Questions about copyright law from a designers point of view. Answers should not be treated as bona fide legal advice, but instead as advice from designers who've experienced copyright issues in their career. Ask anything about how copyright relates to graphic design, though bear in mind that we are ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
6answers
1k views

Should graphic artists be scared at all about anyone stealing their artworks?

Are you guys scared at all about anyone stealing your art? What should designers do about it if it happens? I want to post my own art at Instagram or Deviant, now that I'm improving but all the time ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

How to attribute, give credit to creative commons/copyleft/public domain content for web/print?

Edit: To be extremely succinct: How to credit imagery used on a business card or ballpoint pen? Inspired by this question, I started to think: How do you attribute and give credit, when you ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it necessary to attribute Creative Commons licensed art?

There are tons of sites out there with free graphics. You can find a bunch of these sites through freepik.com. It seems that 99% of these graphics use the CC Attribution 3.0 license. I'm wondering ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Who owns copyright to photos of public places? (Editorial Use Only license)

I am baffled by "Editorial Use Only" licenses offered by stock photo sites. It seems that even if photographer wants to sell his photo under "Standard" license, stock photo company can force it into ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

What does “Attribution” mean exactly when using downloaded fonts?

The fonts that are free for commercial use, sometimes are under Creative Commons, saying you have to attribute the creator. Does this mean you have to attribute whenever you use the font in some text ...
47
votes
8answers
5k views

How to handle client requests to violate copyrights?

I know Google image search is not a free-for-all to grab any image needed. However, many, many, many clients don't grasp this concept and often request or send images they'd like to use in a design or ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Copyright over logo if client was present and contributing verbal ideas when I was designing

If a client is present in the room when you are 'creating/designing' something for them and they contribute ideas verbally which may or may not form part of the final design who owns the copyright? ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Can my cousin copyright his world population cartogram? [closed]

My cousin made a cartogram depicting world population in microsoft paint. It became quite popular and he was contacted by the author of an earlier world population cartogram. The author of the ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Copyright issue with remaking a design from shutterstock? [duplicate]

I've created a logo from scratch, in PSD that looks awfully similar to a shutterstock image. Will there be any issues with copyrighting my logo? I mean, I created it and I have the work files and it ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it safe to use an image when I'm unable to identify its source?

I found a photo on the internet and want to use it in my free Android app. The problem is that I can't find the source, so I don't know if this photo is legally available for such use or not. What ...
8
votes
3answers
763 views

How to handle a client who only wants to purchase stock images from my design mockup, instead of my design?

I am a graphic designer who provided spec work for a client. I worked on a flyer and I gave them 2 options. They went with one, paid for it. Now they have another project and would like to use the ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it legal to use copyrighted fonts without a license for non-profit projects?

I just want to use some specific fonts for a non-profit project. I'll never sell or get any money (not myself or anyone related) with this. Not myself or anyone or the makers of those fonts will ...
13
votes
7answers
5k views

Repeat client is suddenly demanding intellectual property rights!

A fairly sizable client whom I've done a few jobs for over the past several years has recently contacted me for a new job. We have never had a contract for any of the work I've done for them (I'm a ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I know which images are copyrighted and not?

Using google images you can find any image you want these days, even high resolution. The question is how do I know what I can use image wise in the graphic design work assuming that the graphic work ...
-2
votes
3answers
99 views

Use of a Mythical character's name

A customer is considering using the word "Sauron" (The mythical all-seeing eye from Lord of the Rings) as PART of a company name, it fits extremely well with the purpose of the business. I have been ...
3
votes
1answer
328 views

Can I print an online image to frame it for personal use?

I found some beautiful hi-res images online and want to print them just to frame and hang in my home. The images came from personal websites of photographers or news sites like AP. Is this legal?
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Are Truffula Trees copyrighted?

If I intend to use a Truffula Tree (from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax) in a logo design for a company, would that be breaking copyright laws?
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Scrapbook Graphics

I have been using Photoshop/Illustrator to design my own graphic scrapbook logos and designs. I create my own styles from tutorials, but I do use the tools & fonts that come with the program. My ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Do derivative works of Creative Commons BY-NC works also have to be noncommercial?

I've created an image that uses some source images that have been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 US license. This license is not a share-alike license, meaning that ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

I want to print some posters but don't know where to look for Images which are not Copyrighted? [duplicate]

I started a new website for selling posters of Movies, Celebrities and Sports. Problem is most of the images that I got from Internet are now claimed by some people that they have copyrights of the ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Is recreating other artist's assets a copyright infringement?

I have been asked to create some assets for a graphic design app, based on some reference similar assets from the internet. Note that I have been asked to reproduce all graphics in Photoshop and ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Copyright Issue and Substantial Similarity [duplicate]

I've been asked to create several images to look like ships from various science fiction series. I've read a bit about copyright laws, and I know there's a thing called substantial similarity, but I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Using Apache 2 Licensed fonts in a Logo

This matter seems to be quite unclear since Apache License v2 is normally used for software. There are actually quite a few fonts that I find interesting and, I would like to use them in some company ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a way I can find out who owns the rights to an image I want to use on my web app?

Is there a way I can find out who owns the rights to an image I want to use on my web app? Are there any websites that provide that kind of information?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Who owns the design?

Recently, I hired a graphic designer to design a brand, a web site, business cards and several other things. After the initial design was complete and we launched, we have continued to make changes ...
8
votes
5answers
16k views

What are the consequences of using unlicensed fonts?

I know that whenever somebody makes something and we want to use it, it is better to contribute to them and pay for it. But I have nothing to hide: I have used fonts illegally a few times. Is it ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

copyright of pictures / digital signature

I am hoping to get an answer to a scenario. I have downloaded few images using Google, then clicked on the "properties" option, here, i see some of it showing details when was taken etc, and copyright ...
5
votes
2answers
388 views

Copyright of a set of colors?

I often see color combinations on webpages, images, posters, products etc. that harmonise really well. Am I allowed to use those colors in my own design? This is just about the colors. I will not use ...
13
votes
3answers
10k views

Charging an Intellectual Property transfer fee for design work

So, you've finished a design job (eg. a logo design) and the client asks for your IP surrounding the logo, eg copyright, original artwork files, notes, sketches, all of that stuff that went into ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

law regarding a pastiche

My client has asked me to create a leaflet which is a pastiche of a well known fast food chain. It wouldn't be derogatory or mention the restaurant by name but would probably use similar colours / ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

How do I license my design without registering copyright?

A new T-shirt business would like to use my design for which I did not register a copyright officially but as far as I understand, under the international law, as the original creator of the content, ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Using Powerpoint slides or background of poetry

I am using powerpoint slides (from Microsoft only) for use with poetry presentation on my website. I often wonder if it is fair use of powerpoint presentation slides. Please guide me in this regard. ...
0
votes
0answers
84 views

How to make graphics that can NOT be Traced on illustrator?

We are making a website for graphic designers to sell there work to fashion designers. However the problem is that if we showcase there work, it can simply be copied and traced on illustrator. I want ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Can I use a free image if it's also being used somewhere else?

If you use an image from a free-download website and the same image is used in other websites, is this also copyright or not?
4
votes
3answers
158 views

Making changes to a page that I own, but was made by someone else

When a web designer makes a website, they usually put a small writing at the bottom. It usually says something like "Made by Joe Whatever". Let's say I paid Joe for the website design he made. Now, ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Copyright issues if using vector art from Shutterstock?

My company bought a vector from Shutterstock and wants to trademark it by adding some words with different colors. Do you know anything about if this is legal since we purchase the vector art?
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Client wants ownership of work, what to charge and help with contract? [duplicate]

I've just completed some design work for a client/brand which was for two specific uses. The design work has been paid for. Now, they want me to sign a contract transferring them all layered files, ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Copyright question

If I take a bunch of random/misc. images I have gathered from the internet over time (I don't even know their original source) and make a collage and print it, can I use it as marketing material in ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Did they steal my work?

Let me pose a hypothetical situation: I hand-produce a very specific type of pen and ink design. I have sold my originals to friends and acquaintances who have them hanging in their houses. A graphic ...
0
votes
0answers
149 views

Creative use, copyright and public domain regarding book cover art

I'm looking for advice on the creative use of book cover art. I've seen a number of websites that sell reproductions of old book covers in the form of posters. If the rules I've heard about do in fact ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

How do I know the client own the rights to the photos they want me to use?

I have been given the responsibility of doing a very simple Photoshop edit for a long distance friend's website: putting an image inside of text. They have asked me to use one of their photos to put ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Where can I buy designs for my t-shirt website?

I'm building a t-shirt website and I want to be all legal and stuff. I want to offer the customers interesting designs, like the ones from threadless.com or zazzle.com. So the question would be... ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

Protecting against copyright?

I hired someone to help me do some photoshop work. I told them to make screenshots for my game. I also gave them a picture where they have to change the items in it to look like the same object as it ...
3
votes
2answers
255 views

What should I do if I find a logo very similar to my design?

I designed this "LUCENTICITY" logo 2 days ago. I swear it was my idea. I chose the design after many sketches. Today I was browsing the old featured logos on LogoPond and was shocked to come across ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Can a client use my designs on products I do not provide?

I've developed several designs for military units over the past few years for one particular store on a military installation which is a not for profit entity. Most of the designs were developed for ...
6
votes
3answers
529 views

Can an artist display their past work in a portfolio if they were paid to produce it?

I'm creating a website an artist who draws with pencil+paper. The artist has scans and/or prints of all the illustrations completed over several years for various clients. Many of these were for ...
1
vote
0answers
90 views

Movie Review website Images [closed]

I am planning to launch a movie review website and would like to know from where i can download legal movie posters/images? From where do websites like rotten tomatoes, imdb, totalfilm etc get their ...
9
votes
3answers
543 views

Can I revise a poor logo without infringing on copyright? (Canada)

I've been approached by a new client because they are unsatisfied with the logo that was done for them. However, they want to keep the colors and the design... My guess is the problem is in the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to comply with sharealike clause when using creative commons cc-by-sa licensed images in commercial work?

If I want to use images licensed under the creative commons cc-by-sa license, how do I have to share the derivative work in order to comply with the license of the original image? In particular, how ...
2
votes
2answers
391 views

Is Frutiger font family in the public domain?

Frutiger was released in 1976, this means that more than 30 years have passed, which usually means that copyright should have expired by now on the font. I'm not sure what the law is concerning this ...