3

And now I'm wondering what is legal and what isn't. I purchased the elements, used them for inspiration, but completely redrew them. I'm being told by the company that I would need to purchase the full rights to these images. However again when it comes to vector graphics and rather simple ones too. If I am not using the original files and have redrawn, doesn't this in effect mean I've sort of made it my own. Images in question are very very similar which I recreated but not identical.

So just makes me question having to buy the full rights of these stock images. Any advice here thank you.

  • 2
    Using stock images for a logo is generally a bad idea. Even if the company weren't complaining, you can't register it as a unique mark in good faith. Plus, anyone with access to the same stock could build a duplicate logo to yours and go after your business and you could do nothing about it. For your own protection, you should have legal ownership (not just limited usage access) to your own brand marks. – 13ruce Apr 8 at 12:04
6

Redrawing something means you have created derivative work, not original work. (PDF from copyright.gov) Merely "redrawing" something does not, in most instances, grant you an unencumbered copyright.

In addition, there is no such thing as "change it by x amount and it's okay". If the original image can be discerned from the copy in any way, it maybe infringement as well.

If a company is informing you that you need to purchase rights, that would indicate that they feel you are infringing upon their copyright (or the copyright of the original artist). How and to what depth or expense you are willing to go to in order to fight their perception, is up to you.

I am not an attorney and no part of this answer should be seen as legal advice.

The reality is they feel you are infringing, you feel you aren't. That's a legal battle. My opinion won't mean anything. Neither will the opinion of anyone else. Only a judge can definitively determine who may be correct.

You have 3 choices....

  • Acquiesce to their demands
  • Hire legal council to immediately inform them of your disagreement
  • Ignore them and deal with any possible repercussions should they wish to pursue the matter further - i.e. The need for legal council at that time, and possibly paying penalties, your legal fees, etc - if you were to lose a judgement
  • I think Scott maybe my confusion lies in things that are very basic shapes or symbols and that can they be considered copyright elements at all? Wouldnt mind sending you these images just to get your deeper insight but guess not able to privately send you anything here? – Mr.Cee Apr 6 at 7:02
  • 2
    There's no private messaging here. The reality is they feel you are infringing, you feel you aren't. That's a legal battle. My opinion won't mean anything. Neither will the opinion of anyone else. Only a judge can definitively determine who may be correct. You have 2 choices.... acquiesce to their demand, or ignore them and deal with any possible repercussions (court + penalties) should they wish to pursue the matter further and you are proven wrong. – Scott Apr 6 at 8:48
0

You have made a copy. That needs a permission, no matter have you used a pen or computer's file copying. There's one workaround. If the copied shapes happen to be created earlier by some other and the creator has put them to public domain. Or they are so old that they are put to public domain by the law.

It's purely your problem to prove they are in public domain. The shape you copied must be in public domain as a whole, it's useless to say for ex. "I copied two lines, three triangles and four circles which were created by Euclid in the year minus 500".

As useless is to say: "It's not the same, the corners are rounded, there are four lines instead of three and the color is solid, not a gradient" . If someone can pinpoint detail differences, there's implicit remarkable sameness.

Warning: I am not a lawyer, for legal advice you must hire a lawyer. If you get a lawsuit, judge's opinion decides.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.