Spot The Difference? -
Realis published only the Major Arcana from my deck which
is not as heavily collaged as the Minor Arcana, it still consists
of collaged images of my own creation.
an example, here is my original v1.0 of The Tower and the
source paintings from which it was collaged. As you can see,
the base picture, Simone Martini's "The Miracle of the
Resurrected Child" has been substantially rearranged,
and an angel has been added from Giotto di Bondone's "Scenes
from the Life of Christ: Lamentation".
my card consisted of source material from public domain artworks,
the creativity involved in composing the image as it appears
on my Tower card gives me copyright as an original work of
art according to my lawyer (who specialises in Intellectual
particular image was used by Realis both in their Tarot Kalendar
2002 deck, and 27 times in the accompanying
book, including on the cover.
were approached through the German Copyright Collection Agency,
and refused to pay me royalties. Bildkunst decided not to
pursue the matter without entering into discussion with me
about how the works were created and thus I wasn't given the
opportunity to demonstrate my claim to copyright. They assumed
that the pictures were public domain and that I had merely
associated them with particular tarot cards.
limit of the investigation by Viscopy (the Australian equivalent)
and Bildkunst is shown by this email:
have just received an email from a lawyer at Bildkunst, our
affiliate in Germany, about the use of your tarot cards by
the German publisher. The lawyer, Dr (snipped
for privacy), has reviewed your material and the calendar/book
produced by the German publisher. Unfortunately however, Dr
(snipped for privacy) is of the
view that your work would not be protected under German copyright
law. She says, "the idea to connect a certain medieval motif
with a certain value of a tarot card however does not fall
under copyright protection in Germany; this connection remains
in the field of 'unprotected ideas'".
her view is that you have no copyright claim, Dr (snipped
for privacy) does think that you have a good case under
the German law of unfair competition because the publisher
has admitted that it downloaded the cards from an "English
Internet site" (whether that's yours or not, I'm not sure).
However, unfortunately they are not in a position to help
you pursue this claim as it falls outside their jurisdiction.
Therefore, if you wanted to take some action you would have
to do so privately, with the help of a German lawyer. Bildkunst
could put you in touch with someone if you would like.
sorry that Bildkunst was not able to help you resolve this
matter and that we can't do anything more about it for you.
regards, (snipped for privacy)
VISCOPY Limited, 7th May 2002
Viscopy were unwilling to even bring up the issue of originality
due to collage, I dropped them as my collection agents. I
wasn't willing to give them 25% of my royalites in the deal
with US Games when they put in so little effort to protect
my rights in the situation with Realis.
obviously can't afford to engage a German lawyer, so there
is nothing more I can do. *sigh*
you want to email Realis and tell them what you think of them,
contact details are on the previous
Black, August 2002