Skip to main content

Would i violate copyright/trademark laws if i was to create a kids play based on an already existing cartoon series?

New York, NY |

The series consist of multiple 5min episodes. I am to translate them into the language of the country i currently reside and create a 40min play.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


I think you are describing a derivative work made without permission, which infringes the copyright of the author of the original work. The author may also have trademark rights in the characters. Get in-person legal advice from someone who handles intellectual property matters.

Not legal advice, just my two cents. I don't practice law in New York or hold New York licensure. Consult New York IP counsel if you need legal advice. I practice in Vermont ONLY.


I have a feeling you already know the answer to this question.

Yes, this would be a clear copyright infringement as you would be creating a derivative work. It is also entirely possible that the country you reside in cooperates with the US under treaty in the enforcement of copyright law making it possible to take action against you there.

You may consider simply obtaining a license to do what you are planning . This may or may not be feasible, but in many cases permission is really not that expensive or difficult to obtain.

I would encourage you to discuss all your plans and objectives with a lawyer in private before jumping in. I will link you to some general helpful info below and most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
(see Disclaimer)

The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.


YES, you would likely infringe both copyrights and trademarks. See an IP attorney. This site is for finding US lawyers not for getting free advice regarding any other country where you currently reside.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


This would be a blatant, illegal violation of copyright law, and probably trademark law, unless you obtained permission from the owners of the copyrights and trademarks in the original cartoon. You are making "derivative" works based on the original characters and stories, and you can't do this without a license from the owners of the copyrights and trademarks. If you want to pursue this project, call one of us for a consultation, and then retain one of us to negotiate and procure the licenses that you need. If your project is potentially profitable, the copyright owners might be very happy to work out a deal whereby they receive royalties in exchange for allowing you to proceed with the project.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer