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Knight Rider copyright

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:47 pm
by TurboBoostMan
My auto mechanics teacher at school wants me to draw a design for a tshirt for the auto program. I did a few designs and i incorporated a car in to all the pictures. Im sure you know what car it is. Anyway, im wondering if there would be copyright issues if KITT was in the picture. It doesnt say 'Knight Rider' anywhere on the picture, KITT doesnt have 'KNIGHT 2000' written on the side... The only referance to Knight Rider at all, id that KITT is in the picture.

Re: Knight Rider copyright

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:54 pm
by tharpdevenport
As long as you don't sell it or make a profit from it, you're okay legally.

Re: Knight Rider copyright

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:21 am
by Michael Pajaro
That's not entirely true. You don't need to make money in order to violate copyright laws.

The issue would be if Universal didn't want the implication that the image implies some sort of endorsement of the school's program. If these are shirts that are for some one-off special event you're probably ok. But if this is supposed to be some sort of logo for the program itself, then it gets a little more grey.

Is the car definitely KITT? (basically, does it have a scanner?)

Re: Knight Rider copyright

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:00 am
by msKEN
Would that even matter? I mean he would still be in violation of Pontiac's copyright. But you're right its a grey area for sure. Fan sites, fan fiction, unauthorized replicas and replica part makers, and events (even fan games cough cough) are clear violation of copyrights regardless if they profit or not. NBCU has typically turned a blind eye to these things and left the fans alone, but that's not to say one day that could all change. Warner Bros on the other hand... they don't like Batmobile replicas and they will go as far as having the court seize your replica, just google it. ... who-186585 <-- One of a few

On that note though, I would say you are safe to make a non-profit t-shirt. After all look at how much unauthorized merchandise already exists and is being sold everyday on etsy and ebay. Pretty sure those Knight Rider clocks, cuff links, keychains, replica parts, watches, custom made figures and so on and so on have been sold for years and nothing has been done to prevent any of it.