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Is it legal to modify copyrighted pixel art by altering pixel values and colors significantly?

Copyright law protects the original expression of an artistic work, not just the specific pixels or colors used.

Modifying a copyrighted pixel art still infringes on the original creator's rights, even if the modifications are extensive.

Copyright infringement can lead to legal consequences, including lawsuits, fines, and damage claims.

Ignorance of copyright law does not excuse infringement.

Copyright protection applies to both published and unpublished creative works, including pixel art, automatically upon creation.

Registration is not required for copyright protection.

A common misconception is the "50% rule" – that modifying 50% or more of a copyrighted work avoids infringement.

No such rule exists; the determination depends on the specifics of each case.

Transformative use, where modifications add new meaning or commentary, can be considered fair use and may be allowed under copyright law.

However, the distinction is subjective and open to interpretation by courts.

Fair use provisions in copyright law allow limited use of copyrighted materials for specific purposes, such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, or research.

Strict guidelines apply.

Creative Commons licenses allow creators to share their work while retaining some rights.

Using a Creative Commons-licensed pixel art requires adhering to the specific license terms.

Public domain works are not protected by copyright and can be used freely.

Determining whether a work has fallen into the public domain can be intricate due to varying copyright terms and renewal rules.

"Orphan works" are copyrighted works with unknown or unreachable copyright owners.

Using such works may still constitute infringement, although some jurisdictions offer provisions for limited use.

"Derivative works" are new creations based on existing copyrighted works.

Creating derivative works without permission infringes on the original creator's rights, even with significant modifications.

Reverse engineering, or decompiling copyrighted pixel art to learn from it, can be allowed under fair use provisions for the purpose of interoperability.

However, guidelines and court precedents can impact the legality of such actions.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices allow copyright holders to request removal of infringing content from online platforms.

False or misused DMCA notices can lead to legal consequences.

Adhering to copyright law is crucial for preserving creators' rights and promoting the creation and dissemination of original works.

Copyright law is complex and subject to interpretation.

Consulting legal counsel is essential for understanding specific situations and potential risks.

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