c-gPYL.jpg
  17. RPF Premium Member Hecubus114's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 10:18 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #17

    The examples people are posting are hardly the same thing as this. The Solo posters almost look as if the only difference is what the text says. While I agree that movie posters copy/steal/imitate (whatever you want to call it) from each other all the time, this is just so much more blatant.
  18. el toro's Avatar
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    Mar 4, 2018, 10:42 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #18

    I agree with SethS. I don't see how Sony France or the original designer would have standing to bring a lawsuit here. My understanding is that layout design is not copyrightable, and there isn't a trademark issue here either. However, I agree that Disney's marketing team looks bad here.
    Disney can now join the pantheon of famous rip-off artists:

    hqdefault.jpg

    images.jpg

    19010106111_1a2335826b_b.jpg

    65reDPB.jpg

    demi-and-leslie.jpg

    Also consider that the same designer may have produced the album covers and the Solo posters. If so, then at worst this is a case of a designer being lazy. EDIT. Ignore that last comment. Apparently the Sony artist indicated on Facebook that he was ripped off.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater


    SethS said: View Post
    They could actually. Every year there's a publication that's a Key Art annual that shows exactly this. I don;tr have a current one, but I had one a few years ago. It's crazy to see how much alike everything looks.

    Despite the level of copying involved in these posters, no actual IP or trademarks were stolen. There's not really a legal standing for somebody to sue Disney. A layout design can't be copyrighted that I know of.

    If you're going to have a copyright infringement case you need to prove damages. You need to be able to say "this person stole X from me, and it effected my bottom line in this way."

    Disney and/or BLT should 100% make good and kick something over to the designer of the CDs, and fire whomever ripped it off, but there's no lawsuit here.
    Last edited by el toro; Mar 4, 2018 at 11:08 PM.
  19. MattBlack's Avatar
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    Mar 5, 2018, 12:54 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #19

    SethS said: View Post
    Before I worked in film, I worked as a designer. I was the last generation of designers who went to a four year college, learned art history, and were taught to actually use some problem solving and creative combo to cook up designs.

    These days, designers are pumped out by certification academies that assume if they can teach you photoshop, you're a designer. I certainly would look to other designs for inspiration and ideas-- and even totally ripped stuff off if I really loved it-- but generally I followed the rule of 2. If you copy the font and the color scheme, have your own layout and elements. If you copy the layout and color, don't use the same fonts. Generally, working with your own assets you'd end up doing something original, or let it lead you to something new.

    That's not how the younger generation of designers see it. Not ALL of them mind you-- but the ones who coast certainly do. My GF is an illustrator who is ripped off constantly to the point of having an IP lawyer on retainer. I really don't want to be a "kids today" person, but the generation raised on the internet think that if something is online, it's fair use to copy/resell/bootleg/whatever.
    I run a Graphic Design degree at a University, and we absolutely teach your first point and never your second point. In fact we deduct points for derivative work. There's a truck load of new students out there who are creative as hell, and make great original work.

    I agree about the generation of 'if it's online, I can have it' though. We're doing all we can to dispel that notion.
  20. SethS's Avatar
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    Mar 5, 2018, 1:00 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #20

    MattBlack said: View Post
    I run a Graphic Design degree at a University, and we absolutely teach your first point and never your second point. In fact we deduct points for derivative work. There's a truck load of new students out there who are creative as hell, and make great original work.

    I agree about the generation of 'if it's online, I can have it' though. We're doing all we can to dispel that notion.
    Thats great to hear! If you're a uni I would expect no less-- I'm talking about art academies, online programs, etc. I've been out of the scene for awhile, so this great to hear.
  21. RPF Premium Member doppelganger's Avatar
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    Mar 5, 2018, 3:04 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #21

    Well I think its absolutely disgusting and totally unforgivable.

    Chewie should be Jazz and Lando should be Soul...... What were they thinking.
  22. Member Since
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    Mar 5, 2018, 7:38 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #22

    Here’s a high-level overview of the legal and practical issues (I’ve practiced intellectual property law here in the U.S. since 1998.)

    1. Though the work allegedly copied here may have been created outside the U.S., numerous copyright treaties essentially harmonize certain aspects of copyright law around the world so that foreign works are protected under U.S. law (and vice versa). These treaties include the Berne Convention (1989) and the Universal Copyright Convention (1952.) So let’s assume this work is protected from copying under U.S. law, and the artist has a right to sue in the U.S.

    2. To prove liability for copyright infringement, you have to prove the “infringer” copied the work. If you don’t have direct evidence of copying (someone saying “I saw Bob copy that other poster”), you can prove copying occurred though circumstantial evidence by demonstrating that (i) the infringer had access to the work (i.e., he could have seen it somewhere) and (ii) the later work is substantially similar to the original work. In that case, the law says, in effect, “you were exposed to the other work, and then you created a work that looks an awful lot like it – we’re going to assume you copied.” That being said, if the “infringer” can show independent creation – “yeah, my work looks similar, but it’s a coincidence- I never saw the other work”, then there is no infringement because there was no proof of copying.

    3. In the U.S., copyright infringement is a “strict liability” offense – meaning anyone who makes or distributes an infringing copy is an infringer, even if they did not know the work was infringing and did not intend to infringe. So, while the original artist may be an infringer, Disney would also be an infringer for making and distributing copies (through advertising, sending to theaters) even if it had no reason to know the work was copied.

    4. As a practical matter, Disney is not exposed to millions and millions of dollars in damages here. Generally a copyright plaintiff is entitled to two things – (i) the actual damages he suffered from having his work used without permission (i.e., lost sales of his own copyrighted work) – probably fairly minimal here, and (ii) the defendant’s (Disney’s) “profits attributable to the infringement.”

    That phrase “attributable to the infringement” is VERY important. If Disney makes $700 million in profit from Solo, that doesn’t mean the artist gets all of that. Rather, he only gets the portion of profits that are attributable to use of his poster. And Disney would (rightly, IMHO) argue that virtually none of the tickets sold for Solo were bought just because people loved the poster. Instead, they will point to the general hunger for SW films, the excitement caused by the trailer, the public’s love of the Han Solo character. That all whittles that $700 million down to some very tiny number of ticket-buyers who said “I only saw that film because of that cool poster, and I probably wouldn’t have seen the film without that poster.”

    (If the work was registered in the U.S. Copyright Office (unlikely), then the plaintiff could elect to receive statutory damages of up to $150,000 – but that would mean giving up the right to claim damages and defendant’s profits. And the Copyright Act actually says a judge can choose to award any amount between $100 and $150,000 – so even that is not a sure bet of getting $150,000.)

    5. As far as Disney – yes, a settlement is likely even if there is no proof of copying, because it is often cheaper to pay to settle than to fight something. But that settlement will likely be confidential with no admission of liability – “we paid you just to make you go away, not because we did anything wrong – but you agree not to disclose how much we paid you.”

    6. Regardless of whether Disney has to pay because of a settlement or due to a finding of liability, it ain’t coming out of their pocket. A standard term in a contract with a third party creator (such as a design agency) is that the third party creator (design firm) will indemnify (pay all damages for) the commissioning party (Disney) if there is a claim that the work is infringing. So Disney will just make a claim for indemnification against the design firm for any amounts for which Disney is on the hook (as well as, likely, for any costs, attorneys fees, etc. that Disney had to spend to deal with this whole mess).

    M
    Last edited by mkstewartesq; Mar 5, 2018 at 8:43 AM.
  23. JD's Avatar
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    Mar 5, 2018, 8:28 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #23

    el toro said: View Post
    I agree with SethS. I don't see how Sony France or the original designer would have standing to bring a lawsuit here. My understanding is that layout design is not copyrightable, and there isn't a trademark issue here either. However, I agree that Disney's marketing team looks bad here.
    Disney can now join the pantheon of famous rip-off artists:
    From how I've seen it explained, there's a difference between derivative and inspiration (this link was cited). It's being said that these works are clearly derivative... and there is too much that is clearly lifted to be a mere coincidence or inspiration.

    The idea isn't all that original - however, once you add the colors and everything... it becomes a rip off of the original design.

    It might made LFL/Disney look bad - but, that's to a select audience (99% of the audience won't notice or care) - and most of the blame should fall on the shoulders of the designers (BLT).
  24. Bryancd is offline Bryancd
    Mar 5, 2018, 11:57 AM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #24

  25. But You Can Call Me Rich RPF Premium Member Moviefreak's Avatar
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    Mar 5, 2018, 12:04 PM - Re: Thoughts on The Solo movie poster plagiarism accusations? #25

    Bryancd said: View Post

    "Bahous made the claim over the weekend via a Facebook post that was set to public, but was changed to private on Monday morning. The Hollywood Reporter got a screenshot before the page was changed, which shows Solo artwork next to Bahous' album covers."


    I find it odd that he set his Facebook statement to private after a few days open to the public. I wonder if he retained legal counsel and they advised him to avoid any further discussion in public for now?

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