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  • Advice on copyright please

  • Mo Gillis-Coates

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Hi Guys, I know I can’t advertise anything for sale that I don’t have a licence for the copyright for, I have been asked by a customer to wrap a trade vehicle using a comic book hero image which he is supplying (obviously he doesn’t have a licence from Marvel to use it)

    He wants to put it on his van along with his prone number etc, but he’s not selling anything to do with marvel comics..

    Can anyone advise whether this is legal or not?

    Cheers

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

    There is nothing to stop you applying the wrap, any copyright issues are the suppliers or your customers responsibility, I would get a signature from your customer, confirming he is aware of this for your peace of mind though.

    Peter

  • Hugh Potter

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    would say not legal but, whether they’d chase him or not i have no idea, if he’s earning a few grand a year it’s prob no issue but should he turn bigger they may get interested.

    in my small print it puts the liability of copyright onto the customer, along the lines of "we are not responsible for obtaining licenses on copyright material, we only reproduce material on the assumption that by requesting us to do so, that you, the customer, have already obtained license" ,

    thats among other basic terms i use, the customer has to sign the quote with the terms attached before work commences.

    so far I don’t think i’ve produced anything other than manufacturer logo’s, trade associations -cos they’re always pants from source!- only really logos widely available elsewhere to be honest.

  • Bob Clarkson

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

    A friend of mine had a brand new Subaru WRX fully airbrushed in the Matrix vein, personally I think it was very cleverly done, but it defies belief anyone would actually have all that done in paint. Anyway, nothings ever been said.

    I don’t truthfully know, but how Peter has put it across makes perfect sense, I can’t imagine a decorator getting prosecuted for hanging knock off Disney wallpaper and I guess it’s the same thing.

    There’s Clifford, Kenwood, No Fear etc stickers made by the million and that doesn’t seem to cause problems (unless anyone knows different)

    The only job I’ve ever done that caused a stir was a Rolls Royce grill with RR on it at a prestige car sales. Rolls Royce were sending letters and threatening action within a few weeks.

  • Neil Speirs

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

    surely if were making a financial profit from printing off someone’s copyrighted image were more liable than the end user who would just plead ignorance if the shit did hit the fan?

  • Neil Speirs

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm
    quote Bob Clarkson:

    I don’t truthfully know, but how Peter has put it across makes perfect sense, I can’t imagine a decorator getting prosecuted for hanging knock off Disney wallpaper and I guess it’s the same thing.

    yeah the decorator may not be at fault but the company/person producing the knock off Disney wall paper could be (us)

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm
    quote Bob Clarkson:

    The only job I’ve ever done that caused a stir was a Rolls Royce grill with RR on it at a prestige car sales. Rolls Royce were sending letters and threatening action within a few weeks.

    A bit off topic, but many years ago just before the Los Angeles Olympics, some dodgy car dealers were sending over Austin princess limos, badged up as rollers.
    One of our customers, who was shipping the cars was closed down and went broke once rolls found out.
    Here is a slightly younger me at the time with an old lady you may recognise Bob.

    Peter


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  • David-Foster-

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm
    quote Neil Speirs:

    surely if were making a financial profit from printing off someone’s copyrighted image were more liable than the end user who would just plead ignorance if the (oh i swore !) did hit the fan?

    Plus, how many of you on here have complained when a customer has taken your design (in your quotation) and got it done by someone else? You want paying for your design work don’t you? Same thing. Marvel want paying for you to use their design.

  • Andrew Martin

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm
    quote Mo Gillis-Coates:

    Hi Guys, I know I can’t advertise anything for sale that I don’t have a licence for the copyright for, I have been asked by a customer to wrap a trade vehicle using a comic book hero image which he is supplying (obviously he doesn’t have a licence from Marvel to use it)

    He wants to put it on his van along with his prone number etc, but he’s not selling anything to do with marvel comics..

    Can anyone advise whether this is legal or not?

    Cheers

    I very much doubt if you could be held liable for doing this job especially as the customer is supplying the artwork, its not your responsibility but the customers for checking copyright, nor can you be held responsible what he does with the finished vehicle.
    Just make sure your invoice states artwork supplied by customer.

  • David-Foster-

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    You know it is breaking copyright, customer supplied artwork or not. Would you do a job if someone brought in a design / artwork from another sign company?

  • Simon Hulme

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    A few years ago we helped with a Fosters Larger themed custom scooter. After it appeared at a show the owner was told by the brewery legal people to remove all trace as he hadn’t got permission to use the logos etc. The paintshop who’d done the work never heard a thing. I always cover myself with similar disclaimer to that already mentioned too.

  • Andrew Martin

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm
    quote David-Foster-:

    You know it is breaking copyright, customer supplied artwork or not. Would you do a job if someone brought in a design / artwork from another sign company?

    He is an example of using a copyrighted design with no problems…last year i had done a banner for a non official Volkswagen car club using the VW logo, the banner is displayed in various car shows around the country with official Volkswagen presence and as far as i know there has never been a problem.. of course this cannot be guaranteed for other designs of car clubs etc.
    Personally i would print any design / artwork the paying customer supplies as long as its not offensive etc.

    How i see it is i would not be breaking copyright as I’m not displaying or using the design.

  • Johnny Alston

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    The position is that the producer and user would both breach copyright one for reproducing and the other for using. Your protection is to have an indemnity within your terms which clarifies your position in the event of such a claim against you and that the client has sought the appropriate releases :-

    "The customer shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary authorities and consents to reproduce pictures, artwork, photographs, copyright text and/or any other reproducible materials (“Materials”) prior to instructing the company to reproduce the same. The customer shall indemnify and hold the company and its agents and representatives harmless against all claims, demands, actions, costs, expenses (including but not limited to legal costs and disbursements), losses and damages arising from or suffered or incurred by reason of any claim (including but not limited to the defence of such claim) that the reproduction of the Materials by the company infringes the intellectual property or other rights of any third party or misuses the confidential information of a third party."

    The likelihood of claim being raised against you is slim due to the costs involved for the other party, more likely is a cease and desist letter from the copyright holders solicitors if they could trace it back to you.

    So in summary you are in breach for reproducing copyrighted material without permission but its unlikely to cost you in a one off job. The customer also would be in breach in using the copyright material / intillectual property without permission and again probably a cease and desist notification.

    This is all based on a one off basis if you are or the client is banging the stuff out on mass there could be more of an issue.

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Johnny
    thats a nicely worded indemnity, can I use it or is it copyright ?
    😀

    Mo is only sticking the vinyl on, so has not reproduced it, and will not be using it himself, so nothing to answer for.

    I fit vinyl for other people, not for me to check out if the designs are copyright, its none of my concern, I would not even get anything signed.
    its a different mattter if you are producing the design though, and your indemnity covers that very well, Ta

    Peter

  • Jason Davies

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    This is an interesting area and one that I have a strong view on. We are actively pursuing a number of ‘signmakers’ (used loosely) for breach of copyright and the term mentioned above does not mean anything. I agree with David about the right of use and the owner of the copyrighted material should be paid the appropriate fee. It is also worth considering that they may not agree to their images being used in such a way. I would not hide behind the excuses either because for many copyright holders it is a matter of principle that companies and individuals should be pursued. Remember your assets can be seized along with materials in relation to this.

    In terms of Rolls Royce, isn’t there a clause in the terms of the sale that express permission has to be sought from Rolls Royce if you want to change the ‘look’ of the car and this is passed from owner to owner for the lifetime of the car.

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm
    quote Jason Davies:

    In terms of Rolls Royce, isn’t there a clause in the terms of the sale that express permission has to be sought from Rolls Royce if you want to change the ‘look’ of the car and this is passed from owner to owner for the lifetime of the car.

    Jason, I used to deliver Rolls Royce cars all over europe, and this is one of the Urban myths that have sprung up over the years. I used to have an official RR poster, that listed the myths and truths, dont know what happened to it though, will have to look in the loft.
    yes they guard there logo (or used to) very keenly.
    I also feel strongly about copyright theft, but we seam to have digressed from the original question, that mo asked.

    Peter

  • Jason Davies

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    It’s almost a shame it isn’t true.

    Apologies, back to Mo’s question. Yes it is illegal to do this.

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm
    quote Jason Davies:

    It’s almost a shame it isn’t true.

    Apologies, back to Mo’s question. Yes it is illegal to do this.

    Is it ilegal to fit graphics that have been produced and supplied by someone else?
    If so then by the same theory, any delivery company must be committing a similar offense by delivering counterfeit goods?
    Peter

  • Jason Davies

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry Peter, I thought the question was based on the fact that he knew that these were being supplied without permission so therefore it would be illegal?

  • David-Foster-

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 10:33 pm
    quote Andy_M:

    Personally i would print any design / artwork the paying customer supplies as long as its not offensive etc.

    What if a fellow sign maker on here had done a quote for someone and provided artwork. If they brought that artwork to you would you price and want to win that job?

    Peter, I am assuming that Mo has been asked to print the graphics as well as fit. Suppose if you printed (c) Marvel Comics 2011 all over the print it may help your case

    :lol1:

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm
    quote Jason Davies:

    Sorry Peter, I thought the question was based on the fact that he knew that these were being supplied without permission so therefore it would be illegal?

    tough one really, I am not a lawyer, but at the end of the day, I would say its a moral choice, I doubt if mo would be prosecuted, even in the worst case scenario.
    The fact that mo has fielded the question, shows he has an amount of morality, a lesser person would have just got on with the job.
    Personally in his situation I would fit the graphics, we are not the copyright police, and I am sure Marvel comics are able to police their own copyright protection, as is Disney etc. I
    We have to draw a line somewhere, its a personal choice where that line is, and what you feel comfortable with,
    Peter

  • Peter Normington

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    sorry,
    I have just read Mo’s original post, I was under the impression that the "wrap was being supplied" for fitting, not the image.
    so yes it is a no no, sorry for the cross wires,

    I think others also thought Mo was fittings supplied graphics, judging by the replies.

    My stance has always been not to infringe copyright, by reproduction without permission, I refuse jobs that require me to do so.

    Note to self "read the question more carefully in future"

    Peter

  • David Rogers

    Member
    January 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Really boils down to:

    Will you use a copyrighted image within a design?

    From the sounds of it – you are being supplied an image which you will then MANUFACTURE into a wrap.

    This is much the same as somebody walking in with a Disney picture on USB and getting you to print 10,000 stickers for them to sell at a car-boot sale. Something about 10 foot bargepoles springs to mind!

    Copyright law is fairly specific. It is the ACT of copying, transmitting or replicating an image that is the illegal part – selling it or buying it is secondary.

    Saying that – it is nearly always the one requesting the use of copyrighted images (van owner) that they go after, most signmakers caught up in the mess pleading ignorance or "thought he had permission".

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