Questions about copyright, licensing and ownership.

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23
votes
2answers
468 views

How to protect against third-party claims when using free stock images?

Today's royalty-free Stock image sites are relatively open, meaning that theoretically, anybody can submit any kind of content, including copyright-protected content created by others. It's even ...
17
votes
2answers
798 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
15
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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
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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
8answers
29k 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
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
456 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
824 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?
8
votes
3answers
611 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
445 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?
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
567 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
139 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
468 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I legally use the Office icons in a website?

Can I legally use Microsoft Office icons in designing my site? For example:
5
votes
3answers
11k views

What is the best font for use in legal contracts?

What are the best font for legal contracts, and why?
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
965 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
170 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

what's the legal status of copying an existing OS theme to implement a GUI framework

I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question for this site, but I tried to find an answer through Google and I found a question here about copying UI themes/paradigms so I hope it's not off-topic. ...
4
votes
5answers
2k 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Is it legal to make a vector of another companies product?

So I own a business that will soon start developing mobile apps for platforms such as the iPad. I am wondering if I can legally make a vector graphic of other companies products such as the iPad to ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
369 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
325 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
116 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
180 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
558 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
649 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
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
2answers
203 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 ...
3
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
997 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
703 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
400 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
1answer
308 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
2answers
507 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
272 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
2answers
262 views

Crediting a typeface in a finished work

Hey does anyone know how you are supposed to credit (if you are supposed to) the typefaces you have used in a printed work (case in point - design exhibition catalogue for my BA) I've been using ...
2
votes
2answers
322 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 ...