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Advice on copyright graphics please?

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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:56 pm

Advice on copyright graphics please?

I have a few questions
im sure everyone has seen the 'shocker; sticker design. if i re-make that am i allowed to sell it?
I have a few designs which I have re-made myself, so am i allowed to sell them?

also - i specialise in MINIs and people love the 'john cooper' signature, BMW did a special edition called the WC50 and the bonnet stripes had this signature on. i have re-made the signature in illustrator, am i allowed to sell it?
i have also re-created the dashboard sticker am i allowed to sell this too?

thanks in advance



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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:16 pm

simple answer no, on all counts,
just because you "recreated " it, doesnt give you copyright,
No disrespect, but people who just copy and sell decals are two a penny, and actually devalue the sign trade,
Peter
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:21 pm

thanks for the reply Peter. Where do you stand with a union jack then for instance?





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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:42 pm

I agree with Peter, this is a no. You can reproduce the union jack and any flag in standard format but cannot replicate a logo which uses it if that makes sense.
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:46 pm

Jason Davies wrote:I agree with Peter, this is a no. You can reproduce the union jack and any flag in standard format but cannot replicate a logo which uses it if that makes sense.


ok, i do get the point, however the union jack is a design in its self.

if i recreate something, but it is subtlety different in some way, that would be ok right?
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:50 pm

I think you know the answer to that one already. I would recommend developing your own client base and style. We hold a number of licenses and pay thousands of pounds out a year for the rights to do this, that maybe a way forward?

Try Koolart to begin with, their fees are reasonable.
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:57 pm

Jason Davies wrote:I think you know the answer to that one already. I would recommend developing your own client base and style. We hold a number of licenses and pay thousands of pounds out a year for the rights to do this, that maybe a way forward?

Try Koolart to begin with, their fees are reasonable.


so that would be okay? (not trying to be awkward, im extremely new to this so looking for all the advice i can get).

i was given the opportunity to sponsor a national MINI forum which i took as i wouldnt have hd another opportunity to do so and with that came the expectation of an online shop. Im also currently trying to get my 22,000 + words of uni work complete plus uni design work too - oh and maintaining some sort of social life and going on vinyl wrapping courses to develop myself.


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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:03 pm

I think it’s a Grey area, how about this… private teams in rallying… they can cover their cars with the manufacturers logo and nothing gets said… why would they? after all its free advertising.
But if your copying car bonnet stripes etc to sell which are available from a dealership then that’s different.

Union Jack flag can be used in any shape or format even the colour can be changed... the laws of how a union flag is displayed have long been abolished and there is no copyright on it.

Peter… I’m not sure how people who just copy and sell decals actually devalue the sign trade ??
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:05 pm

put it this way.

you design something that all like all your own work, you offer it for sale.
a customer brings a picture in to me and says can you do that.
yes say i, do the job then put more up for sale. you know where.

you would be upset.
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:08 pm

Andy_M wrote:Peter… I’m not sure how people who just copy and sell decals actually devalue the sign trade ??

Simply because it gives the impression that we all do stuff on the cheap, the ebay seller, or someone who has a website selling knocked off designs, encourages people to think that is the way it is.
Peter
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Post Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:31 pm

Peter Normington wrote:
Andy_M wrote:Peter… I’m not sure how people who just copy and sell decals actually devalue the sign trade ??

Simply because it gives the impression that we all do stuff on the cheap, the ebay seller, or someone who has a website selling knocked off designs, encourages people to think that is the way it is.
Peter


You maybe right Peter... But prehaps its ebay to blame for the devalue the sign trade, along side the decals there is the cheep banners too :(

I'm not into the sticky stuff myself, but if ebay was not around i wonder where people would get there copied decals from..
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:13 am

Andy_M wrote:You maybe right Peter... But prehaps its ebay to blame for the devalue the sign trade, along side the decals there is the cheep banners too :(

I'm not into the sticky stuff myself, but if ebay was not around i wonder where people would get there copied decals from..


Just remember - "guns don't kill people...."

Ebay or whatever 'venue' is provided can do little to alter the quality, value or amount of 'cheap' vinyl / banners being offered on it.
Knock-off logos have been around as long as the cowboy sign guy - there's always been somebody who'll 'just do it' for a few quid.

It's a jungle out there - there's always somebody that'll knock out jobs for just over cost - for 'beer tokens' or to supplement their business income.

Round by me, you'll get transit liveries for £40 and 10' banners for £20 if you want...or at the larger end a 6.1x1.2m black composite fascia fitted for £475 all in.
Does it devalue mainstream work - yes, but only if the client is concerned about cost over all else...and to be honest, you don't want that kind of client anyway as they spend more time beating the price down than the job is worth.

Dave
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:43 am

Although I agree with Dave in that there is always going to be someone that will turn out stuff for beer tokens and copy anything that will make them a couple of bob regardless of copyright I would have to disagree about ebay. There are lots of things ebay could do and I'm not just talking about vinyl or banners here but they are never going to do anything to reduce their own profit unless they are forced to.

As far as changing things to try and get round copyright goes I can't see how that would work as the people who buy this sort of item don't want anything that has been changed they want the original and the only way for someone to do that is as Jason has done, buy the licence to sell the stuff.
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:02 am

Even changing designs slightly doesn't make them yours it is still copyright infringement.
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:11 am

I see the Union Jack as a symbol of our country... reproducing is to the benefit of our country for good spirit and nation joy.

Reproducing logos like BMW or Mini are copyright issues in itself, then making money and not giving money to BMW for the benefit.

Reproducing the signature of someone else is a criminal matter.

If you are "replacing" a sticker that has been damaged liked a signature, then it could be argued that you are being paid to "restore" something to it's original condition on a job by job basis. If not, then perhaps I should put my own signature on the vehicle in question
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:34 am

You can't rip off other peoples work and sell it without their permission/ license to do so. You may get away with it, if you don't have any moral problem doing it, but then again you may not get away with it.
You especially shouldn't do it if the subject matter you are copying is still an active company who is selling the same thing for profit, as they will see you as someone who is eating into their profit and will be more aggressive at taking action against you. It's the same if they think you are damaging their reputation by selling inferior quality copies.

E bay largely could not care less what you sell as it all makes them money as long as you don't sell grot or something which directly says 'this is counterfeit' you will get away with it until the copyright owner contacts them at which point they usually wont even question it, they will remove it immediately. If you do it more than 3 times you're off.

The union jack would be considered to be in the public domain, plus how could they police something like that. But if you're directly copying a companies logo, many of them have people employed to look out for this.

So either seek permission or sit and worry about getting caught!

Liam
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:45 am

I would also add that you do not know who is watching boards like this. I for one have no hesitation in reporting individuals who infringe my license agreement.
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:05 pm

i have removed all designed that i was concerned about.

adam
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:11 pm

Adam Randell wrote:i have removed all designed that i was concerned about.

adam


dude,

email bmw's uk offices and ask permission. whats the worst they can say? if you're small and not actively seeking out their customers (is someone looking to buy a new - 3yr old mini from the dealerships gonna be looking for the decals on ebay? no... they'll be pestering the dealer to throw it in!

worth asking even if they only tell you the score regards licences.

don't be put off to much by some comment here, none are personal, there's just no point beating about the bush to get a point across. some big companies WILL pull your pants down and radish you before kicking you out the courtroom door.

HUgh
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:16 pm

Hugh Potter wrote:
Adam Randell wrote:i have removed all designed that i was concerned about.

adam


dude,

email bmw's uk offices and ask permission. whats the worst they can say? if you're small and not actively seeking out their customers (is someone looking to buy a new - 3yr old mini from the dealerships gonna be looking for the decals on ebay? no... they'll be pestering the dealer to throw it in!

worth asking even if they only tell you the score regards licences.

don't be put off to much by some comment here, none are personal, there's just no point beating about the bush to get a point across. some big companies WILL pull your pants down and radish you before kicking you out the courtroom door.

HUgh


cheers dude, i might just try that. i completely understand all the above comments and as i say - i am learning :). thanks fot the advice - i dont fancy being sued!
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:52 pm

Been reading the above with interest but no-one has given advice on how you check for trademarks.

So here is a link to the Intellectual Property Office where you can search for registered trademarks and their classes.

A very, very useful resource.

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tm/t-find/t-find-text/
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:02 pm

A useful link Warren but the guy was asking about copyright which wouldn't have to have a trademark which is probably why nothing has been said.
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:45 pm

I must be missing the point here....why, if we are not allowed to reproduce, for example, Mini logo's, do we spend a lot of money buying Brian's Graphics Library which has hundreds of logo's, including Mini?

Lorraine
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:55 pm

Lorraine you are allowed to use them if you have a licence to reproduce them. Brian's and others CD's don't include a licence to use the logo's and if you read the terms and conditions it probably tells you that. One reason why I have never bothered to buy such a CD is that I personally see it as a waste of money
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:00 pm

Hi Martin, I never thought to look, just assumed that the correct permissions were in place, after all, why go to the trouble of producing the outlines if they are not able to be used.....
You are correct, there is a disclaimer to say correct permissions must be sought before using. Wow.

Lorraine
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Martin's right. It is misleading (I'm not saying that Impact is misleading as the core business is vehicle outlines). You can spend £100's on some artwork which has been re-drawn and is only trademark and logo based but you can only use these with permission.

What would be interesting to know is do the suppliers of these have the permission of the copyright owners to distribute these for profit?? I know there are disclaimers but how do they stand up??
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:10 pm

I would guess not Jason but there is probably some loop hole in the law that says that if they are bundled together on a disk then they are not actually being reproduced so there is no copyright infringement.

Interesting to hear what Brian has to say about it though. I think the vehicle outline disk is a must but that's all I have bought from them.
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:19 pm

Having the logo on disk doesn't give you the right to reproduce it. Nor does downloading it from one of the many websites there are out there.

However if you asked by an authorised BMW/Mini dealer to reproduce their logo, perhaps on their windows for example then you have been given permission.

We would never state that you were free to use them as you wish, quite the contrary in fact. The same with places such as brandsoftheworld. In fact I think you have to click a disclaimer each time you download something? They are offered as a convenience for there lawful & proper use.
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Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:30 pm

I thought copyright extends to not being able to reproduce any logos etc electronically, which means any supplier selling libraries of logos are also breaking any copyright that exists, unless of course they have been given permission.. So if they have, then suppliers are misleading people by selling something that they not really allowed to use without permission from the original owners of such artwork.

As Jason says..what would be interesting to know is.. do the suppliers of these have the permission of the copyright owners to distribute these for profit ?

I doubt if many have.. but who has actually sought any permission to use these copyright logos purchased on a CD ?

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