Questions tagged [legal]

Questions about copyright, licensing and ownership.

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15
votes
1answer
16k views

What should happen if a logo I made is similar to another?

Note: This is a canonical post created so that we can close the many similar questions as duplicates as discussed in this meta post. We have created a logo for a client and they love it. We've ...
15
votes
8answers
43k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
14
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6answers
4k 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
2k 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
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

Long term client wants working files

As a independent graphic designer, I've developed and produced a yearly catalog of machine parts for a long term client beginning about 20 years ago! The catalog began at about 100 pages, and now is ...
4
votes
1answer
816 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
484 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I use the Google font 'Lato' for a logo design?

I am creating a logo and would like to use the Google Font 'Lato', can I use this font in my logo design or are there copyright/limitations I need to worry about? I can't find anything online other ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How to manipulate a photograph so that it becomes original artwork?

After finding an image on Google images – I altered and added many different effects to the point where it is not recognizable from the original composition. However, when does the shapes and colors ...
14
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I take images from Google image search as a base for my creations? [duplicate]

This is a legal question and I want to know if I can continue the way I work in a commercial environment. This is not about if I can blatantly take images from the web and use them as they are. What ...
5
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
531 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
1k 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 (...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

If I'm given resources by a client, should I look up the licenses of each one of those resources?

If I'm given resources by a client, should I look up the licenses of each one of those resources? Can this affect me in any way legally?
11
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 ...
20
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
17k 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. (This is not my artwork. It is merely something Google found as an example) The ...
10
votes
1answer
790 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How exactly should I ask my employer for design use permission on paper?

I'm an employed graphic designer. I did illustrations, branding and prototyping for my employer. I'm aware that without a specific contract, whatever work is done by a salaried designer, is the ...
5
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Showing a competitor's product in ad: legal?

So my client wants to show a photo image of their competitor's product in an ad of theirs. The ad is implying that the competitor's product is bad/obsolete. Is this legal? I know that you can't use a ...
5
votes
1answer
8k views

At what point can an image be considered “redrawn”?

In most cases in academic publishing a permission is required to reuse (e.g. publish again) previously published graphic content. A problem is that the copyright holder of that content is usually not ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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
143 views

The use of iconic figures in a logo

I'm working on a pixel art logo for a site I'm developing for a small company. It's about retro and iconic games such as flappy bird, pacman, etc. Am I allowed to use such characters or are they ...
3
votes
2answers
658 views

Client asking me to copy another website layout and effects but not content. What point is it copyright infringement?

I know very similar questions have been asked but couldn't find insight on a situation as similar to mine. A (very good) client that I don't want to drop wants me to mimic another website's layout and ...
3
votes
1answer
999 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
6k 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
1k views

What is considered a “Logo” for stock photo use?

I am creating a "logo" for a group of women who fly fish in Central Oregon. They are a small group that gets together within the larger club called Central Oregon Fly Fishers. In the past, they've ...
2
votes
1answer
229 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
391 views

Is this idea about font licensing true?

I've heard informally that a font license only applies to the file of a font, that if you use a particular font to produce designs, and distribute those designs without the font file included, you don'...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Can I legally use fonts for my personal business if I'm using an adobe subscription my job has provided for me?

I do graphic work at my job, and they supply me with a Creative Cloud membership. If I start my own business, can I legally use fonts provided by adobe even though my job is the one providing me the ...