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Copyrighted Artwork?

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by jfiscus, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    I have a client; a local police department, that recently had someone (Hopefully it was none of you!) do some hideous artwork for their uniform patch. The vendor did the artwork "for free" with their order of patches. (see where this is going?)

    Now, they want some small decals printed with the artwork for other uses. They sent me the artwork (with a large copyright symbol over it) and I requested verification that they had the rights to use the artwork.... A couple hours later they call back and say that the embroidery company wants $750 for rights to the artwork.

    Now, this is pretty simple artwork; it would take 15 minutes to recreate from scratch. Am I allowed to recreate it for the customer, or are they SOL for their artwork until they pay the original creator? They do not have money in their budget to pay for purchasing the artwork for a $50 decal order.
     

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  2. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    SOL unless they have the rights to the design then the creator owns it.


    you can have the police try and get it released for a 1 time use scenario since this is a product they do not offer (assuming not offered)
     
  3. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

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    Copyright protects the work, not the idea or concept. So, you can recreate the artwork from scratch to look as close as you like as long as you do not use -- in any way -- the actual file/printout that came from the other vendor.

    Example: If I shoot a photo of a scene and you shoot a near-as-makes-no-difference photo of the identical scene, we each hold a copyright on our own works that will prevent others from benefiting financially from copying either your photo or my photo but will not prevent a third person from shooting their own photo of the same identical scene and using it.

    Another example:

    I make a "logo" with a red square with a black diagonal line running upper left to lower right and a white diagonal line running upper right to lower left.

    Another party would be infringing my copyright on the work I did if the result of my work (JPG/PDF or whatever) was used in deriving production files without an agreed upon compensation.

    If, however, the third party recreates (meaning from scratch) a "logo" with with the same attributes as the "logo" I created, then they are not infringing my copyright because they are not benefitting by using my work.

    The design might be the same, but the only way one can protect a design is through the trademark process.
     
  4. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Where'd you come up with that idea? Using that logic I can recreate and sell any logo as long as I digitize it myself.
     
  5. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    heres an idea. IF.YOU ARE WORTH your claim this is a BAD DESIGN........since the owner of that art work wants $750 to use it.........
    PRESENT TO THEM, a revised logo, with YOUR DESIGN, market it to the police force as a PACKAGE, with them BUYING YOUR DESIGN, thus they own it, and ask them to bring you any future usage of the design be it on their vehicles, patches, letterheads, business cards
    all this for $500..........hummmmmmmmmmmmmm
    and tell them you will work with them on the payment, over a set period of time that is acceptable to both!!!!
     
  6. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

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    Not if it is trademarked, you can't...
     
  7. The Vector Doctor

    The Vector Doctor Very Active Member

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    A bit off topic.... you can create this from scratch in 15 minutes? I need to hire you
     
  8. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Shouldn't be a problem. Google Image Search until you find a similar locomotive. Autotrace it (how that one looks like it was done), the rest is a couple of simple shapes and text placement.

    Sounds like a damn fine opportunity to get them to improve on what they've got though and make it the patch company's fault.
     
  9. deegrafix

    deegrafix Member

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    They may have had a similar logo since 1864 and this one with the copyright mark is something that the previous shop built because the PD's artwork was so bad. Maybe the PD has an older one they own that you can re-create without worrying. I do a lot of big command centers for PD's all over the country and they seldom have decent artwork and love having it cleaned up. Just a thought.
     
  10. LenR

    LenR Member

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    That'll teach 'em!

    Either the police have to pay the fine OR go back and tell the Embroidery Co. that they don't want a buy out. They just want to license it for vehicle use.
    How much would that cost?

    That might be something you could do. Tell the Embroiderer you have been asked to do the stickers and how much would a license cost? They probably just want some respect and a license might not cost that much. What's the job worth? That might help put things in perspective.
     
  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I would be careful with that notion. Pebble Beach has gone after a lot of people that have used that lone cypress tree even though it was the other people's pictures and they have won. So I would be careful.
     
  12. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

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    Can you expand on that, please? This tree you speak of -- is it a graphic that comprises a trademarked logo?
     
  13. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    No, it is a picture of the live cypress tree, not the graphic element.
     
  14. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

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    So, you're saying that if I take a photo of this tree, someone will claim I am infringing on their copyright?
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Very interesting.

    Some avenues, I never thought about. :rock-n-roll:



    So, if I look at a Coca-Cola logo, study it and then draw it from memory and it happens to look identical, I could use it without any harm coming to me or my customer ??
     
  16. TyrantDesigner

    TyrantDesigner Art! Hot and fresh.

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    He's talking about the Logo.
     

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  17. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I'm not saying that they will for sure make that claim, but you do run that risk. I know a quilter that had her picture of the real cypress tree printed on the fabric of her quilt. This quilt was in books, it was featured at the Houston International Quilt Festival, it was not sold or mass produced for sale etc, so it's not like that they could make that claim.

    That quilt was pulled. Later publications of the book that had pictures of that quilt were changed to not have those pictures in them. It was a big thing in the quilt world. Not exactly something that I'm sure would have been even a blimp on your radar, but it can happen.
     
  18. ezeloCreative

    ezeloCreative New Member

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    This is turning into a lesson of Copyright vs. Trade Marks or Service Marks. I have been involved in corporate branding for many years and I highly recommend anyone working with designs has a good understanding of the differences in their country, region, state or province and etc.

    -sheldon
     
  19. ucmj22

    ucmj22 Very Active Member

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    Same thing happens with big tex at the state fair of Texas. They are super anal about that thing. You can take a picture of it, but they better not find it anywhere.
     
  20. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

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    Exactly. The two legal devices offer entirely different protections and are non-overlapping.
     
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