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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3answers
195 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 ...
16
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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
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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 ...
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... ...
47
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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 ...
3
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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?
8
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3answers
2k views

Plagiarism vs Inspiration

Artists, writers, musicians, designers, businesses, even the creative DIY blogger mom at home must decide for themselves where to draw the line between being “Inspired” and “Copying” other’s hard ...
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
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1answer
208 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 ...
2
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0answers
283 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
349 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
287 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
697 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
518 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
756 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
149 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
176 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
250 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
1k 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
467 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
1k 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
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
264 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
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 ...
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 ...
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?
5
votes
2answers
323 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
885 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
163 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
871 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
181 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
348 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
242 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
283 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
332 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
645 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
601 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
893 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
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
134 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
393 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
733 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
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 ...
9
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...