When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #35: Jurassic World: Copyright Infringement?

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

Well, this is awkward.

So, I’m going to talk about kind of a touchy subject today, but in order to dance around it, here is some Jurassic World news!

There have been pictures floating around the internet claiming to be the first official look at the infamous hybrid dinosaur Diablous Rex. I’m not sure how valid these claims are, so I’ll just put a link to the image that looks the most legit to me.

It’s pretty low rez, but from what I can make out it looks pretty cool. At least it’s not the Lovecraftian abomination some people were expecting.

We also have a new image featuring Chris Pratt next to a hopefully animatronic Velociraptor.

'Jurassic World'

Yes, yes, the raptor is very cool. But DANG! Look at those arms!

And those veins!!!

Who would have thought?

Anyway, the real reason I’m writing this post however is to discuss something that may be a little uncomfortable for a blog whose main purpose is to critique works of film and art.

There have been complaints that a lot of the artwork seen in some of the promotional material of Jurassic World is actually from already existing works and has been used without permission.  In fact, this was something I noticed when the first prop Jurassic World pamphlet made it’s way on the internet. Let’s take a look at that, shall we….

While some of the artwork looks original, and others look similar to other works, there are a few that are definitely copies of other pictures.

First off, the Apatosaurus is actually taken from a picture of a Brachiosaurus.

The Baryonyx comes from this image.

The Gallimimus looks like this image of Compsognathus.

The Pachycephalosaurus image stems from this (this picture seems to have gotten the film in the most trouble, which I’ll discuss later).

The Parasaurolophus comes from this…

The Pteranodon comes from this image of a Quetzalcoatlus.

This isn’t the original image, but another rip off of it.

The Stegosaurus comes from this.

The Suchomimus comes from this.

The Triceratops comes from this.

And the Tyrannosaurus comes from this.

Many people are getting really mad that the makers of Jurassic World would steal from artists and use their work without their permission. Some aren’t so angry because they are only using silhouettes and not the  actual artwork. However, it’s still copying off someone else and claiming it as their own. So, what do I think about this?

Well, it’s kind of weird for me to talk about this, because I write a blog that reviews copyrighted material, and I do post said material on this blog. Now, I’m not profiting off this blog in any way (that would just be asking for trouble) and since it’s in review the material should be protected under Fair Use, but I digress (if you want to call me a soul sucking mooch using material that isn’t mine, go ahead; you’re probably right). But the thing is, Jurassic World is making money of of this. They’re profiting, and I totally agree with those who say this is highly unethical.

But whom should we put the blame on?

I don’t think there was a conscious decision from the higher ups to use other people’s artwork without permission, but instead a mistake from the art and prop department. Someone probably asked someone to create art for the props, and in order to save time some guy based his illustrations on the first pictures he found on Google images. He probably didn’t think much of it, probably assuming that the props wouldn’t be on screen in the film very long, or at least the camera wouldn’t hold on them long enough for people to notice. Little did he know, however, that these images would be front and center in the marketing, and everyone would see his copies. Now, this is just a theory, and I have no basis for this, but I have a feeling that this probably happened.

Heck, Universal Studios and the Jurassic World team are probably as surprised by this as the rest of us are. They think they have original artwork when suddenly they get complaints about copyright infringement and now they have to deal with it. If this really does boil down to one or a group of idiots in the art department, I have a feeling they’re out of a job. Whatever happened though, this still falls on Universal. On the website there is a acknowledgement for the Pachycephalosaurus image, but so far that’s the only one. Whether this issue get’s completely worked out or not I don’t know, but I personally think it was just a mistake made by a few people tasked to draw a couple of dinosaurs.

Join me next time, as I do a Dinosaurs Over The Years on everybody’s favorite dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex!

 

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