Questions about copyright, licensing and ownership.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

15
votes
3answers
3k views

Client wants font as logo

I wrote the business name of my client's using a font in a design I created. The client wants me to send him "that" - the name of his business in "that type of fancy/cool" font - as a logo to him. In ...
8
votes
3answers
579 views

Who owns authorship when an employee makes a design for their employer?

Let's say Designer X worked full time for Company Y. While there, Designer X built an illustration to explain how Company Y's product works. Then, some years later after Designer X left Company Y, a ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
118 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
1answer
646 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Should graphic artists be scared at all about anyone stealing their artworks?

Are you guys scared at all about anyone stealing your art? What should designers do about it if it happens? I want to post my own art at Instagram or Deviant, now that I'm improving but all the time ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What can a designer do if a client claims that the work delivered is unacceptable and refuses to pay?

I recently had an experience with a client that was a bit messy, and now they don't want to pay for the work I did. They needed some presentation decks, one of which needed to be editable (text to ...
2
votes
2answers
300 views

Changing Company Logo Colors for Resume

Note: I understand that this borders more of a legal question, but the advice I found here and here didn't quite seem to fit my question. I am redesigning my resume and parts of the design will ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

Can I use company logos in my portfolio?

Just for aesthetic purposes I want to add the logo of the company I worked for near the paragraph where I talk about my work there. The same goes for a Stack Exchange or Dribbble logo. Is that legal? ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it okay to use Font Awesome's social media icons?

Font-Awesome provides logos for social media brands like facebook. According to Facebooks brand guidelines using those seem to not be allowed: [Don't] Use any icons, images or trademarks to ...
7
votes
3answers
128 views

How to prove an image has been released under Creative Commons?

Assume you use some images with a Creative Commons license. The creative commons license states that the license cannot be revoked if you acquired the images while published as Creative Commons. ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it safe to use an image when I'm unable to identify its source?

I found a photo on the internet and want to use it in my free Android app. The problem is that I can't find the source, so I don't know if this photo is legally available for such use or not. What ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Is it safe to incorporate a Star Wars Light Saber into a logo without permission?

So I am trying to design a logo for a company, they have requested I incorporate a Star Wars light saber into the logo. I fear this may cause copyright problems. Is it okay to use something like ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

How to go about “writing up” a legal contract for clients

I'm asking this question because of this one and also for previous people I've seen ask similar Q's. As a fairly new designer who doesn't really have much freelance work under my belt (just the odd ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

If someone re-creates an old public domain icon today, do they own it, or is that piece also public domain?

A client wants us to use this specific Uncle Sam logo: The Uncle Sam logo was used by the US Government starting ~75 years ago. This one may or may not be a re-creation, but out of general ...
1
vote
1answer
64 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
437 views

What things should I consider when using my own custom fonts on a client's project?

When creating printed media for a corporation/legal entity, what exactly should I consider when using my own, personally created and designed, fonts?
3
votes
1answer
357 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
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 / ...
5
votes
4answers
907 views

Can I publish caricatures of famous people in a game?

I am developing an indie 2D game. Some of the enemies are caricatures of famous characters but there is no explicit reference to their name (the only reference is that if the caricature is of a ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Is ISO 9001 compliant artwork a common requirement?

A pharma client of mine who I do artwork and packaging design for has asked for all .ai files to be given to them for compliance with ISO 9001 manual. Is this normal? I ask because I don't have a ...
0
votes
2answers
321 views

Photos for non-commercial usage in websites

I want to build a website for a school. can I use photos with non-commercial licence considering that the school will not sell or make any money from these photos? or the school is considered as a ...
15
votes
4answers
935 views

How can I legally design something which looks like US currency notes?

I've been asked to create artwork for a mock US currency bill. Similar to those fake novelty bills you can purchase. The end goal is not to reproduce currency accurately, but to trick the reader ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Did they steal my work?

Let me pose a hypothetical situation: I hand-produce a very specific type of pen and ink design. I have sold my originals to friends and acquaintances who have them hanging in their houses. A graphic ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

What could happen if a corporation was using a font commercially with out a licence?

This is purely a hypothetical question. But let's say a large corporation or company was using a font family that was not free to use commercially and the font was published by a high-end font ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

If one hires a designer who plagiarizes, who is held liable?

I plan to hire a graphic designer to design the cover and a few internal graphics for a book I wrote. Suppose the designer then finds some other artist's work, copy and pastes the graphics, and sells ...
1
vote
2answers
96 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
499 views

Am I allowed to embed Typekit fonts directly into a website and host them myself?

With Adobe CC I've gained access to Typekit. I've started playing around with it and noticed they put a cap on page views per month on loading the fonts. (Currently I'm capped at 500,000 but would ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Do I have to license Google Design Guidelines to implement them as best practices?

I really like google's approach in design, it's clean and simple.I want to use their guidelines in one of my up coming projects (which is quite a big one). what is the legal status for using ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Are new brand names/logos typically trademarked, and what are the most common reasons for doing so?

I've been doing some preliminary reading on trademark law, and I see that a trademark with the USPTO isn't necessary to defend the uniqueness of your new brand name or log in court. The USPTO gives ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

When I buy a font, is there any limitations, except I cannot give it away to anyone?

Is it correct that, once bought a font, I'm not limited in time or number of projects I can use the font in? Say, I own Helvetica. Does it mean that now I have a right to use it in any of my projects? ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
564 views

Can URW Garamond N°8 be used in a printed book?

Is it possible to use the URW Garamond N°8 in a printed book (for sale)?
4
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
28k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
188 views

Is it an usual practice to request portfolio rights?

I'm an amateur graphic designer. I've been doing work for local companies and initiatives for just over a year now. I recently got a job designing for a pretty big client (by my standards). They ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
628 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
927 views

Should I seek explicit permission to place a logo into an image sprite with other logos?

I'm currently trying to get permission to place various clients logos on a website, should I also ask for permission to place their logos into a image sprite together with other logos? My reasons for ...
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
3answers
2k views

Logo design legality question, Can I use another company's logo in my own?

I am a graphic designer hoping for some legal advice. A client of mine owns a small company that makes equipment repairs solely for a larger equipment manufacturer. My client’s company name also ...
3
votes
1answer
627 views

Would these be considered “commercial use”?

From the Creative Commons website: A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation. Would it be considered commercial use if an image was used in a ...
2
votes
2answers
490 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
773 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 ...
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
786 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?
3
votes
1answer
292 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
363 views

Where can I find assets and the terms of use for creating buttons/icons with various social network logos?

Sharing icons/buttons are a big thing these days: (From here) Are all/most of the icons you see around the web created without explicit permission? If there is permission granted for the logo, ...