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
3answers
173 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
193 views

Protecting against copyright?

I hired someone to help me do some photoshop work. I told them to make screenshots for my game. I also gave them a picture where they have to change the items in it to look like the same object as it ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Can you protect social media iconography?

I frequently create mock-ups with free-use icon sets. I've begun to see many designers offer "Premium" commercial licenced sets of Social Media icons. I'm wondering: Is it even possible to make an ...
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 ...
3
votes
9answers
2k views

Would this use of initials in a logo be considered plagiarism..?

Would this be considered plagiarism? I have made the LiveBulb logo 3 days ago, I made it all from scratch. Starting at sketches and completely refined it using grids in Illustrator. Luka Balic ...
3
votes
2answers
671 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
608 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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?
3
votes
2answers
290 views

What should I do if I find a logo very similar to my design?

I designed this "LUCENTICITY" logo 2 days ago. I swear it was my idea. I chose the design after many sketches. Today I was browsing the old featured logos on LogoPond and was shocked to come across ...
3
votes
3answers
758 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
1answer
143 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 ______ ...
3
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
323 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

What should I do to resell a branded design to national partners of an organisation, that I created for a single local partner?

I tried searching for some answers before posting this but since my situation is so unique my questions were never completely cleared up. So about a year ago I was approached by a member of a ...
3
votes
2answers
35 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
429 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?
3
votes
1answer
281 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
4answers
4k views

Copyright issues if using vector art from Shutterstock?

My company bought a vector from Shutterstock and wants to trademark it by adding some words with different colors. Do you know anything about if this is legal since we purchase the vector art?
2
votes
2answers
478 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
258 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
228 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
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?
2
votes
2answers
172 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
424 views

Is Frutiger font family in the public domain?

Frutiger was released in 1976, this means that more than 30 years have passed, which usually means that copyright should have expired by now on the font. I'm not sure what the law is concerning this ...
2
votes
2answers
286 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?
2
votes
2answers
36 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.
2
votes
3answers
783 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
73 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
188 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 / ...
2
votes
0answers
66 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
8k 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... ...
2
votes
0answers
343 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
633 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

How do I know the client own the rights to the photos they want me to use?

I have been given the responsibility of doing a very simple Photoshop edit for a long distance friend's website: putting an image inside of text. They have asked me to use one of their photos to put ...
1
vote
2answers
64 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
552 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
138 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
62 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
113 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?
1
vote
2answers
808 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
375 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
141 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
2answers
44 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 ...