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 ...

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10
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
112 views

Designer right to obtain digital copies of work done as an employee of company

I've just lost my job and I did not manage to copy my design work from the company's computer. I am aware that the employer is the rightful owner of work I have done during my time with the company, ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

What is the US agency to copyright designs made outside US?

Is there any website of a United States copyright agency, to protect a design, lets say a cartoon, but for design made outside US?
3
votes
2answers
282 views

Are street sign designs open source for public use / sale?

For example if I were to photoshop a deer crossing sign and make a few alterations then sell stickers / prints of the sign, can I be prosecute with copyright violation for using the likeness of the ...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

Is there a reverse Font lookup for copyrighted fonts?

I often get font files from other designers. Is there a way for me to check if those fonts are copyrighted and require me to have a license to use them.
7
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Copyright on derivative work of the symbol of access

I made some icons for the german definitions of access derived from the well known symbol of access for a website. Now I have multiple requests, if the symbols are free to use. I like to host them on ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Copyright on free work

About a year ago when starting out on graphic design in school I started doing a bit of free work (something I'm not doing any longer) for a 'client' here and there. For this one client I provided a ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Where can I find celebrity photos for commercial use?

Every commercial-use photograph website I've looked at (flickr, shutterstock, getty images, etc) have plenty of pictures of celebrities, but literally none of them have model releases, so they can't ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

Who own the rights to images that are generated by math formulas?

How is the copyright determined for images that are derived from math formulas? Examples: Equal-step gradient graph: color wheel graph of sin(1/z): Who own the rights to images like these?
4
votes
2answers
742 views

What's the worst that can happen with CC0?

I'd like to release some artwork under the CC0 license, but I'm a bit worried about the implications of that... What is someone allowed to do with a CC0 work? What's the worst that can happen? Or ...
0
votes
2answers
248 views

How does copyright apply to a collage of random images from the Internet?

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can I reproduce a silhouette of a well known character?

Is it illegal to reproduce a recognisable character illustrated as a silhouette? Say f.ex a custom drawn silhouette of R2-D2 with the roman letters "IV" printed on it, would that be a copyright ...
2
votes
1answer
322 views

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

The fonts that are free for commercial use are sometimes under Creative Commons licenses, such as CC BY-ND 3.0, which require you to give attribution to the creator. Does this mean you have ...
5
votes
2answers
125 views

Is it legal for a company to request the rights (and much more) to the artworks I created in order to apply to a job/internship?

I was shocked when I recently came across a graphic design internship posting that had the following note in small characters at the bottom: "By submitting a design for consideration in this talent ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are fonts from the 19th century not in the public domain?

(This is probably more a "copyright" question than anything, but I have not found an appropriate StackExchange site for this kind of question.) Why are fonts like Akzidenz-Grotesk, that were made way ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How similar can a recreated logo be to the original without copyright infringement? [duplicate]

I have a client that has a logo created by another company and only wants it tweaked a little for his own company. He just wants the type changed but wants to keep the exact same imagery and colors. ...
0
votes
2answers
202 views

How to provide Detail description of the Logo?

One of my client requires detail description of the Logo to provide it to copyright lawer so they can register the logo. What kind of detail is normally provided here ? Any example would be great. ...
18
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
6k 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
406 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 ...
52
votes
8answers
7k 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
99 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
148 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 ...
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
1k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
9k 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
31k 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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
153 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
763 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
176 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
59 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
81 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
319 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
219 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
34 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
735 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
25k 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
69 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
19k 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
73 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
75 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
111 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
123 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
246 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
34 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, ...
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
339 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 ...