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manal
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Just wanted others opinions on building replica/duplicate/copies of figures used by ventriloquists present and past and or other builders /makers figures present and or past, without the original builder/ makers permission.
I won't do it for my own personal reasons. It may also be illegal. I will however build my own version of a "type" of character. Examples would be Donalds Jedi figure and the figure I am building for Keith and also Daves figure which I attempted to build in a Marshall " style" using similar technique used by Marshall yet I will be the first to admit it doesn't look like any figure Frank Marshall ever actually made. They are my own one of a kind design based on input and qualities requested by the customer and not copies of anothers work.
I realize there is nothing new under the sun,taking for example music or cartoons, there are so many songs and characters that are similar due to style of defining genres.
My question is what others opinions are regarding making exact or extremely similar copies of anothers work.
Jim
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

www.jamesmanalli.com
Dickens & Dave
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North Central Florida
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Well of course the obvious answer is it's never okay to copy someone else's work.
Look what happens when someone thinks someone else copies their work, for example the Dunham/Nelson thing, and recently, I remember someone posting on worldvents all bent out of shape that a figure Mike Brose made was a direct ripoff of his figure (when in actuality it wasn't even close).
So sometimes all it takes is someone THINKING you copied their figure.

But with that said.....
I know of figuremakers (and others), whenever they got a figure in their shop for repair, they cast a mold of it for their own use.
You mention Marshall, people have been trying to copy his style forever, Hartz has made a career of it, and no one thinks anything of it, in fact we all praise his work.
Many others who have tried, come close, but their own style comes into it and gives it enough of a different look to make it unique. Like the figure I got from you, I think it has a classic look, but it's not a Marshall, it's a Manalli, your own style gave it a difference and that's good.
I've seen people copying McElroys, and selling them, and there were copies of "Fats" from "Magic" floating around for sale, still is, in fact I think Imaginarium is still selling them.

I think the main thing you have to worry about, if you make a figure for someone, something specifically for them and someone contacts you to make one for them, make it different enough that the first person doesn't complain. They would have a right if they thought it was a one-of-a-kind custom figure, they have a right to expect to not see someone using one like it. But if it's something you consider a "stock figure" in your "catalog", then no one has a right to complain if they buy one and they later see someone else using something similar.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
creativemac
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Tampa, FL
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Dave, you hit it.
Donald Woodford

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manal
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York ,PA.
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Yes , I agree Donald, Dave answered my concerns. Thanks for your post Dave.
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

www.jamesmanalli.com
Aussie
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Quote:
On 2012-10-08 20:33, Dickens & Dave wrote:
Well of course the obvious answer is it's never okay to copy someone else's work.
Look what happens when someone thinks someone else copies their work, for example the Dunham/Nelson thing...



I'm obviously out of the loop, what was the Dunham/Nelson thing?
Australia's Most Original Ventriloquist

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Fonsy
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I wrote a short article on "Dunham/Nelson thing"
called "Walter vs. Mr. Horowitz"
in The Yorick Yodelsap History of Ventriloquism (p 95).
A free ebook edition is available at http://vent.fonsy123.com/
Dickens & Dave
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Aussie (and anyone else) - you should download that book, it's interesting to look through, and hey, the price is right.
In a nutshell on the "Dunham/Nelson thing": Nelson had a figure which was an grumpy old man looking figure that Dunham had looked at, sometime after, Dunham created Walter and Nelson said Walter was basically a copy of his figure.

Oh, and Jim, if I see another figure like mine, I will screeaaammmm.....
(hahaaa, sorry, couldn't resist)
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Fonsy
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I think a distinction should be made between figures past and present.
Probably most of us would like to own a high-quality replica of
Charlie McCarthy or Jerry Mahoney -- not to perform with in public
but as a warm nostalgic reminder of those wonderful days (decades actually) when
Bergen and Winchell brought so much delight to their audiences.


Fonsy
http://vent.fonsy123.com/

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Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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Dave,

One thing that should also be taken into consideration is that the artist, such as Jim, who comes up with his/her own design may sell the puppet/figure etc. without yielding up his/her rights to the design. The actual design is still the proprietary property of the maker.

Now if you are given a sketch or close written detail for a custom character by a customer, then the issue gets far more muddy. Terry Fater found out shortly after he became well known that some makers will pop up and demand royalties for a puppet that a well known artist is using. Personally, I think a maker should be quite proud to have one of his/her creations being used by a big name performer and should forget any idea of demanding a price "ex-post facto". To do that just stinks.

If you are going to get a price for a characters rights, that should be negotiated up front and committed to writing for future reference. Once a character is made and sold (with or without rights) it should ethically be a done deal.

Steve at The Dummy Shoppe

http://www.thedummyshoppe.com/blog
Dickens & Dave
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Fonsy - can't always make that "past and present" distinction because the figures and/or their names may be protected, and then it's a question of how diligent those who own the rights are about watching for and doing something if someone makes a copy. Seems to me, I can recall the Bergen estate going after some and telling them to cease and desist in making some Charlie McCarthy-ish things.

Steve - you are right and bring up a very good point that most don't think about. You may own the figure, but that doesn't mean you own the rights to the design.
But I don't think it should be muddy if you provide the sketch, I would think the one providing the design would solely own the rights to it, the maker is just basically a contractor hired to do the work to make it.
It's definitely something, that if it's a concern for someone, they should definitely discuss it with the maker ahead of time.

But aside from that, if you make a custom figure for someone, it would be really bad form to make duplicates to sell to others.

And the Fator thing - yeah, that was just stupid greed motivating whoever that was.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Fonsy
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I was thinking more about Selberg's plan to make a Jerry Mahoney figure in his signature series.
Selberg already has created an extremely fine Danny O' Day:
http://www.selbergstudios.com/signature.shtml
I think these replicas will only help to promote interest in the great figures
and great ventriloquists of the past.

But I don't suppose Selberg will ever do a Charlie because, as you noted, Dave,
the Bergen foundation would not approve. Too bad!

But I am glad to see the other replicas being made.


Fonsy
http://vent.fonsy123.com/

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Dickens & Dave
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I'm betting there had to be an agreement with Nelson for Selberg to make that, I'm sure Nelson probably has Danny O'Day and Farfel as well protected as Bergen did McCarthy.
And I'm pretty sure there was someone making authorized Charlie replicas, but I forget who.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Fonsy
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The maker of the Charlies and Mortimers is Shannon Schrum.
http://www.schrumstudios.com/
But these figures are non-operational -- for display only --
and are very expensive.
I think about 5000 a pop!
The website has been "under construction" for a long while,
so the figures may no longer be available.



Fonsy
http://vent.fonsy123.com/

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marshalldoll
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Tim Selberg has made copies ( working) of Charlie, Mortimer & Effie. They are expensive and he will make them if you are willing to pay. If I am not mistaken his renditions are in the Vent Haven Museum but I could be wrong on that. Dennis Alwood also used to sell the trio through his company Gizmo Labs. Tim's rendition of Danny has resemblances of Danny but it is still a Selberg which was the same when he did Jerry Mahoney. It had resemblances of Jerry but was clearly a Selberg. Winchell gave Jerry Layne permission to sell the full size replicas of Jerry and Knucklehead and you can in fact use them as the characters they are in performance, I don't think many would but you can. Ray Guyll is the only maker with the rights to reproduce Danny O'Day but you must first have the OK from Mr. Nelson to purchase one. Price last time I heard was 10K for cast and 15K for wood.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
creativemac
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Recognize the Selberg touch?

Click here to view attached image.
Donald Woodford

"Invite a Dummy, to your next function."
http://www.woodynfriends.com
Dickens & Dave
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Yes, no matter what Selberg makes, it looks like a Selberg, even his Danny Tribute, still looks like a Selberg.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
TheDummyDoctor
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Quote:
On 2012-10-12 17:11, Dickens & Dave wrote:
...Steve - you are right and bring up a very good point that most don't think about. You may own the figure, but that doesn't mean you own the rights to the design.
But I don't think it should be muddy if you provide the sketch or other design renderings...


You've got it right.
My policy, from the very first figure I sold (46 years ago...where does the time go?) has been that with the exception of being supplied with client provided sketches, photos, or other renderings from which to work (or if the figure is made in the likeness of the vent), any figures I design, build, and sell are specifically and expressly not "works for hire". In other words, I still own the rights to the design (except in those special cases I've mentioned).

I believe that like myself, most (if not all) figuremakers do retain the design and manufacturing/reproduction rights on figures they have designed...that's how we keep the prices within reach (and it's probably why no one has _ever_ gotten rich making dummies. LOL). Of course, the only restriction which that places on a working vent would be with regard to reproduction and merchandising rights. For example, in one case, an agency client who purchased one of my figures informed me that he wished to own those rights with no restrictions, and so we came to an agreement that a premium would be added to the purchase price of the figure up front. That was added in order to more fairly compensate me for the time I put into designing and building the figure (as well as for meeting a strict 5 week contract delivery deadline).

If someone was going after Terry Fator for a royalty on the use of a puppet/figure in his shows, I'd say that's very bad form--- unless the figure was involved in merchandising (toys or other replicas, dolls, etc. In that circumstance, a request to sit down and discuss a royalty arrangement would certainly be quite legitimate, and not at all out of order.

I hadn't heard anything about this particular incident and I don't know any of the details, but I hope it was resolved fairly in the end. I will say that if the now famous Terry Fator was being squeezed for a royalty simply for _using_ the figure in his shows...a figure which he purchased years ago... I'd definitely side with Terry. I think it fair to say that purchase of figure certainly comes with the implied right to _use_ the figure. No reasonable person could deny that.
-------

Alan Semok, Ph.D (honoris causa)

THE DUMMY DOCTOR

Building Pro Vent Figures since 1966

web: www.AlanSemok.com/dummies
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