Okay, here’s what I’m going to say, quick and dirty, and this latest mess around whatever Feminist Frequency is accused of doing today.
So FemFreq used a piece of art in their promotional materials that appeared to be official art of the character of Princess Daphne from Dragon’s Lair. It’s come out over the past few days that this art was not official, and is, in fact, fan art.
Out of this debacle have come several questions:
- Does fair use include fan art?
- Can fan art be legally protected?
- Is Feminist Frequency a nonprofit?
When FemFreq used the image, they were under the impression that it was real, licensed Dragon’s Lair art. Whether or not the fan artist has a leg to stand on in legally defending ownership of fan art that is indistinguishable from official, licensed art of a character owned/trademarked by Don Bluth (or whoever owns Dragon’s Lair these days) is… debatable.
Fan art is protected under fair use, after all. Just like Let’s Plays. The companies that own these characters are allowing fan artists to create art. They can take that permission away if they like, especially if the artists are trying to make a profit, or if they are not following fair use guidelines, including making a transformative work.
Now, the artist has claimed that Feminist Frequency is NOT a nonprofit because they are not listed on the IRS.gov charity listing.
Nonprofits don’t require a 503-c to attain federal tax exempt status. Charities do. All charities are nonprofits, but not all nonprofits are charities. Nonprofits are state level, charities are federal.
That’s why no one can find Feminist Frequency on the IRS site. They never claimed to be there. They are not a charity, they are a registered nonprofit in the state of California, as you can learn by searching for them at the Secretary of the State of California’s corporation listings.
So stop spreading misinformation. Thanks.