Questions about copyright, licensing and ownership.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

11
votes
7answers
35k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
922 views

Copyright of a set of colors?

I often see color combinations on webpages, images, posters, products etc. that harmonize really well. Am I allowed to use those colors in my own design? This is solely about the colors. I will not ...
8
votes
3answers
745 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
389 views

Is it legal to convert a not-freely-distributable font to “path” and distribute it?

Suppose, I am creating a logo in a vector graphics editor (for example Inkscape) and I use there the font which cannot be freely distributed (for example Myriad Pro which can be obtained by ...
2
votes
2answers
318 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
530 views

Is “in the style of” an IP infringement?

I know this is a graphic design forum and not a legal forum, but I'm guessing that some of you may have encountered this issue. I would like to market a plug-in for graphic design software that ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
785 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use my own photographs of a company's product for commercial purposes?

I am designing a music-based mobile app that will need lots of instrument graphics and sounds bytes, etc. Would I be in legal trouble if I photographed my Fender guitars and used these photographs ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What are general practices in handing over usage rights to the client?

When a graphic designer creates work for a client, in many jurisdictions, the designer keeps some rights to the work by default. This means that when e.g. designing a logo, the designer can sometimes ...
10
votes
7answers
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Client wants font as logo

I wrote the business name of my client's using a font for 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
173 views

Is it OK to copy a person's likeness in a realistic portrait without their permission?

Suppose I am designing a set of plates for the next D&D books (which I am not, unfortunately) and suppose I need to draw a monk with a slightly sneaky face. I have tried several concepts out of my ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
232 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

Is it legal to display third-party logos as part of “As featured in” on sites/printed ads without their consent?

Have seen more companies include logos of media outlets on their site/printed marketing material as part of the "As featured in" section. Is it legal to do this without the companies' consent (...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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
1answer
429 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
1answer
162 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 ...