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  • Copyrights

    This question has come up many times before but have not gotten a clear view of the correct answer. I will ask it here and also ask BOB D. if it were possible, and maybe you did already and I missed it, to give some magazine time to the topic of copyrights. What are you allowed to do and what not. It was brought up about the amount of copies allowed but I am talking about legality of copying Celebrity pictures, Disney, sports teams logos and such. I think there needs to be some defining rules as to what is good and what is pitfalls to avoid.

    I bring this up, which is the jist of this question for me, because I was asked to make some clocks with team logos in them such as Yankee and Met clocks. I was also asked to make Nascar clocks. Now I see clock inserts sold for things like this but I want to scroll the logos. Now some of these will be sold at some large craft shows so I will assume there will people from Disney and other corp. that will be looking for copyright infringements. If we can get some concrete facts posted it would sure be a benefit to all. I know there are probably sites you can visit and find out some of these answers but sometimes the talk is so jibberish it is hard to understand and you need a lawyer to interpret.

    What do you think Bob and others?
    John T.

  • #2
    A little history of Copyright Law

    Copyright law in the English speaking word goes back to the year 576 when an Irish Monk visited a neighboring monastery and copied, without permission, the Abbots works.
    Once the Abbot found out he appealed to the King who ordered the copy to be delivered to its rightful owner.
    When the movable type printing press was invented by Gutenberg in 1456 it became very hard to distinguish a copy from an original work.
    In 1476 William Caxton introduced the printing press to England and licensing laws required printers to register their name, location and title of the works they wanted to print on a register. If they were approved for publication then the Crown granted copyright to the printer, not the creator.

    In 1672 in Massachusetts the first copyright law in United States Came into effect where it made it illegal to make reprints of a document without consent of the owner of the copy. Once again it was the printers not the creators that had the copyright.

    In 1787 the principles of copyrights were reviewed during a Constitutional Convention and it was suggested by James Madison that the laws be amended to preserve the ideas of the writers and creators for a limited time, allowing them to reap the financial benefits. This was based on a law laid down by Queen Anne.

    Copyrights and Patents are much more complex now than they ever were and there is a whole branch of the law set out to deal with it. To show you the extremes that it has gone to I would draw your attention to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police symbols. Hats, beavers, red serge, all have gone south now and are owned by Disney. Of all the Mickey Mouse ideas!
    I know I haven't answered any of JTs questions but I thought it was interesting to share some of the history to show why it all came about.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3

      when this topic came up on another forum, someone posted a long discussion on the difference between copyright and trademark. I will try to paraphrase:

      The right to make copies, aka copyright, has a whole bunch of legal loop holes as in: profits, intent, and so on. Not to mention the discussion on define a 'copy', and 'exactness' of the copy, and.....

      Trademarks are a lot easier for the lawyers to win cases.


      Photo of Disney character: trademarked, you may not make likeness without permission.

      Photo of actor who portrays Disney character: Your photo, taken at Public Place, is yours.

      The leters N, A, S, C, A, R are not copyrighted and cannot be.

      The logo NASCAR in the registered font, and in the manner that the general public knows as the racing assocation, is a trademark.

      In a following post to the above referenced post, someone remarked that in some cases, trademark holders are careful about the quality of the items made with their trademark image. It isn't that you want to sell a product with their image, but the holders don't want poorly made images sold. They don't permit their trademark image to be available in a magazine, or web site store for just anyone to make an image in what-ever media.

      However, if you ask and show you are knowledgeable and skilled at the craft you want to produce the image, they may give permission on the basis you are in fact asking to promote (provide advertisment) for their product.



      • #4
        Originally posted by GrayBeard Phil
        Photo of actor who portrays Disney character: Your photo, taken at Public Place, is yours.
        Just this one quibble about an otherwise excellent post, Phil.

        The image of a living person can be commercially exploited only by that person or by his permission. The exception that you may be referring to is the use of that image (taken in a public place, etc.) in the press; limiting that would clash with the first amendment. Putting the image on a coffee mug or scrolling it, framing it, and selling it would be illegal without permission.


        • #5
          Off The Off-topic Topic, Beware

          I have to change my stupid sig, it's beginning to annoy even me. My apologies to others whom it annoys.


          • #6
            Phil really got it right, John...the trademark will kill you! It's safe to assume that EVERY popular character and logo is trademarked--and liscensed. I'm sure NASCAR and Disney would be glad to allow you to scroll their logos and characters--for a liscensing fee. After you pay the liscensing fee, your cost per clock shouldn't be more than $1,000...
            I'm making a little light of this, but it is a serious issue. These companies with "liscensed" logos or images take care to protect their trademark--and will go after ANYONE they find violating their trademarks. They make a lot of money liscensing these images, and don't want anyone to infringe on that.

            Copyrights are a different issue altogether. The way we look at it at Fox Chapel is that it's really a moral issue. Copyright issues are very difficult to deal with in court because you need to prove a number of factors including intent to harm, that harm was done, who had the origional image, etc.

            The way we look at it, if you copy someone elses work, you may get away with it, but that person will know that you copied their work and you will know that you copied their work--so it comes down to what you can live with!

            And yes, we are planning an article on this as well. But in the mean time, I'd suggest staying away from trademarked or liscensed images and logos!



            • #7
              copyright infringement

              After having read the copyrights in the front of many of Fox Chapel's books and magazines, confusion still reigns.

              Some authors don't mind you making items for sale, as long as you don't sell the patterns and are willing to acknowledge them as the creator of the patterns that you used.

              Other copyright statements aren't so clear, making you wonder if the intent is to limit your use of the patterns.

              My personal recommendation would be for a code, of sorts, for each pattern:
              Y=yourself G=gifts S=sell items made from the pattern.



              • #8
                copyrights and patents

                I like the recommendation of the code. That way the owner of the copyright sets out the expectation from the beginning.

                The topic of copyrights seems to be a hot one, along with free speech and free press the lawyers will never be out of work.

                I think if I was to copyright anything it would only be two items.
                The line and the dot. Then I would retire and let my lawyers battle it out.

                There are specific laws set up to protect intellectual property, including patent laws. I read on another thread that as some patents have expired other people are taking advantage of them. This is how the industrial world advances.
                The Eclipse saw for example uses technology designed by WF and John Barnes.
                This was not a ripoff but a development.
                The patent office doesn't hide this information but shares the knowledge, what it also does is protect the interests of the designer for a period of time so people cannot profit and monopolize an idea.
                I love browsing the online patent sites, you can actually see the development of many of the tools we use today.
                You can also see the minds behind these designs.
                Share the knowledge and our hobby can grow in leaps and bounds.
                CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                • #9
                  "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries; " U.S. Constitution

                  "The patent office doesn't hide this information but shares the knowledge, what it also does is protect the interests of the designer for a period of time so people cannot profit and monopolize an idea." -- CanadianScroller

                  Excellent interpretation. Is the Canadian fundamental law as simple and clear as the U.S. Constitution's statement? Or better, probably.

                  A couple of things to notice. Patent requires that the invention or process patented be made public, specifically so that after the patent expires (28 years if renewed, last time I looked, which was a good while ago) everyone knows about it and can exploit it. And the period is not extravagantly long. Technology progresses only if one can build on another's discoveries; the disclosure requirement and the relatively (compared to copyright) limited period of protection allow progress to be made even while moderate fortunes are made.

                  Copyright, on the other hand, authorized by the same sentence in the Constitution, has been stretched and extended until it is practically eternal. The next time Mickey Mouse nears falling into the public domain, lobbyists hired by the Disney Corp will make sure that they are extended even further, as they did recently.

                  Trademarks, not mentioned in the constitution, are sacred as long as the trademark owner keeps making use of them. Somehow I don't have a problem with this, as long as satirical/political representations of trademarks are protected under the first amendment.


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