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Q: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: 23v-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 23 Jun 2002 18:39 PDT
Expires: 30 Jun 2002 18:39 PDT
Question ID: 32111
Can you tell me if the copyright to Charlie and the Chocolate factory
is still valid. More importantly we are looking at using the 'Umpa
Lumpa' character in a promotion... would we be able to do this and use
the music without violating the copyright? Is a character in a
film/book copyrightable?
Subject: Re: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Answered By: librarygopher-ga on 23 Jun 2002 21:23 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi 23v!

The short answer to your question is that you need still need
copyright permission in order to use the Oompa Loompa character in a
promotion.  The original publication date of the Roald Dahl's story
called "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was 1964 and copyright
still exists for the book.  The movie version (and thus the graphic
representation of the character and the song), entitled "Willy Wonka
and the Chocolate Factory" came out in 1971 and is copyrighted by
Warner Brothers (which is owned by AOL Time Warner).

Below are further details.


Two articles on describe the copyright of fictional and
graphical characters.  Essentially, a literary fictional character is
copyrighted for as long as the copyright to the entire works lasts.  Protection of Fictional Characters (© Copyright 1998
Lloyd L. Rich)  Protection of Graphical Characters (© Copyright 1998
Lloyd L. Rich)


An excerpt taken from the U.S. Copyright Office web site indicates the

U.S. Copyright Office, FAQ #46

"*  For works created but not published or registered before January
1, 1978, the term endures for life of the author plus 70 years, but in
no case will expire earlier than December 31, 2002. If the work is
published before December 31, 2002, the term will not expire before
December 31, 2047;

*  For pre-1978 works still in their original or renewal term of
copyright, the total term is extended to 95 years from the date that
copyright was originally secured."

Roald Dahl died in 1990, so the literary work (and characters within)
is at least copyrighted through 2060.

Roald Dahl (Biography)


The following copyright records were taken from the Library of
Congress Copyright Catalog.

Library of Congress Copyright Catalog

The copyright record for the movie:

Registration Number:    RE-815-954  
Title:    Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory; motion picture. By
aWolper Pictures, Ltd. & aQuaker Oats Company.
Claimant:    acWarner Brothers, a division of Time Warner
Entertainment Company, LP (PWH)
Effective Registration Date:    17Dec99 
Original Registration Date:    30Jun71; 
Original Registration Number:    LP46657. 
Original Class:    L 

The copyright record for the book:

Registration Number:    RE-594-133  
Title:    Charlie and the chocolate factory. By Roald Dahl, ill. by
Joseph Schindelman.
Claimant:    Felicity Dahl (W), Tessa Dahl a.k.a. Chantal Dahl a.k.a.
Chantal Dahl Kelly, Theo Dahl, Ophelia Dahl, and Lucy Dahl Faircloth
Effective Registration Date:    19Oct92 
Original Registration Date:    18Sep64; 
Original Registration Number:    A720330. 
Original Class:    A 
Cross Reference:    cTessa Dahl. SEE Chantal Dahl Kelly.
cChantal Dahl. SEE Chantal Dahl Kelly. 


You can request copyright permission from the copyright holders.  

Copyright:  Obtaining Permissions

A bit from AOL Time Warner (owner of Warner Brothers) regarding their
copyright policy:

AOL Time Warner:  Legal & Privacy

If you're interested in contacting AOL Time Warner regarding usage of
Oompa Loompa, here is contact info:

    AOL Time Warner Inc.
    75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019
    (212) 484-8000. 

If you're interested in using the character for non-profit usage, the
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation offers "umbrella licenses" so
that churches, schools, YMCA's, etc. for public performances of videos
and DVDs.  While it doesn't sound like that's what you're looking for,
here's a link to the site in case you're interested:

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation


One more thing...

Here is the Warner Brothers Site for the movie:

Willy Wonka Home


Search Strategy:

charlie and the chocolate factory copyright

willy wonka and the chocolate factory copyright


oompa loompa


This is A LOT of information, so please feel free to clarify if you
have any questions at all.


Clarification of Answer by librarygopher-ga on 24 Jun 2002 09:47 PDT
A comment regarding Nestle...

As Lensam69 indicates, they hold the tradmark for the candy, however
the graphical representation of the character and song are both
copyrighted by Warner Brothers, so that's where I'd head first!  Might
be pricey though...

23v-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great response, thanks for all the detail, really appreciated. And to
all those who made comments too....

Subject: Re: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
From: huntsman-ga on 23 Jun 2002 21:29 PDT
The rights to the Roald Dahl (1916-1990) children's book "Charlie and
the Chocolate Factory" are still held by his estate in the United

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was originally published in the
United States in 1964, followed by publication in Britain in 1967.
Americans are largely familiar with this story from the 1971 movie
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", starring Gene Wilder. There
is currently a remake of the movie under way in Hollywood.

Before using any material (including any characters) created by Roald
Dahl, you should contact one or more of the following agents:

Book/text rights:
Contact Name: David Higham Associates

Stage rights, plus UK movie and TV rights:
Contact Name: Casarotto Ramsay Limited

All other movie and TV rights:
Contact Name: Michael Siegel Associates

All other rights including merchandising:
Contact Name: Dahl & Dahl

If you have any other questions about Dahl's work, please contact:

Dahl & Dahl
92 High Street
Great Missenden
HP16 0AN, United Kingdom

Tel: 00 44 (0)1494 891757
Fax: 00 44 (0)1494 890459


References - 

The Official Roald Dahl Web Site

Roald Dahl Biography

Use of Roald Dahl Material

Search Terms & Google Results - 

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

"roald dahl" biography
Subject: Re: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
From: lensam69-ga on 23 Jun 2002 21:35 PDT
Yes, it's copyrighted.  The current Trademark holder for the Oompa
Loompahs is Nestle:

Bottle Caps®, Everlasting Gobstopper®, Fruit Runts®, Laffy Taffy®,
Lik-m-aid® Fun Dip, Lik-A-Srix®, Mixups®, Nerds®, Oompas®, Pixy Stix®,
Shock Tarts®, Tangy Taffy®, Tart 'N Tinys®, Wacky Wafers®, Xploder™,
What Will He Think of Next™, Wild World of Wonka™, and Wonka® are all
trademarks of Nestlé.

Also here is some info on movie copyrights extension:

So, bowing to this pressure from the motion picture industry, backed
up by similar nudging from the music and entertainment industry, but
without any real consent by or benefit to the public, legislation was
passed in 1992 to automatically increase copyright protection without
exception to a total of seventy five years for all registered works
for hire regardless of their commercial value

Hope that answers it.

I had the answer about 20 minutes ago, but the thread was Locked.

Hope i can get into the Research team!
Count = 2!
Ok.  This is rather frustrating. The thread was unlocked briefly, and
while I was writing the answer, it was locked again.  I think google
should allow comments while research is being made. (Scratch that... 
Researches have to earn a living right?). I had the answer over 90
minutes ago.
Subject: Re: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
From: huntsman-ga on 23 Jun 2002 21:40 PDT
Addendum -

Here's a fairly recent article regarding the status of the "Willy
Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" remake:

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

Note that the distributor is once again Warner Brothers.


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