Oz in the News 6.20.12

The Wizard of Oz Grew Up in Omaha  My maternal grandmother must have been all of 45-years-old when I was seven and she told me where she kept her Wizard of Oz books. There was a series just like Twilight or the Hunger Games.  The books were not really like the movies. There were the same characters in similar settings but that was it.  The Wizard of Oz was the Hunger Games of the depression. In the book the Wizard reveals himself to Dorothy and her partners in crime . .

Zazzle & Warner Bros. Pretend All References To Wizard Of Oz Are Covered By WB Copyright  First of all, characters from the Wizard of Oz are not, in fact, “property of Warner Bros.” The original book, written by L. Frank Baum, was published in 1900 and is in the public domain. The popular movie version, in which Warner Bros. holds the copyright, came out in 1939. This does lead to some interesting copyright questions, and a few lawsuits. For example, last year, we wrote about a lawsuit involving t-shirts designed with public domain Wizard of Oz images. And then there’s a brewing fight over whether or not Disney can make a film based on the public domain parts of the Baum books if it makes no reference to the 1939 movie.  Basically, what the law has said is that if you’re making references to the specific characters or character traits that were portrayed in the movie, but which are not from the books, then its under WB’s copyright. So, if you were to display pictures of the actual actors or specific expressions or outfits that are from the movie, but not the books, then there’s an issue.

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