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

5
votes
4answers
557 views

How can a designer decide whether a competitors design is similar enough to their own to take further action?

There is a lot of copycatting out in the world, and it's a constant legal battle fought in higher courts. For us ants on the ground, grinding away in smaller capacities with little or no permanent ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

How can i get the usage permission of Movie Images for creating Livewallpaper?

I am new to designing and had got work for creating a live wallpaper using some animation characters in movies like Rio,Finding Nemo etc. How can use the images of that i find in google for this ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Give the master files to the client or not? [duplicate]

When a costumer asks you to give him all the files you have for an animation so he can make changes in the future, should you give them? or charge a different amount for that? What to do? Regards. ...
2
votes
3answers
195 views

Client is selling her business - can she on sell the design work I've done for her over the years?

I've had an amazing client for the past three years who I've done regular graphic design work for - mostly product promotions (print & web), product brochures, posters and point of sale. She is ...
0
votes
1answer
216 views

Is it illegal to design a typographic quote based on a book quote/lyric, then sell it as a print?

FYI I'm in Australia so laws will probably differ to that in America. I'm curious however as there are heaps of great typographical designs of quotes...but is it illegal to make profits off your ...
1
vote
2answers
557 views

Can I use the image of a copyrighted character in my commercial design?

I started working on my own designs to sell and had someone come and asked me if I could put a classic Winnie the Pooh image in my design. I am selling the whole piece to this customer, but can I ...
4
votes
3answers
222 views

1 letter used - do I need to buy the entire font?

I am about to finish designing logo. I use two fonts. One I already bought, but the other... I need just one letter from this font but it is not free. Do I need to buy the entire font?
0
votes
1answer
169 views

How can I get the “swipe down” icon from control center - iOS 7

I would like to use the swipe down icon: from Control Center of iOS 7 : in my iOS 7 app to indicate that you can swipe down this pop up : How can I get this icon. Am I allowed to use this ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Differences between “Royalty-Free”, “Public Domain”, “Creative Commons” etc

Is there a simple summary somewhere (or can someone provide one) of all the different kinds of legal terms for how and where we can re-use someone else's images? For example these terms are bandied ...
2
votes
3answers
547 views

Design Portfolio Copyright

when I was at design college 2013 we were told (for educational purposes) that we could use images from the net (only photographs) to incorporate into designs for posters, collages, magazine covers, ...
3
votes
2answers
508 views

Can a co-founder/client claim ownership of designs if IP wasn't specifically signed over?

I have never done this before so bear with me. I am a Graphic Designer who started a business 3 years ago with a woman. We created and designed the whole 'program' together. Since the inception of ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

How dissimilar to an existing logo should mine be to avoid copyright issues? [duplicate]

Thinking about starting up a small clothing company with the symbol below: But after surfing the web I discovered Nike's undefeated symbol. Will my design cause copyright issues? How dissimilar ...
1
vote
3answers
185 views

past clients logo copyright

I'm working on my first freelance project and I have question regarding a copyright issue. In a sample website design I showed to my client, there is a list of his past clients with their logos on it ...
13
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
2k views

Where do I stand from a legal perspective using Helvetica Neue in my logo?

What is the legal perspective of using specific fonts for your company logo? Which fonts CAN you use in your logo?
2
votes
2answers
386 views

Creating a logo for a PDF application, which symbol should I use?

I'm developing a Mac PDF application and I'm at the tedious step to study a proper fancy logo. Is it ok to use the well known Adobe symbol of PDF inside my logo? Do you know another symbol that is ...
16
votes
2answers
696 views

What to do if your website design got stolen?

Let say your website design got stolen. You saw your design being used from a different site or company. The only difference from your design is the logo and some images. What actions can you do to ...
5
votes
2answers
295 views

What copyright considerations should I take when putting work on a personal blog?

I've just started with graphic design, and I want to put some of the stuff I'm doing up on a Tumblr blog. I'm also taking some classes and doing a Certificate Program at MCAD soon, and want to form ...
2
votes
0answers
255 views

Is it a copyright violation to trace everyday objects and use them for commercial use? [closed]

Is tracing/vectorizing furniture (everything in my home) for commercial use in violation of copyright? How can designers make arrows, buttons, tiles, etc. that maybe accidentally copied? I have ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you avoid license problems when using fonts in published works? (US Law)

As I understand it, if I create a font and give you a copy, that doesn't give you the right to publish a billboard/flyer/book/etc using my font. There is an additional license required. Many fonts ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Zoo animal art work and copyright

How much should I consider about copyright? Taking a animal photo from zoo and upload to microstock: -> will this call copyright problem? Tracing the zoo photo convert to "vector art": -> copyright ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Using free fonts for logos

I want a typography logo for an application. If I use free fonts for that, can I just use them directly without mentioning the creator of the free font, or without linking the page where I download ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Does building a site from a design concept violate creative commons no derivatives clause?

Let's say I'm building a personal blog / portfolio site and I'm looking for design inspiration. So here is an example of a website design concept that is protected by creative-commons-no-derivatives. ...
-2
votes
1answer
328 views

Is it legal to sell a drawing/painting of copyrighted characters?

For example, if I complete a drawing of Ryu from street fighter or Naruto is it legal to sell it online?
6
votes
2answers
270 views

Vectorizing a Skyline

I need to create a vectorized version of my local city skyline. If I use multiple artists photos as reference, is there any copyright concerns? I realize just taking one photographers work and ...
9
votes
3answers
666 views

Can I use an icon in the public domain as a company logo?

Client in question found a public domain icon they really want to use as their logo (instead of having one designed, I know, I know). Is this legal?
1
vote
3answers
499 views

Is it copyright infringement by US copyright law if someone else modifies and uses my design?

My company is in a small town and there are not any graphic designers but we have enough business in the town and the surrounding area to support us. But because of the small town nature some ...
10
votes
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
675 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
1k 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
232 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
169 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
954 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
1k 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
952 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
431 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
82 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
244 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
604 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
806 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
158 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
823 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
171 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
303 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
271 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
235 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
302 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
579 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 ...