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Pony Comics on Patreon - Copyright Question

Epic Hoagie
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2019) - Celebrated Derpibooru's seventh year anniversary with friends.
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Bonafide Ponified Artist
This is for folks who are experienced with producing pony comics and other content on Patreon.
 
What do I need to watch for re: copyright if I were to sayyyyyy publish a comic over yonder?
 
Things I’ve been considering with this question:  
  • Do I need to change their names?  
  • I’m planning on altering the canon, this will be an AU.  
  • The characters will be anthro, so I won’t have to worry, necessarily, about the designs being in violation.  
  • I’m aware I can’t use the official logos, so don’t sweat that.
     
    Any help on this will be appreciated.
Ciaran
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Lil' Shid
Hasbro can be very easy to approach with these kinds of questions. It can be as simple as asking them for a Permission To Use - Just fill out this form and then email it to permissions@hasbro.com.
 
The trick is that you need to present them a mockup of the proposed book.
 
I talked with one of their stable (their enormous, impressive, seemingly endless stable) of freelance lawyers (whose work depends on finding something they can sue someone for) and their advice was to proceed with the project until I have a mockup ready to send to Hasbro, then send it. If Hasbro says “no” then I know that I have to change the names and places to ‘protect the innocent’.
 
At worse, you might have to change the names, so try to make sure you keep your text in a separate layer so you can go through it quickly if you need to change anything.
 
But, if you’re going to publish, you might already be doing that, so .. really, the simplest solution is to just make it with the idea that you might GET Permission To Use, but prepare for the case that you might NOT get Permission To Use, and once you have the pencils and text done, send a copy to Hasbro using the above form, and keep your fingers crossed.
 
One nice thing about all of this is that Hasbro is SO MUCH NICER than any other corporation you might do this with. Disney will tell you how many millions you have to pay them. Warner Brothers will ignore you but you’ll feel like they’re watching you for the rest of your life.
 
But Hasbro will send you a really nice letter either way. They’re really great to work with for this kind of stuff.
 
For myself, I was asking about a Tarot deck based on ponies, and their response was just ‘Send us the mockup and we’ll talk’. Got a ways to go yet, but .. their response was not a ‘no’ :)
 
PS: Depending on your work and how well the work you are doing fits Hasbro’s goals, the response might include “We’d like to publish this ourselves” at which point you’re basically golden. To be honest, that’s kind of what is making me be so careful about finishing the mockup. Their response was so much of a ‘maybe’ and included questions about potential publishers that I want to make sure each card is perfect.
 
Hasbro is … really … shockingly easy to work with for these kinds of things. So, create a mockup of your work (which, really, could just be the first third of pages penciled, 3 pages of finished inks and color, and a script for the whole work plus your ‘elevator speech’ - the requirement is just for a storyboard/mockup and synopsis - but more is always better if you have it prepared) and send them an email :)
Epic Hoagie
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2019) - Celebrated Derpibooru's seventh year anniversary with friends.
A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
Artist -

Bonafide Ponified Artist
@Ciaran  
Well, I’m actually really surprised and impressed to hear that. I always figured them for the same soulless corporate schlock every other media giant is.
 
That said, I sincerely doubt they’ll jump on-board with what I’ve got brewing. It’s pretty adult. Ah well. Thanks for the advice! If I wind up feeling any trepidation I’ll just jump straight to changing the names and call it good.
Ciaran
ラ・ゼッタ - For supporting the site
Verified Pegasus - Show us your gorgeous wings!
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
Philomena - For helping others attend the 2021 community collab
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Silver Supporter - Silver Supporter
Best Art Program Ever - For artists who were courageous enough to draw something for the April Fools day.
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab

Lil' Shid
@Epic Hoagie  
Yeah, odds are if it’s adult they won’t want any part of it. But, if you know you want to avoid any ‘imperial entanglements’ from the start, just using ‘sound alike’ names might not be a bad idea.
 
These really are good questions to be asking.
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