Questions tagged [legal]

Questions about copyright, licensing and ownership.

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27
votes
2answers
711 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
13k views

Client not satisfied with the design. Doesn't want to pay

I have a new client which approved my proposal saying that we will split the project into milestones - first payment after the first milestone (30%). The problems appeared right from the start because ...
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
5answers
71k 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 ...
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 ...
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?
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
1answer
17k 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
3answers
15k 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
votes
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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
6answers
8k views

Would this be considered as plagiarism? [duplicate]

I have recently had a logo designed for my company only to realise after rebranding my vehicle and website is shares certain similarities with another well-known logo. Could somebody with a better ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

Working file request due to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

I have had a request to supply a client with all of their files (including InDesign docs) due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). My client also wants me to delete the files from my ...
13
votes
7answers
14k views

Can I use the font "Product Sans" for a commercial poster?

I want to make a poster for my middle school yearbook, but I don't know if I can put them up due to font copyright. On befonts.com, the Product Sans font is marked for "personal and commercial use". ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it right to use the ideas of non-winning designers in a design contest?

I am a mobile developer. I want to create my own mobile app, so I ran a contest for the mobile design. Many good designers participated in the contest. I get lots of good ideas from almost all of ...
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
3k 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?
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
891 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
720 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?
10
votes
3answers
871 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
4answers
5k 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 work....
10
votes
1answer
823 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 ...
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 ...
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
1answer
985 views

How to word email explaining working files buyout

After years of providing press ready PDF files to my customer for extensive revisions to a yearly catalog, they are asking for the InDesign "working files," which they think they are entitled to, as ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
926 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
12k 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
2k views

Using a clients font to print their files

Scenario: I work for a printing company. Clients design something they need printed. We receive their files along with the fonts needed for printing. As a printer, what is our responsibility for ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

How to attribute Creative Commons art on a T-Shirt [duplicate]

I'm creating a T-shirt using an image licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0. The main problem I'm facing is how do I attribute the image used? Do I put the attribution on the site I sell the T-shirt on, or do I ...
6
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
8k 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
1k views

Is NDA necessary for this?

I have a client that requires me to submit at least a homepage of my proposed website design. However, I just recently known that he already contacted some other freelancers who incidentally are my ...
5
votes
4answers
5k 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
3answers
708 views

What restrictions can I put in my contract when designing a logo for a non-profit? [duplicate]

I'm designing a logo for an event put on by a non-profit, and I am giving them a really good deal on it as they cannot afford what it is worth. It is a cause I believe in so I would like to help them ...
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
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 (...
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? ...
5
votes
2answers
630 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
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
378 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
370 views

Supplied image was not owned by client - Legal case [closed]

I was supplied an image by a client, used it on their new website and now I've received a letter from the image owners solicitor asking for £900. Does anyone know my legal position on this? I can ...
5
votes
2answers
201 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. ...