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  • Hypothetical copyright question

    OK the question is hypothetical since I'm not thinking of doing it right now but while I was cutting the M & Ms puzzle for my sister that I posted yesterday, I was musing ...

    If I were to sell puzzles like that- assuming that there were people insane enought to want them! - would there be a copyright issue in using the scrapbooking paper which I used. I'm not talking about scanning and copying a design for multiple prints .. but cutting a puzle from a sheet which had been bought for that single puzzle?

    Any thoughts anyone?
    Ian

    Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

  • #2
    There's already legal precedent of a sorts for this concerning fabrics. I don't have the website handy but it was deemed perfectly legal to sell items made with legally purchased fabrics with copyrighted characters and such on them. I believe this would fall under the same category.
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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    • #3
      If ever you come across that, Kevin I'd be interested to read it ..

      It did strike me that there was a parallel between, for instance, selling quilts or whatever made from fabric and using paper as a raw material for puzzles ..

      On the other hand I guess that it would be expected that fabric would be made into items to sell, whereas sticking scrapbooking paper onto bits of wood and chopping it up might not be the anticipated use the designer or the manufacturer had in mind ...

      Patterned papers are used and resold as handmade cards though ....
      Ian

      Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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      • #4
        If you go to Rick's Scrollsaw site and scroll down the left side there are a few links with stuff about copyrights. One of them is really long and may have something to answer your questions.

        I remember seeing something closer to the answer you are looking for somewhere else on the web, but right now I don't remember where. If I find it again I'll post it here for you.
        Jim
        DeWalt DW788 & Dremel 1680

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        • #5
          Thanks, Jim. I went back and read the stuff on Rick's site, but couldn't find anything that specific to what I was asking. If you do come across anything that seems more related to it on the web i'd be grateful if you would let me know.
          Ian

          Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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          • #6
            The site was by someone called Taberone but I couldn't find my link to it (UGH). Legally speaking, under the first sale doctrine (USC 17) you can sell the original which is what you're doing.
            Kevin
            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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            • #7
              Did Andy Warhol get permission to paint the campbell soup cans?

              Do you think Warhol got permission to paint the campbell soup cans? I don't think he did.

              It's a piece of americana, M&M's that is. I think your in the clear.

              I'm thinking of using photos I've found on the net and converting them into intarsia patterns. I was thinking of asking permission by sending them a finished product to illustrate what I want to do with the photo and feature their photo as well. Whatda ya think?
              John Patrick, Bird Oasis
              www.birdoasis.com
              Using Dewalt DW788. Working on a new line of birdhouses and bird feeders for the store.

              I welcome any and all ideas for bird friendly scrolling.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jediscroller
                The site was by someone called Taberone
                Is this the one you mean, Kevin? http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/trademarks.html
                Ian

                Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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                • #9
                  That be the one....and I'm making sure I bookmark it this time!

                  Bird,
                  I wouldn't be surprised if Campbell's gave him permission. Think of all the free publicity they got from it. Most photographers will give you permission to use their stuff. Painters are a little tougher for some reason. I have an arrangement with a local wildlife photographer where she gives me permission in exchange for a piece. If you're only doing it for yourself, there's no need but if you want to sell it's best to get permission (otherwise you might end up in court, though not likely, still possible).
                  Kevin
                  Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                  Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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                  • #10
                    The Tabberone site clearly shows that many companies will try and get eBay auctions cancelled if it involves selling on goods made out of images they produced, and that mostly they are wrong if you bought the fabric (or scrap-booking paper?) legally and haven't made copies of it.

                    M&M/Mars are obviously one company that tries to do this.

                    I also guess that companies trawl eBay by sticking their name into the search engine so if you were selling on eBay then calling it "Hand cut jigsaw puzzle" would probably avoid the hassle in the first place.

                    Using images from calendars or art prints and so on becomes more problematical the more likely it is that copyright for other uses is retained by the artist. For example if a piece of work has been licensed to Ravensburger for the purpose of making jigsaw puzzles for sale, and then you cut the same image out of a calendar to make a jigsaw puzzle for sale, there's obviously going to be a complicated argument brewing.

                    Personally I think the Tabberone case with M&M suggests that if you can legally sell goods made from M&M-patterned fabric that you bought, you can legally sell puzzles cut from M&M-patterned scrap-booking paper. What the Tabberone case also suggests is that if M&M finds out about it they will most likely have a go at you anyway.

                    The question people often forget about copyright is not simply "Is this legal?" It's "Do I want the hassle?" Some companies will be very aggressive in pursuing their rights, and go after anybody at all, win or lose. It can be traumatic to cope with threats of legal action especially if you can't afford a top lawyer and they can.
                    "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

                    Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for pointing me in the right direction on that one, Kevin. Just had a chance to read a lot of the stuff on it this morning - very interesting ...

                      As I said in my original post the question was hypothetical at present.

                      I just read a little more about the First Sale Doctrine - the important point appears to be that the distribution rights of a copyright holder end on that particular copy once the copy is sold. (My italics)

                      Does anyone know if Canada has a similar law?
                      Ian

                      Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the thoughts from you too, Chris. It does sound like a lot of companies - not too surprisingly - target E-bay for copyright infringements.

                        The Tabberone case concerning M and Ms does suggest that there should not be a problem with M and M - or other scrapbooking paper. (Maybe it would be better to use Smarties though and photograph them myself ..lol They don't have the name on them and there are lots of no-name lookalikes of Smarties around ..)

                        It wasn't specifically the M and Ms pattern that I was thinking of but scrapbooking papers in general. There are quite a few around with random backgrounds that would make puzzles that would be "challenging" to say the least I mentioned a couple in another thread but I've come across ones with grass, corn, beach pebbles, tape measures, wood grain etc

                        As a complete drift off-topic - what's this I hear about them repackaging Smarties in the UK - how can they get rid of Smartie tubes???? I have fond memories of Smartie tubes from being a kid - those plastic tops really flew across the room when you karate chopped the tube ... They did have an educational side too - those letters on the inside of the tube tops ..
                        Ian

                        Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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