(10/29/01 9:43:57 am)
Can anyone tell me hoe the copyright thing works on the traditional fairy tales? I am somewhat of a writer but mainly a painter and would like to illustrate a collection of fairytales. I am assuming I would have to revise these somewhat. Any help in this matter would be appreciated. I am new to this site and still learning how to navigate but it is quite impressive!
(10/30/01 12:17:47 am)
| Re: question|
I am in no way competent in giving legal advice, but the common understanding is that the tales are not in copyright, only the retellings by authors, collectors, and editors. Also, retellings that are over a hundred years old are not in copyright unless they are in a newer translation. It is complicated, but you are "safe" to retell the tales yourself in your own words.
(10/30/01 4:05:11 am)
Just make sure these ARE old tales, not new ones (art tales) or reworked with new stuff by one special author. If you can find two old books with similar tellings, you are safe.
(10/31/01 7:17:50 am)
| Re: Caution|
What Jane said...
While the tales themselves are public domain, the contemporary translations of them may not be. Jack Zipes' translation of the Brothers Grimm tales is likely copyright protected because it's HIS translation of the stories.
So, while you could illustrate any of the stories, if you intend to have accompanying text, you'd either have to write your own rendition of the story or get permission to use the version of the translation from that author, which is likely to include payment of some kind; or go back to some 19th-20th century translation which is itself in the public domain now and thus free.