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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4
votes
1answer
143 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
3answers
155 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
693 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
361 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
626 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?
1
vote
1answer
78 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
194 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
941 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
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
2answers
247 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
648 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
145 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
724 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
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
247 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
210 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
237 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
558 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
511 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
643 views

Can I legally use the Office icons in a website?

Can I legally use Microsoft Office icons in designing my site? For example:
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
120 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
317 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
624 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
4answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
17k views

Where can I get images for commercial use?

I am running a web site design service for local small business owner. I want avoid legal issues on the images I use. Usually, the images found on Flickr are forbidden for commercial use. Where would ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
598 views

Client wants to purchase only stock image from my design mockup instead of my design. How to handle?

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
966 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
330 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
131 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
240 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: ...
2
votes
2answers
309 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
284 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
121 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
123 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
406 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
104 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
462 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...