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Industry Topic................

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Gino, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I figured I'd start this in the 'Open Forums' since this is where the majority of this takes place, but perhaps we'll start it over again in the 'Premium' section, based on the kind of responses we get..... if any at all.
    Since joining s101, I’ve become quit aware of the extent of Copyright Infringement……. not only in pirating software, clipart, other shop’s designs, but just plain stepping on the exclusive rights of someone else and thinking nothing of it. It happens in the music world, movies, labeling, plays, photos, and so many other areas as well as our industry.

    Although it’s not really considered ‘theft’, but infringing on someone else’s right to said copyrighted material….. it’s not really stolen property, therefore does not always equate to theft, conversion or fraud. In other words, something is taken without the consent of the copyright holder, who still has complete use of their own copyrighted material. However, those rights have been infringed upon.

    Well, not to get into the legal mumbo-jumbo any further… I’d like to see where others are in their beliefs on this matter. I recently had a brief conversation with another member here and I said I would try a thread on this matter.

    So many times we see threads here about a newbie or someone reporting someone using someone else’s design or ideas. We then have a huge exchange on what is or isn’t infringement, and quite frankly, I don’t think anyone ever reaches an end result. There’s no need to look up past actions on this and start talking so and so vs. so and so and what happened…. I’d like to see what in your minds in fact is considered infringement, to what extent and why ??

    Possibly we could post up a few pictures of some past infractions and intelligently discuss what happened.

    Someone taking a picture for someone else’s website and posting it as their own is of course fraud. However, it still falls under infringement.

    Possibly, we’ll have to curtail and change directions of this thread, if it takes off at all, but I’d like to reserve the right to step in and possible re-route this thing if it gets too far off track. I’d really like to see a good discussion on this matter since it’s constantly coming up and most all of us have been affected by this term…… some, more than others.
    :thankyou: Gino
     
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  2. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    I just refuse work when the custy's art of logo seems to be infringing.

    The exception for me is usually local pee wee & little leagie teams using some variation of a pro name/logo.
    I did make a "Call of Duty" phone wrap for my son once but I wouldn't for a customer.

    Joe the Plumber with his Harley style logo gets shown the door.
     
  3. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

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    Never mind Joe plumber with his harley style logo, Gino, have you yet had the pleasure of telling a industry wholesale customer or even ad agency no? They of all should know better. I now have a blanket copyright release form. Since my preflight guy is also a longtime pro photog, anything in question gets the form:)
    9.9 times out of 10 they can't get the release completed (imagine that) and the job never happens. I am certain though that 10 times out of 10 there will be someone else waiting in the wings to do it. Gotta love this business! It's particularly prevalent in the boat lettering side of our industry.
     
  4. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Customers bring me others sign shop designs / layouts work all the time ... normally it is so bad I change it greatly that is why they hire me.
    Some customers try to be slick and have me design / layout and have the cheaper sign shops do the work has happen alot, and have learned to not let them see what I do till money is in hand.
    As far as other shops seeing my work and copying, can't do much about it if I don't see it or have money to file lawsuit....I just hope they learn how to produce better work so I have to work harder to do better also.
     
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I just wonder sometimes about when I started doing this with a brush and most stock cars and a lot of boats had some (copyrighted) cartoon character on them. And copyrighted fonts were copied out of a typebook. Back then I never heard a word about a release, not even in sign school, now it seems like this is a daily topic with more opinions than facts.
    If you have to ask, it's probably infringement.
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Rick.......

    That's kinda my point. Most of the professionals and people that have integrity will abide by the rules. Those that don't know any better.... ya know...... just coming in, don't have a clue about this stuff. However, once they are told.... it's a lot like locking your doors. It only keeps the honest people out.

    Now, I understand someone not knowing or understanding the industry and as everyone says... ya have to start somewhere. Why is it.... so many people keep asking and sometimes the same people over and over ??

    On the other hand..... are we or anyone here ever taking this a step too far ??

    That's what I want to get into. What is too much and what is not enough as far as using things you didn't really create yourself ??

    If someone is copying something.... it's not always about changing a font, a color combination or slightly changing a line here or there, but in one's own head.... many of these people justify using measures that others don't see fit.

    It kinda seems like an old question I had many years ago about someone.


    This person was always talking about the honesty of people and had some very high morals of her own. However, she did not see taking an eraser home from work or a pen as stealing. Is there a certain level of doing something that makes it any more right or wrong ??

    • Ahhh...... yeah, that scotch tape didn't cost the company much, they can afford it. If they paid me more, I wouldn't do this.
    • Well, I only used this layout for one client and no one will probably ever see it and it wasn't very big..... that should be alright.

    Where does it start and where does it stop ?? To what degree is infringement if someone else sees it as not quite the same ?? If someone can stretch the truth to benefit their own needs, then it has to be that way across the board. So, we need to find a basic start and build from there... not find all the exceptions and make it seem like a senseless law or rule.


    2 + 2 = 4
    1 + 3 = 4
    1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4
    16 ÷ 4 = 4


    3 + 2 = 5


    Now, I've used the same numbers, but the results are different. Am I copying or infringing on #4 rights ??
     
  7. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

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    This exact thing happened to me about a month ago, and I saw the results last week. Local property management company had me quote for some no parking signs, in both english and spanish for a local business. They had a church in the same strip mall, and their members were parking in front of their business every Sunday. I made their sign, came up with a decent translation with some help from here, and quoted the job with a proof. They wanted us to core-drill and cement the posts in the ground and include it on the quote.

    Last week I drive by and see the exact sign I designed, core drilled in the ground.. and find out their maintenance people did the drilling and installation, and took my proof to another sign shop.

    Kinda pisses me off, because of the time it took me to get all of that done, and then was not even able to quote on the same job.. had I not been asked to rent the drill and install them, I know i would have been very competitive... but the hour it took me to design their stupid sign with the translation on it is lost.

    Oh well, can't win them all.
     
  8. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    A major issue in copyright infringement is derivatives. Was something that is copyrighted used as an aid in arriving at the solution or artwork you have created?

    For example, here's an image we drew and then vectorized that was originally a photograph in the sports section of the Palm Beach Post. The line art image is virtually unrecognizable as the original photograph. This image has been sold as royalty-free clipart for more than 15 years and has also been accepted for sale by Fotosearch.com, Shutterstock.com, Fotolia.com and Artzooks.com.

    acg00260_Polo_Player.jpg

    Recently, I decided to open a contributor's account with iStock and was confronted with their interpretation of the matter which says:
    Here is an example of what they say is a copyright infringement:

    vtm-deriv-03.jpg

    Needless to say, I did not proceed with opening an account at iStock.

    But what do you think of their interpretation of the copyright laws? I don't agree with it, obviously, and I would submit that most art going back to the invention of the camera obscura has been created with the use of something that already exists. The fact that iStock is drawing the boundary at "tracing" is arbitrary on their part and could just as easily restrict and/or confuse the issue in other ways as unintended consequences.
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    In a different example, did you know that Volkswagen America has patents on most of their automobiles and that they enforce it to the extent that no one is not allowed to create or publish any image of a Volkswagen without their consent? That could be a photograph, illustration, video or anything else. I'm not talking about their logo now ... I'm talking about any image of their vehicles. My understanding is other manufacturers are following suit.

    So, when Digital Designware goes out and measures a vehicle from top to bottom and end to end and creates a template so wrappers can get their work correctly to scale, they are in violation of the intellectual property rights of the vehicle manufacturer? Further, by extension, anyone who uses the template is also infringing on the rights of the vehicle manufacturer?
     
  10. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    In a specific example that was written about here, a member offered the advice for creating a usable stripe for a vehicle by purchasing a scale model at a hobby store and then scanning and tracing the stripe decal in the kit. He then enlarged it to the stated scale and produced the stripe for the full size vehicle.

    Is that an infringement? The model manufacturer is not in the business of producing full size stripes or in selling templates to do so. Does the model manufacturer have the permission of the vehicle manufacturer to even manufacture the kit?
     
  11. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Fred, I've asked that question here before. Why is that I cannot trace a Harley Logo, but someone from a tattoo shop can put the images on a light table, trace it with a pen, put it on a stencil and then on someone's body, and it's okay? They traced it, it's okay. I trace it in a graphics program and it's not okay.

    It's always been my understanding that you cannot use a photo for anything, period, without consent. That means no tracing, no posterizing, no nothing. However, if you open the photograph and draw to the right or left of it, without actually tracing the photo, then you're fine. It's that action of actually tracing or using points from the drawing that makes it illegal.
     
  12. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    Look out John! We're gonna get sued!
     

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  13. RobbyMac

    RobbyMac Member

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    We deal with ALOT of race teams. I'd venture to guess about 80% of our business is race related. It would take a few employees to track down usage rights and documentation for every logo that appears on every vehicle, sign, ad, uniforms, etc... So we have a blanket statement that the customer accepts liability if they don't have the permission to use any of the logos.
    Generally it's not an issue, because we usually end up working with the sponsors art dept eventually (to get logos, elements, etc).
    If the average joe walks in and wants a nike swoosh for his rear window, or a calvin and hobbs peeing on ford decal, then he is declined (unless he shows us written permission to use such logo).
     
  14. RobbyMac

    RobbyMac Member

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    I used to do graphics work for Playing Mantis and their Johnny Lightning line of diecast. They go through rigorous steps to reproduce models, all under the watchful eye of the vehicle manufacturer. Moreover, every time a casting was used, it had to be approved by the manufacturer. So every paint scheme/variation went through an approval process. It's not unusual that Volkswagen is mentioned in this thread, because as I recall, VW was the most difficult manufacturer they had to deal with. We once had to jump through all kinds of hoops to recreate a 1/64th scale VW 'Rally car' Beetle complete with mud spatters off the fenders. VW's policy is that no dirt should be shown on any of their cars lol.
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    However, that approach doesn't make it correct.

    Under the laws of reproducing just about anything..... the person or company reproducing said copyrighted materials is subject to the penalties.

    Why do you think on every copier out in the field on any level of doing anything or business there are certain restrictions ?? This same statement applies to anything that comes out of a printer or grand format printer. The person pushing that button is held responsible..... not the customer asking.
    dos and donts of copiers.jpg
     
  16. buttons

    buttons Member

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    It's actually not ok. I've worked in the tattoo industry for 10-12 years now. Many shops are now not carrying any images like that. Disney actually took a few tattoo shops to court over them carrying certain characters in their flash books. I personally know many tattooers that won't tattoo the Harley logo.
     
  17. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Very interesting topic of discussion. Let's throw another bone into the fire: what, in the current world of clipart (and limit it there) is truly "new and original"? How easy would it be to pull up just about any generic piece of artwork and not be able to find components of said piece in something else? Is that infringement on the creator of that piece of art? Personally, I usually tell folks 'no' for stuff that's Disney related or some other common cartoon items. Automobile logos I'll do, so long as they are going on the customer's car (I mean really - shutting someone down for wanting a Ford logo incorporated into a pinstripe? Really?). It's a fine line to walk; my thought process is that if the customer can't walk into a store or go online to find the same thing thats "sanctioned", then I'll do it. Case in point last year I had someone who wanted a Harley emblem painted on a bed cover. Did I violate their 'copyright'? Probably, but if they brought the cover to a Harley dealership and had someone there paint it, wouldn't that, too, be an infringement?
    My feeling is that if it's an item that is going to be used once (car logo, for example) it's ok. If it's going to be a mass produced item like, say, t-shirts or coffee mugs where someone is able to sell tens or hundreds or more, then no - get permission. The onslaught of lawsuits protecting intellectual property is amazing to me. VWOA is a huge standout in that, as I belong to a number of aircooled VW clubs, and not one is allowed to display anything remotely resembling the VW logo or any of the cars. You would think an automaker would want just the opposite - it's free advertising... why kill a promotion?

    R
     
  18. round man

    round man Active Member

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    Back when ya had to pay a painter to do what you kids call a wrap I was painting nascar haulers,..I had several major winston cup teams I did work for in addition to actual winston cup signage,...you knew the pay was gonna be good when they made sure you signed a contract with copyright terms on it,.....

    As for software I often get folks asking me if I have a pirated copy of a certain software title that I can install on their machine when I work on it. The answer is always a definite no! I may have a prirated copy or an educational copy I use for research but no way will I share them. Had a guy here in town who was doing decals at the local flea market and the FBI walked in looking for counterfeit fashions and illegal knock offs,..well they walked by his booth and then did a turn around,..seems he had some harley decals and some calvin peein' type decals dispalyed,..well they took a look thru his stuff and found half a dozen pirated cipart titles and a piece of cracked cutting software and took all his equipment,software and vinyl etc. and him off to jail.

    At school last week we had a seminar by a FBI agent on forensic cyber research and he showed us how you can trace a file by its hashing back thru several copies and see which machine it originally came from and or if it is an exact copy of original data that HAS been copyrighted. He also went over how they collected data in an effort to catch the clowns out there selling pirated software and video titles.

    I know alot of you are gonna read my taglines here and say ain't he one to be talking but that is just pure sarcasm nothing more,. I do not use pirated software for my work,..its just too much of a liability to try and get by with it.

    Beside this topic brings back memories of a fast food chain I won't name who used my design on a nationwide ad campaign a few years back after they claimed because the franchise paid me to do the originals they owned the copyrights,..after talking to a lawyer I learned that they were in fact infringing on my design copyrights but getting anything out of them would be so expensive it really would not be worth the effort to sue,..hope they made a ton of bux off that ripped off ad campaign. In the end I learned the hard way about having design copyrights and license privileges stated on each bid you send out to protect myself.Many do not realize in order to keep a copyright and or patent you have to try and enforce it in order for it to considered valid. The instance of the guy who invented the rimfire bullet cartridge comes to mind here,...he made well over a million dollars on it and spent more than that enforcing it in the mid to late 1800's,....
     
  19. round man

    round man Active Member

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    Another issue here is license privileges, I wonder how many here actually know about the issues of a license and how it applies to a logo they design,.....I know I try to explain it to customers sometimes, but Often as not it is best to avoid the issue and have a statement on your sketch instead and let them figure it out the hard way rather than confuse the hell out of them in the sales process.
     
  20. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

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    When I worked for a glass company in the late 90's, we got a siest and desist letter about using a old VW Bug on the front of our windshield fliers. Crazy stuff.
     
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