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  1. #1
    Joe T. is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Copywrite law and decals, T shirts, tattoos

    A customer of mine was showing me his new tattoo. He commented that it was not exactly what he wanted. Something about the image being Copywrited. The artist added a few details that made it not an exact copy. I never thought too much about this. Recently I engraved something for a customer. I whipped out a drawing on my cad program and milled it out on the item. The image was a logo from the 70's. I found a T shirt on the web and did my best to re-create the image on my computer. Now that it is done I was wondering if any laws were.... abused. I have no idea if the image is copywrited. I see no symbol that says otherwise on any decals or images that I have seen. Not that I looked specifically for such things. In the end I don't want any problems.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe T. View Post
    Now that it is done I was wondering if any laws were.... abused. I have no idea if the image is copywrited.
    Yes, that would be a violation of federal law...

    and yes, the image is copyrighted.

    Under the current copyright law, all creative works are copyrighted to the originator at the time of creation. No action is required on the part of the originator to obtain legal protection, and no copyright notice is required.

    There's a good FAQ on the Copyright Office website www.copyright.gov

    - Leigh
    Last edited by The real Leigh; 12-25-2008 at 03:08 AM.

  3. #3
    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    Default

    Recently a biker gang was raided by law enforcement. Since they had copyrighted their logo the federal attorney decided to take the copyright for the federal government as part payment of fines etc.
    This means that the government now owns the legal rights to the logo and can take the jackets of members that display the logo. Of course now I suppose the government will be selling stuff with gang colors on it to the public like Harley Davidson does. It is not clear to me how they can take away existing jackets etc? maybe since the owners never paid a licensing fee to the club with actual written permission to produce the jackets etc.
    Bill D.
    PS: I think it was called the Mongols gang

  4. #4
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    JHOLLAND1 is offline Titanium
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    Default Mustang Ranch

    Here is link to federal-BLM- ownership of Mustang Ranch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_Ranch

  5. #5
    Joe T. is offline Cast Iron
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    Based on the text below, my example should not be in violation of copyright. Trade mark on the other hand..... that could be up for interpretation.

    In the case of the tattoo artist, if the customer supplied the photo / art to be used, then the tattooist is only doing a "service". He is selling the service, not the photo / art.

    For the purpose of the argument, I was hired to engrave something. I didn't sell the art itself. I only charged labor to do "work".

    I bought equipment so I could make things. I will have to study up on the subject. I have enough head aches as it is. I don't need lawyers added to the mix.

    ---------------------
    "Names, titles, and short phrases or expressions are not subject to copyright protection. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or if it lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:

    * Names of products or services
    * Names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the name of a group of performers)
    * Names of pseudonyms of individuals (including pen name or stage name)
    * Titles of works
    * Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions
    * Mere listings of ingredients, as in recipes, labels, or formulas. When a recipe or formula is accompanied by explanation or directions, the text directions may be copyrightable, but the recipe or formula itself remains uncopyrightable."

  6. #6
    bcstractor's Avatar
    bcstractor is offline Stainless
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    This came up in regards to a different medium where images are produced by another process.

    If somebody gives you a copy of a John Deere logo and says "Please copy this" you have to ask John Deere for permission. If it is copyrighted material you have to get permission to copy it.

    Chris P

  7. #7
    Newman109 is offline Titanium
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Recently a biker gang was raided by law enforcement. Since they had copyrighted their logo the federal attorney decided to take the copyright for the federal government as part payment of fines etc.
    This means that the government now owns the legal rights to the logo and can take the jackets of members that display the logo. Of course now I suppose the government will be selling stuff with gang colors on it to the public like Harley Davidson does. It is not clear to me how they can take away existing jackets etc? maybe since the owners never paid a licensing fee to the club with actual written permission to produce the jackets etc.
    Bill D.
    PS: I think it was called the Mongols gang

    All you say is correct except the part about the government selling items to the public. I presume you are kidding about that.

    The government seized the logo and all copies of it under present seizure laws. They took all personal property that was considered to have derived from illegal activity. That would include the gang colors and their jackets with logos and rockers attached.

    They will also take their houses, motorcycles, cars and kitchen appliances if they can trace it to the sale of drugs and other RICO activity.

    It's about time. I used to attend all of the big motorcycle events in the Western area of the US but basically had to stop with all of the shooting going on. There are a lot of guns and knives around.

    As far as copyright law, I guess if you want a Mongol logo, you could write to the U.S. Attorney and see what they cost. LOL.

    Here's a link to the indictment. It outlines the property and logo seizure towards the end.

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/wp-con...indictment.pdf

  8. #8
    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    LOL I was kidding about tthe government selling stuff with gang colors on it. If they did the warning label about do not wear this around real gang members or you will be shot and stabbed would make MSDS look tame.
    Bill D.

  9. #9
    tmt
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    Default Don't worry about it!

    Too many people worry about the exact letter of the law. Hell most of us probably violate one law or the other every day without really knowing that we have or care that we have.

    Companies or people that own the copyrights to their logo's or such are not concerned if someone uses their logo's as long as they not desecrating, falsely advertising with it or using it for commerical purposes (this last one is the gray area).

    In the case of falsely advertising: Joe Blow opens a independent gas station and puts up a Exxon logo on each pump.

    Commerical Purposes: Joe Blow starts making and selling Mickey Mouse ears without getting a license from Disney, Disney defends it's products to the fullest extent of the law and Joe Blow now has some real legal troubles.

    Desecrating: I can't think of any perticular cases right now, but there I imagine that there are some out there.

    Company logo's are copied and used daily without any worries from the people who make them to the owner's of the logo.

    Example: Go to any sign or decal shop and they will produce whatever logo you request, no questions asked. Your local paper will include someone's logo in your ad if you request it. How do I know? I have had it done many times. The person or company that produces the Logo is not liable, it's the person that asked for it to be done and uses it falsely that is the culprit.

    Just use common sense about it! If someone comes to you and ask you to produce 100,000 Mickey Mouse ears, then common sense would dictate that you ask them if they are licensed to use it (there you've done your due diligance), now for a onesy or towsy type of situation, don't worry about it.

  10. #10
    Evan is offline Titanium
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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the text below, my example should not be in violation of copyright. Trade mark on the other hand..... that could be up for interpretation.

    In the case of the tattoo artist, if the customer supplied the photo / art to be used, then the tattooist is only doing a "service". He is selling the service, not the photo / art.

    For the purpose of the argument, I was hired to engrave something. I didn't sell the art itself. I only charged labor to do "work".

    I bought equipment so I could make things. I will have to study up on the subject. I have enough head aches as it is. I don't need lawyers added to the mix.
    A logo does not fall within the title of a work etc exemption. It is under copyright. Changing it a bit makes no difference since it is considered a deriviative work which is also protected. Copyright law favors the creator of a work entirely and provides very little wiggle room to legally copy anything. This isn't just a feature of US law, it is a feature of the Berne Convention to which the US and most countries are signatories.

    In reality what can be done depends on if the copyright has been registered. If it has been registered then it is assumed that you know it is copyright because you have a duty to check. In that case damages may be assessed based largely on the value you received using the copyright material. If the item in question hasn't been registered you may be served a cease and desist notice only. If you continue the infringement then damages may be assessed from the date of notice to cease and desist.

  11. #11
    BOSTON is offline Stainless
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    Copy writes are one thing all you need to do is add a statement to anything you write and it is your thought...
    the written text to be published in a book, newspaper, or magazine, as distinct from visual material or graphics


    A logo is a trade mark that is register in country of origin
    Written text:
    Trade Mark:
    a name under which a company or business operates

  12. #12
    Evan is offline Titanium
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    Copy writes are one thing all you need to do is add a statement to anything you write and it is your thought...
    the written text to be published in a book, newspaper, or magazine, as distinct from visual material or graphics
    No such distinction exists. Copyright applies to written works, artistic works, graphics, motion pictures, videos, music, computer programs and even data in an eprom.

  13. #13
    BOSTON is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    No such distinction exists. Copyright applies to written works, artistic works, graphics, motion pictures, videos, music, computer programs and even data in an eprom.
    Well blame MS...as all I did was high lite "copy writes" and right click on "look up" then copy and paste...so I guess I broke the copy writes law...or is there a distinction between copyright and copy writes...

  14. #14
    Pazuzu71's Avatar
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    PPPFFTTT....
    Copyright laws are a joke.
    Look at what the internet has done to the music industry.

    The only time copyright laws are enforced, is if you BLATANTLY steal someone's work and re-package and re-sell it as your own.

  15. #15
    Evan is offline Titanium
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    The only time copyright laws are enforced, is if you BLATANTLY steal someone's work and re-package and re-sell it as your own
    Oh really? Over the last few years the RIAA has sued around 35,000 people for copyright infringment and about 99 percent have settled. On average the settlements have been for about $3500 per person.

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    BOSTON is offline Stainless
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    But that was all file share music download from a bunch of collage kids...other than that software rip-off is the next big thing....unless you’re in China than it a way of doing business

  17. #17
    Evan is offline Titanium
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    But that was all file share music download from a bunch of collage kids
    The RIAA had no idea who they were suing. In order to get the ISP records released they had to sue all of his customers at once under a John Doe lawsuit with multiple unspecified defendants. As a result they ended up suing children and grandmothers as well as college kids. They have stopped suing now and instead will force your ISP to cut your internet service permanently by threatening to sue them. Much cheaper.

  18. #18
    surplusjohn is offline Diamond
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    Anyone see 30 Rock last night? Jack re-wrote some Janis Joplin lyrics because he couldn't get the writes to them. pretty funny, but I am sure that it would not of actually been ligit. They might of gotten away with it on the show under "fair use".

  19. #19
    Evan is offline Titanium
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    The only way they can invoke "fair use" is if they are reporting news or a documentary, performing a parody, or using an inconsequentially small portion of the work. Even that may not be sufficent protection. In a previous action George Harrison was sued for the use of the main three note sequence (known as a hook) in the song My Sweet Lord because it was the same sequence used by a totally unknown song writer in a song released not long before. Harrison settled for an undisclosed amount if I recall correctly.

  20. #20
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    Years ago I decided to get a tattoo; I wanted the " Steal your Face" Grateful Dead skull, the one bisected by a lightning bolt? The guy wouldn't do it, due to copyright law. & thankfully the urge passed. Kinda takes away the "outlaw" cache' when tattoo artists won't rip off a multi million dollar rock band, one that was noted for ignoring laws they found inconvenient.

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