Hi. It's actually NOT a lot more complicated than that. I'm not sure what experience you have working with intellectual properties, their rights holders, and the legal team behind them because this is an area where I actually have a LOT of experience, 20+ years worth.
When I said I "used to work for Disney" that meant I actually knew what I was talking about. I was at a level where I would have direct meetings with Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenburg as well as the directorial team (Clements/Musker) that made the movie Aladdin! I attended screenings of the film with the directors, producers, and animators on a regular basis for months, maybe even up to a year before the film was even released in different stages of its development. I dealt with the legal team on a number of different issues, including IP and likeness rights ALL THE TIME. Edladdin's character doesn't even really look like the Disney Genie. Let's just compare...
I was being sarcastic in my comments; of course a sub $10,000 kickstarter would never get sued. I was exploring a (sarcastic) hypothetical worst case scenario of 'what if they wanted to sue Edladdin.'
The main point I was trying to make is that being right or wrong under the law is completely irrelevant. If a big company wants to sue you, then they win whether they 'win' or 'lose'. They have a legal department on salary, and you can't afford to fight them; i.e. you lose if you can't afford to fight them. Being right or wrong doesn't matter. What does matter is if you have money or something else they want.
Lawyers generally don't tell the client the complete truth; they tell you want you want to hear, so you keep paying them. Why would a lawyer tell a client the truth, when they can dumb it down to make the client feel in control, and dumb it down to make the client feel they are in the right, and the other side is in the wrong.
Edited by Hannacek, Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:20 AM.