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
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9answers
2k views

Is it ethical to copy the work of other designers?

I am neither a graphic designer nor do I consider myself one. I have little grasp of colour theory, and basic knowledge of design principles. I do possess a sense of what looks good, though, and I am ...
5
votes
1answer
465 views

How can I use Creative Commons-licensed media in print?

I want to use a CC-BY-SA image in a printed newsletter. What is the most succinct and unobtrusive way I can comply with the license? It would really clutter up my design to slap the creator's name, ...
4
votes
1answer
633 views

Can I use images / poster from a movie in a flyer to promote a Movie Night?

A client has permission to show movies in a big screen for the public (nonprofit). I was asked to design a flyer to promote the showing. They want me to show the movie poster and make flyers with the ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Can I use an “editorial-only” 3D model for demonstrative purposes in a commercial?

I'm creating CG for a video commercial that will likely be used mostly in tradeshows or online. I'm looking to purchase two models from Turbosquid, one a Boeing 787 and one a Volvo semi truck and ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

How can two versions of the same product be sold under different licenses? (standard royalty-free and “editorial use only”)

I've run into a conundrum where I want to purchase two 3-D models (one of a Boeing 787 and one of a Volvo semi truck with trailer) from Turbosquid for use in a commercial, but both models are listed ...
4
votes
2answers
560 views

Am I breaking any Copyright/IP law by designing and selling posters based on an existing design and concept?

I have found a website that sells posters that includes graphic design, and am now thinking of creating from scratch my own posters to sell on my website, using the same idea/concept (please note that ...
10
votes
3answers
932 views

Can I use portions of stock images for derivative works?

I have some stock vector files from istock that I'd like to use as the starting point for a logo. I'd like to stress I wouldn't be using the original image in the logo - but using as a starting point ...
2
votes
3answers
490 views

Using a picture which had been modified beyond recognition. Is that copyright infringement? [duplicate]

Say I take this pic: and turn it into this (plus adding title and name of author): And then use it as a cover for a book at Amazon. Is that copyright infringement?
8
votes
1answer
319 views

Do the illustrations I do for a company belong to me, or to the company?

I'm doing a new website for a business and it's going to involve some original graphics: a large drawing that will get used for various background elements, and two medium-sized looping Flash or GIF ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Product Logos from Captured Images

I'm developing a logo from a photograph of some vehicles, am I allowed to use the manufacturers icon they use on the front of the vans we own, in our logo? Sorry if it's a silly question, but this ...
1
vote
1answer
168 views

Can I use a derivative work of an editorial image for commercial purpose? [duplicate]

I want to use an editorial (image which cannot be used for commercial purpose) image which contains a celebrity and crest of the sports team. I've use Photoshop filters to create a water-paint effect ...
3
votes
3answers
509 views

Is it okay to use depictions of cartoon characters in an iPhone app?

I have an app idea which is based on the use of cartoon characters; I would like to include a single image of cartoon characters with their names, the app will be purely for reference and free. ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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?
5
votes
3answers
543 views

Is using a portion of quoted text on a poster a derivative work?

I made a poster, for my own use, that uses a few lines from a well known song and I liked the outcome so much I'd like to share it. However, I'm not sure if taking part of a copyrighted material and ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Can I recreate a model and post it?

Can I create a 3d model from pictures that are available on the internet and put it into a small animation and post it on YouTube? For example I want to create a 3d model of a car from images found on ...
6
votes
1answer
644 views

Font copyright when used in images (Helvetica)

I have a specific Helvetica font that I use for text within graphics I am creating for my website, i.e. buttons, pictures. Do I need a licence or is it sufficient just to have purchased the specific ...
8
votes
2answers
163 views

Making a typeface – should I check if it resembles any non-free or copyrighted typefaces?

I want to make a typeface that I would also let others to download if they happen to like it. But if I use it on the net, and if I also let other people using it, can I have copyright problems? It’s ...
6
votes
3answers
222 views

Can I take images from Google image search as a base for my creations? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can I use portions of stock images for derivative works? So this is a legal question and I want to know if I can continue the way I work in a commercial environment. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I freely use the fire exit symbol and similar ISO symbols?

I've been doing some research into this symbol (part of ISO 7010), which I'd like to use: but I can't find out whether I'm allowed to or not. Is the glyph in the public domain? What about similar ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

What is the copyright of fanart?

I often see professional and amateur artists posting drawings of characters they don't own. Some sell "con sketches" of Marvel's Hulk, others create erotic fanart to Assassin's Creed. Who is the ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

Is it OK to include a stylized reproduction of a copyrighted painting in a design?

I'm working on an icon of a framed painting. I would like the painting to be immediately recognizable to the intended audience, and so am considering doing a stylized reproduction of a particular ...
9
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

If I reference a medical textbook or website for hand drawing bones is that considered copyright infringement?

I can't quite figure this one out. I am not copying a custom piece of work, I am copying something that is available in nature, bones. I am also not tracing it, I am drawing by hand using them as a ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is vectorizing an image copyright theft if the image is not CC/Public domain?

Is it okay to vectorize this image to make a poster out of it even though the image is not Creative Commons or anything like that? I'm not using any part of the image directly and only going to use it ...
7
votes
3answers
471 views

Should I assign copyright of business card design?

I'm a professional graphic designer, new to freelancing, and I am preparing a proposal for an identity project. The project includes a logo, a business card design, and an electronic letterhead ...
6
votes
2answers
571 views

Can I legally use the Office icons in a website?

Can I legally use Microsoft Office icons in designing my site? For example:
1
vote
2answers
118 views

Is it ok to vectorize a photograph of an object (a bicycle, or a tennis racket)?

I'm making an infographic and have found that the best way to make a vector of something is to start with a real something and basically make it monocolor (all black, or all blue). I am wondering if ...
8
votes
2answers
287 views

Establishing the real copyright owner of a font

An increasing collection of fonts are being released for free, but the majority of fonts require a license. For any given font, it's possible to find many versions online, both legal and not. There ...
11
votes
2answers
922 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
960 views

Copyright ownership: paid by hour vs. paid by project

I am a freelance web designer. I am working out a contract with a client to revamp an existing site and freshen the design. In my contract I have some language which I adapted from the AIGA ...
1
vote
2answers
312 views

Inspiration from existing works - where is the limit?

I am trying to create icons for the UI of my website to represent key concepts of my trade such as "translation services", "languages", "translation tools"... and I am having a hard time to come up ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Who is the rightful copyright holder of images to Windows components?

I was curious how could TechTalkz copyright images as follows (notice the © sign at the top left corner): More examples at: techtalkz From what I know, the copyright holder of these images ...
1
vote
1answer
231 views

Are “formula-images” considered public domain?

Hi all I was wondering if anyone has insight on copyright issues of images that are derived from formulas like "color wheels" etc. I would like to ask if images like these are in the public domain: ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

How do I establish international copyright to my works?

What should I do to establish rights on my work? Does it depend on the country where it was created?
0
votes
0answers
120 views

How to explain the difference between stealing the design and copying the design? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does inspiration end, where does illegitimate copying start? How to explain the difference between stealing the design and copying the design? In Web Designs. How ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Can you help me with a font licensing question (AKA what is the licensing for my font)?

I'm asking this question on behalf of the occasional new members who ask questions in the following categories (fill in the blanks as appropriate): Does anyone know the licensing terms for ______ ...
12
votes
3answers
390 views

Where does inspiration end, where does illegitimate copying start?

I'm creating the UI for a web application which will mainly run on Macs. So my goal is to preserve the look and feel of Mac OS. But since I don't use Apples Frameworks I'm not allowed to use their UI ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Should stock photos be showcased on photographers website?

I have this client who is a photographer and he wants a website designed for him. The idea that hit me is he wants to show case some of the photos from stock photo sites to his website. As a moral ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...