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Bill Churchwell
11-17-2010, 12:16 PM
Ok, if someone comes up to me and asks; "Can you put this picture on a plaque for me?", and that picture is copy-written, can I do it and charge money?

I know I can put any picture on a plaque for myself or others as long as I DO NOT charge for it. I also know that I CAN NOT use a copy-written picture on plaques I display for sale.

Thanks. Bill

Doug Griffith
11-17-2010, 12:22 PM
This was just discussed quite a bit. Check out:
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=151429

Martin Boekers
11-17-2010, 12:28 PM
Hate to tell you this, but if it is copyrighted you are not allowed to use it period,
without permission, not even for layout purposes.

This has been addressed quite thouroughly in the forum. Use the search
feature in the forum and I'm sure you find tons on this. (and probably much
more than you would like to know!:D)


Marty

Bill Churchwell
11-17-2010, 12:47 PM
OK, thanks.

Charles Wiggins
11-17-2010, 12:55 PM
Ok, if someone comes up to me and asks; "Can you put this picture on a plaque for me?", and that picture is copy-written, can I do it and charge money?

I know I can put any picture on a plaque for myself or others as long as I DO NOT charge for it. I also know that I CAN NOT use a copy-written picture on plaques I display for sale.

Thanks. Bill

Bill,

Copyright law gives authors, including artists and designers, certain exclusive rights. These include, but are not limited to the right to reproduce and distribute copies of the work. If you reproduce and/or distribute the work without permission you have violated those rights.

It does not matter whether you charge or not. Charging really just makes the infringement more egregious. If the copyright holder has registered the work in question with the U.S. Copyright Office before the infringement, the copyright holder may be entitled to compensation. Statutory damages range from $250 to $150,000 for each instance of infringement and may be higher if the court feels that the infringement was committed "willfully." Willful copying for profit may also carry a criminal liability. Criminal penalties generally apply to large-scale commercial piracy.

A lot of folks will try to claim the Fair Use exceptions when they really don't apply. Fair use normally applies to non-profit educational use, commentary, criticism, parody, and in some cases personal use (your own personal use, not your friend's).

My 2 cents,
Charles

Bill Churchwell
11-17-2010, 1:01 PM
Now that's a reply that answers all my questions.

Thanks Dave.
Bill

Doug Griffith
11-17-2010, 1:09 PM
Hate to tell you this, but if it is copyrighted you are not allowed to use it period,
without permission, not even for layout purposes.

This has been addressed quite thouroughly in the forum. Use the search
feature in the forum and I'm sure you find tons on this. (and probably much
more than you would like to know!:D)


Marty

I question "layout purposes". Do you mean FPO? Ad agencies I've worked with use low res placement pics pulled from wherever they can get and call them out as FPO. They then give these to the photographer or designer to work with to generate the print/web ready work. In the old days, there would be hundreds of magazines kept just for the purpose of literally cutting pictures out with scissors and laying them out on boards. Tissue overlays called out FPO.

Joe Pelonio
11-17-2010, 3:55 PM
Copyright law does protect the owner from whatever use is forbidden by them. If it's simply copyrighted you cannot use it for any purpose. If they have a line allowing personal use then you can use it for yourself only.

Since the burden of enforcement relies on civil action, using it for your self of a friend is not likely to be discovered, unless flaunted in public. A neighbor was busted by Disney for plywood cutout characters on their Christmas lawn display after a photographer put a picture in the local paper.

Bill Churchwell
11-17-2010, 8:00 PM
Now there is a realistic answer.

Thanks.
Bill

Terry Swift
11-18-2010, 2:23 AM
I've heard of a way to side track copyrights to some degree is to take what is copyrighted and modify some, part, or all to make it not look exactly like the CR item. Many places will not pursue you if you make 1 or 2 items; but if you start a shop of them - then they will turn the dogs loose. Disney and Harley are 2 ardent defenders of their rights; but if you go to bike rallies, etc. - you will see a lot of Harley stuff that is not CR'd.

Moral / Ethical question you have to ask yourself.

Heard a speaker at a Tradeshow Seminar say CR's are fairly meaningless to the point of if they come and say cease and desist - then you do so. If you don't then you suffer the consequences.

Brian Fiore
11-18-2010, 3:50 AM
Ok, if someone comes up to me and asks; "Can you put this picture on a plaque for me?", and that picture is copy-written, can I do it and charge money?

I know I can put any picture on a plaque for myself or others as long as I DO NOT charge for it. I also know that I CAN NOT use a copy-written picture on plaques I display for sale.

Thanks. Bill

Bill,

Why not tell your customer:

"I can show you how to put a picture on a plaque, and rent you my laser for your engraving job. What images you decide to burn onto the plaque is up to you."

This way you can take the job, and let the customer do what they want to do, and you should be able to avoid the situation.

Also, as part of your work orders/laser rental forms, you should include some language like (check this with your Attorney):

Client/Renter represents and warrants that all images they supply to you, or that they will engrave themselves are owned by them and/or they have permission to make replications of such images from the copyright owner.

Mark Ross
11-18-2010, 9:23 AM
Yeah, definitely no Disney or Harley.

There was a guy that was a huge Disney fan and he went there and he has all sorts of Tattoos of Disney...guess what...yup, they took him to court.

Harley? Well the famous potato potato potato exhaust sound? Yup, they have a copyright on that...

Martin Boekers
11-18-2010, 10:13 AM
I question "layout purposes". Do you mean FPO? Ad agencies I've worked with use low res placement pics pulled from wherever they can get and call them out as FPO. They then give these to the photographer or designer to work with to generate the print/web ready work. In the old days, there would be hundreds of magazines kept just for the purpose of literally cutting pictures out with scissors and laying them out on boards. Tissue overlays called out FPO.


Technically yes, granted if it's "in-house" and the client never sees it that's
an ethical question that we each have to answer ourselves.

Even though it is just "for position only" it is used in production. We used a
stock agency for such images. The fees were greatly reduced, waived or
applied to the future purchase of the image.

I guess you could contrast that with software. You may have 6 designers
working on your team and legally each should have a license for the software
(not per computer, the license agreement states user not computer) so if you
have 6 and 2 work 2nd shift on the same computer
the company should have 6 licenses.

The shop I worked for had 12 designers and that adds up to quite a bit of
software! The IT dept had one person designated as "software historian"
they had to keep track of all software and updates.

Some may say, but how will anyone know? Typically a disgruntled employee
turns them in. It some cases there is a cash award for such information.

We each can choose how we make these decisions, but again clients can
and do judge a business in part by integrity and ethics.

Marty

Joe De Medeiros
11-18-2010, 3:48 PM
Yeah, definitely no Disney or Harley.

There was a guy that was a huge Disney fan and he went there and he has all sorts of Tattoos of Disney...guess what...yup, they took him to court.



here what happened


Given Disney’s notorious drive to protect their images at practically any cost, it does seem inevitable that Reiger would have to face the animation juggernaut at some point. He did, when he was 22 years-old. By that point Reiger already had some 80 Disney tattoos and the Disney people told him that as long as he used the same tattoo artist and didn’t make any money off the tattoos, that they were fine with it. So Reiger continued with his hobby, unmolested by the mighty Disney and its massive armies of lawyers.

Belinda Williamson
11-18-2010, 4:03 PM
Bill,

Why not tell your customer:

"I can show you how to put a picture on a plaque, and rent you my laser for your engraving job. What images you decide to burn onto the plaque is up to you."

This way you can take the job, and let the customer do what they want to do, and you should be able to avoid the situation.

Again, a question of ethics. Instead of copyright infringement you are aiding and abetting.

As one who has copyrighted material it really ticks me off when someone duplicates it, regardless of whether the end product is given away or sold.

Brian Fiore
11-18-2010, 8:34 PM
Again, a question of ethics. Instead of copyright infringement you are aiding and abetting.

As one who has copyrighted material it really ticks me off when someone duplicates it, regardless of whether the end product is given away or sold.

I think there is only an ethical problem if you "know" for an absolute fact that someone will rent your laser to burn images they don't have the rights to, and you aid them to do such a thing.

My suggestion should be read in a general light, in that, whatever we are asked to engrave, we should operate on the presumption that our customer has the legal rights to reproduce the work, and we should always cover our buts with a signed writing by the customer, that represents and warrants to us that the customer's have all necessary rights.

Afterall, we are only engravers, not law enforcement, nor agents for the copyright holder, and we are certainly not paid by the owners of copyrighted material to "police" or help them catch would be infringers.

Scott Shepherd
11-18-2010, 8:49 PM
Here's where the problem comes on for those that think you can protect yourself by asking.

If someone comes in and says they want a logo engraved and they have permission, let's say it's Harley for the sake of argument. You make them sign all the papers in the world saying they have the rights.

Now, you engrave it, hit the cash register for $50 plus tax, hand them their product and it's done. So who just profited by the use of the HD logo? You did.

That's against the law. Period. Full stop.

You cannot profit from it without the written permission of the copyright holder. If that person doesn't have it, and they lie to you, YOU still profited. YOU are still the guilty one. Like it or not, it's YOU that violated the law by profiting from something you did not have the legal right to do.

You can muddy it up all you want, it's YOUR business HD is going to take if they find out. Will they go after the individual that brought you the motorcycle part to engrave? Probably not. Will they close your doors. Yes, yes they will.

Do it at your own peril. I've worked too hard to built my business and I refuse to loose it because I want to make a quick $20 by engraving some logo on something for someone.

Brian Fiore
11-18-2010, 10:05 PM
Here's where the problem comes on for those that think you can protect yourself by asking.

If someone comes in and says they want a logo engraved and they have permission, let's say it's Harley for the sake of argument. You make them sign all the papers in the world saying they have the rights.

Now, you engrave it, hit the cash register for $50 plus tax, hand them their product and it's done. So who just profited by the use of the HD logo? You did.

That's against the law. Period. Full stop.

You cannot profit from it without the written permission of the copyright holder. If that person doesn't have it, and they lie to you, YOU still profited. YOU are still the guilty one. Like it or not, it's YOU that violated the law by profiting from something you did not have the legal right to do.

You can muddy it up all you want, it's YOUR business HD is going to take if they find out. Will they go after the individual that brought you the motorcycle part to engrave? Probably not. Will they close your doors. Yes, yes they will.

Do it at your own peril. I've worked too hard to built my business and I refuse to loose it because I want to make a quick $20 by engraving some logo on something for someone.

I agree with you. One should never knowingly engrave an image that they know or have reason to beleive that the customer does not have the rights to duplicate.

However, that begs the questions: (1) "how do you know if any customer has the rights to every image brought to you," and (2) How much time and effort do you have to put into investigating your customer's claims to protect yourself in case they do lie to you?

In any event, I would suggest that all engravers get thier customers to sign a statement/workorder (terms on the back of the work order) which says that the customer represents and warrants that they have all the rights necessary to duplicate any images they supply to the engraver.

Additionally, I think engravers have a stronger defense against infringement when the engraver rents laser time to the customer, who is the one that decides on the images they want to burn without bringing the engraver into the mix at all. Its the same thing as if I rent a pencil to someone, who then uses it to infringe. The infringer is the operator of the pencil, not the owner of the pencil (assuming the owner has no knowledge that the operator was going to infringe).

But, like I said at the begining, if the engraver has specific knowledge that the customer desires to infringe, then the engraver should refuse the job entirely. The sticky part becomes, how much investigating does/should the engraver do to verify the customer has the rights to duplicate?

Michael Hunter
11-19-2010, 6:27 AM
Unless the whole business revolves around renting laser time, the "I just rented it out" scenario is a pretty pathetic excuse.
Just imagine it coming up in court -

Q Do you normally rent out your laser?
A No

Q So when do you rent out your laser?
A When I think that the customer wants a copyright violation.


If you consider the ethics and also the context of the request to engrave a third party's logo/artwork, it is pretty easy to sort out which ones to accept, to question or to reject outright.

Giacomo Cheslaghi
11-19-2010, 10:32 AM
The HD logo is a clear example, but there must be a way to protect myself anytime I engrave, for example, a photo.
I cannot possibly know if the photo of a cute cat the customer gave me is of his cat or the first price winner of an International Cat Show, so there must be a limit after which I'm not held responsible for infringement of any copyright...

Martin Boekers
11-19-2010, 11:05 AM
Again, a question of ethics. Instead of copyright infringement you are aiding and abetting.

As one who has copyrighted material it really ticks me off when someone duplicates it, regardless of whether the end product is given away or sold.

Couldn't agree more!

I literally have 10's of thousands of images I created and own the copyrights
to. If I want to give it away or charge for that's my right and right alone.
I have confronted some that have used an image without permision.
No cease and desist letter, they were local so I went and discussed the
situation, when I left they had a better understanding about rights and usage.:D

I agree with Mike about renting it out. First a poll how many of us rent
out our lasers on a regular basis? If you rent it out selectively that
makes it worse as it shows that there may be intent. As a business owner
you take responsability for what happens in your shop. Doesn't matter
who does it they use your equipment, you are responsible.

If a client comes in and they say they have rights to use things they ought
to be able to produce a document saying such. If no document exists
chances are the transfer of rights don't exist. Due diligence on the business owners part needs to be taken.

If one of your employees allows unauthorized production of copyrighted pieces
they are not responsible the business owner is!

Again it's about ethics, it's not about what you can get away with, and
ingenious little plans to try to skirt the legal end. It's one thing not
to be aware of copyrighted usage, but it's a whole other thing know to try
to get around it.


Marty

Ross Moshinsky
11-19-2010, 12:42 PM
The HD logo is a clear example, but there must be a way to protect myself anytime I engrave, for example, a photo.
I cannot possibly know if the photo of a cute cat the customer gave me is of his cat or the first price winner of an International Cat Show, so there must be a limit after which I'm not held responsible for infringement of any copyright...

That's because you are getting caught up in non-sense. You realize people have been talking about this copy-write nonsense for generations, right? Finding the original source of some web image or any image is near impossible. It's a waste of time. You just have to use discretion.

Using a HD logo on 2-3 trophies for "The Best Harley" at a motorcycle show is illegal. At the same time, you are not selling the award because it has HD's name on it. The customer would buy it anyway. You are just using their logo to identify it is in fact for a HD. Copy-write/trademark infringement? Yes. Does it matter? No.

The difference is if you went and started making "Harley Davidson" based merchandise. Taking a mug and just engraving the HD logo or making a pen set with just the HD logo. Then you are marketing something as Harley Davidson swag and that is blatant copy-write infringement and shows poor ethics.

Although the issue is the same, quantity and market presence is your biggest concern as the engraver. 10 HD pens for a small bike club is one thing. 10,000 for a give-away for a bike club is another. One award with the HD logo for a bike show is one thing. It's another if you are going to take a picture of the award and post it on a piece of marketing material or the web and distribute it to increase revenue.

Scott Shepherd
11-19-2010, 1:12 PM
Finding the original source of some web image or any image is near impossible.

There's a killer plug in for Firefox (and other browers) called TinEye. It's amazing. You can right click on any image in the internet or upload your own photo and it will show you all the sources for that image online.

I saw a thread where someone posted some work they did on a graphic and someone thought they recognized the art work. They used that, identified the artist that created it, contacted the artist, and the artist contacted the person that did the work. I don't think it ended well for the guy that copied the work. He never posted another thread.

It's a great application. You can also use it to find better graphics at better resolutions.

Martin Boekers
11-19-2010, 1:15 PM
One other concern no one has mentioned, is the quality and marketing of
the product. HD, Disney or whoever spends their money to create a
brand, quality and marketing strategy come into that plan.

They don't want a product on the market that they don't have absolute
control over. I suggest those that don't believe me to get a copy of the
the licensing application for any of these or even major league sports.

I have done that with MLB and yes they want to make money, but they
want complete control over the products and distribution. If they feel the
product doesn't fit their marketing and quality control.... Application Rejected!

It's much more to them than just the dollars you make on it.

Whether you agree with copyrights in concept are not is a moot point.
It is a recognized and court supported law. Work to change the law
if you like.

One thing to remember this is a public forum and what is said here
can be searched and info can be investigated. If it gets to the point
in the graphics industries like the music industries they can and will
track those down who abuse usage rights. The music industry has proved
that, the fines can be extensive.:eek:

Steve Stram
11-19-2010, 5:31 PM
If you wonder why Disney and HD pursue their intellectual property extensively, look at what happened to the Jeep 5 slot grille and Hummer. GM argued, and won, based on fact that Jeep had not aggresively defended their design on toys and cartoons.

You can check online if the person telling you they have the copyright actually owns the copyright or not.
http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First

Searching for a graphic can be extremely tough.

Also, don't fall for the "I have the copyright since I mailed it to myself."
http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#poorman
"I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?
The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration."

Actual copyright registration cost $35 per item.

Copyrights get a bit murky sometimes. In patents it is the first to the office to file that wins. In copyrights, they can be challenged within five years if someone comes along with evidence they were indeed the original author.

Steve.

Martin Boekers
11-19-2010, 6:12 PM
This is taken directly from the Government site

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork


When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf).”


http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf


Mailing to yourself is just plain silly, anyone who has seen a spy show over
the 50 years knows how to steam and evelope open, or maybe just send
and unsealed envelope to yourself and insert the document later.
I can't believe people actually think this would work.:p

Years ago it was standard practice for photographers to copyright images
in a "contact sheet" form this way they could cover 30 or so images at a time.
Not sure what the practise is now, you may be able to copyright a DVD at a time.
Something I guess is worth investigating.

Notice, that you own the rights but you can sue for infringement and courts cost,
but to get statutory damages you need to register. You also have 5 years to register
it.

You'll also note that it has to be in a tangible form and not just a thought or idea.



Marty

AL Ursich
11-19-2010, 7:41 PM
Years ago when I was living in Philly Area I saw a Vinyl Shop closed down over doing HD stuff.... The guy did a 15 foot banner for a guy's trailer.....
At a show, the HD guys said something to the effect.... "I can only get a 12 foot version?, Where did you get yours?" Right here the guy said..... I have his card.... :eek:

I have been asked a few times to do HD and a few Sports Teams..... Mostly CNC in wood... The answer is always the same.... no...:cool:

AL

Steve Stram
11-19-2010, 8:37 PM
Over 25 years in engineering with most in R&D, but never could get a straight direction on copyright or trademarks out of the legal types. Every time we had the obligatory class on IP, the answers about copyright and trademarks included a comma, but...

Luckily, only patents really applied to me.

Steve.