Can I publish an image in a book of someone else's character if it is redrawn as a stuffed animal? 2 Answers as of March 23, 2011

I am a small business owner of a publishing company. We are about to publish our first book, but as I go through it, I realize that it contains a stuffed animal version of the highly recognizable (to my target demographic) character Pikachu from the cartoon Pokemon. The image in question is hand drawn by one of our artists and does not represent the character, but is merely something that might normally be found in the situation it is in (it is located on a young teenage girl's bed and helps identify her as cute). I would like to keep it in because it does help showcase the character but I am afraid that despite Pikachu's ubiquity this is infringement, however I would like to know for sure. Thank you for your time.

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DANIEL NESBITT
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
If you do proceed, you could attempt to defend yourself on the basis of fair use or lack of a derivative work, depending on the detail of the depiction (which should be shown to an attorney). Have you considered sending the image to the copyright owner of Pikachu and requesting a waiver for your specific use?
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/23/2011
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Copyright law prevents someone from making a derivative work of the underlying copyrighted work. To explain what a derivative work is lengthy. Look at the definition on the web.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 3/10/2011
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