russinchico

copyright infringement?

107 posts in this topic

I know there are laws against it, but I have seen alot of stuff out there that I know is copy righted....and /or a trademark. I'm sure I could spend days reading stuff on the internet and get totally confused, I was more interrested in what was "acccepted" with the "leather Pros".

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Not sure I know what you mean, more info / examples?

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Yes, perhaps you could clarify? That would really help to see your point.

An artist's work is "copyrighted" as soon as they create it... this has been well upheld in law. If you are going to copy someone, you need to make your own significant creative changes. Otherwise you could be in trouble.

However there are only so many ways you can make a boat. Even so you can not (legally) slavishly copy someone else's boat. You have to have some originality. Personally I think this is only fair. But I would like to see your examples, to better understand what you mean. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree here.

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I know there are laws against it, but I have seen alot of stuff out there that I know is copy righted....and /or a trademark. I'm sure I could spend days reading stuff on the internet and get totally confused, I was more interrested in what was "acccepted" with the "leather Pros".

As an example, if I want to make a dozen Mickey Mouse coasters and use them on my patio table, there's not a problem. If I want to make ten dozen and sell them, there's a very real problem. If I want to make and sell one dozen, there's a very real problem.

It's ok to copy a famous painting in the museum. It isn't ok to try and sell it as the real thing. It's probably not even ok to try and sell it as a copy - because the museum probably reserves that right.

Want to do trademark/copyrighted stuff to work up your skills, it's not a problem. Start distributing them and it can become a problem, rapidly.

And yes, there are lots of people out there breaking the law in this area. Don't get sucked into the trap that "everybody does it" - it isn't true about cheating on taxes either, and both can get one into serious legal troubles.

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Lots of good straight info here. My real job is working as an illustrator for patent and trademark attorneys.

Some companies guard their marks very jealously. Others are lenient. Bottom line don't do it, it isn't worth the risk. If you get taken to court and found guilty of willful infringement, the court will asses damages and you will be fined 3 times that amount plus court costs.

Some of the companies that will sue at the drop of a hat.... or trademark

Harley Davidson, Coke, P&G, most alcohol and beer companies, Disney. Not a complete list but you get the idea.

The whole idea of leatherwork is to be creative.

David

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well im not shere but was told if you buy the object from like Harly Davidson and then you put it on some that is ok. that is what dad duse for harly stuff for fokes. that way he did not make the decale or badge or some thing like that. He just made what it is on.

Russell

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well im not shere but was told if you buy the object from like Harly Davidson and then you put it on some that is ok. that is what dad duse for harly stuff for fokes. that way he did not make the decale or badge or some thing like that. He just made what it is on.

Russell

That becomes a grey area as well if it's only a few then it probably won't be a problem but if it's a significant quantity you would normally have to pay a licensing fee to the company whose emblem it is (This is how it is in Australia, could be different in other countries).

Clair

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That becomes a grey area as well if it's only a few then it probably won't be a problem but if it's a significant quantity you would normally have to pay a licensing fee to the company whose emblem it is (This is how it is in Australia, could be different in other countries).

Clair

Russ,

That is not much of a grey area to me....he made an object and put a Harley emblem on it....yeah Harley made the emblem but putting it on something he made IMPLIED that it was an official Harley product. DONT DO IT. Good way to get in trouble.

If a customer asks for a Harley emblem on something, he better be from Harley Davidson. If he isn't from HD....politely decline the job or try to encourage him to be creative or let you be creative.... I do it all the time.

Unfortunately, there are many bikers out there who don't have a creative bone in their bodies. Beeze here on LW is an outstanding exception...as are many others...Shirley... etc. Mostly bikers want something they saw on Joe Schmo's bike. Show them some of your creative work....you can lead them where you want them to go.

Dave

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Hi Russ,

There are three different entities here, patent, copyright, trademark; all totally different and used to protect different things in different ways. It would be easier to tell us what you want to "knock off", and then we could tell you either why you can't do it, or how you can get around it, or that it isn't a problem. Patent and trademark are pretty well defined, copyright is an area that is sometimes used to protect a product and can be a little tricky. A more defined area is fraud, where you make something and say that is something else, e.g. if you make something that looks like a Hermes bag (to any degree of success) and say it is a Hermes bag, then that is fraud, whereas you make something that looks like a Hermes bag and say it is a Hermes knockoff, then that may be a copyright violation, whereas you make a bag that may or may not look like a Hermes bag but you never get their name into the process, well that is probably ok. If someone asks you if it is a Hermes bag, you say NO or "no, it is better than a Hermes bag", again you will probably be ok.

There were enough "whereas" in the above statement to help you understand that if you go about playing in a big company's sandbox, a bunch of lawyers are going to try and kick sand in your face. Some things you just can't help copying because there are only so many ways to invent the wheel, but put some of yourself into the process.

Art

I know there are laws against it, but I have seen alot of stuff out there that I know is copy righted....and /or a trademark. I'm sure I could spend days reading stuff on the internet and get totally confused, I was more interrested in what was "acccepted" with the "leather Pros".

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David:

You might want to talk to some of your patent/trademark attorneys with respect to your statement of: "...he made an object and put a Harley emblem on it....yeah Harley made the emblem but putting it on something he made IMPLIED that it was an official Harley product. DONT DO IT. Good way to get in trouble." There are legal ways to do that, so maybe your attorney friends can explain it to you.

Russ:

As some have mentioned already, it would be best to know to some extent what you're trying to recreate.

I've seen many examples here on leatherworker where folks have ignored the fact that they've infringed on a copyright or trademarked logos. It simply amazes me that one would do so. IMO, it reflects a great lack of integrity on the part of the artisan.

It's always best to consult with competent legal counsel if you really have a question about such issues. You can do some initial searches on the U.S. Patent/Trademark website that may or may not answer your basic questions.

Edited by K-Man

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned the Orphan Works Act working its way through congress. As you know, there are politicians that favor lawyers :gathering: ....therefore; things like this are possible. Listen to the video or read partical extract below.

Here is short exerpt from the text.

QUOTE:" FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS' PARTNERSHIP

The Orphan Works Act: Warning to the Public

Should the general public care about the Orphan Works Act?

Yes, because the effects of this bill will expose any citizen's visual images to infringement, including infringement for commercial purposes or distasteful uses.

Most people don't understand current copyright law. But under current law, they don't have to - the law itself protects them from not understanding it. Anything you create is considered your private property.

But under this amendment, all citizens would be required to understand that they must now take active steps - not to actually protect their work (because registries won't protect it) – but merely to preserve their right to sue an infringer in federal court (in case they ever find out they've been infringed in the first place). "

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Hey K-Man,

There are certainly legal ways of putting a Harley made emblem on a product that you are making, getting agreements with Harley in advance is one sure way. But that didn't seem to be what was being discussed.

Unless I misunderstood the post, it seemed like the author believed that it was ok to put the emblem on anything, as long as Harley made the emblem.

Certainly Harley produces those window decals and as long as you are putting them on something that clearly isn't motorcycle related (like your car window) you have no problem, but if you begin putting them on saddlebags....or wallets or vests or jackets etc.....all of which Harley does license, you are going to have a problem.

As an aside, Harley formerly liscensed conchos with their emblem to Tandy, I believe, but they have discontinued that and are now guarding their intellectual property much more closely.

I agree totally with your statement :

"I've seen many examples here on leatherworker where folks have ignored the fact that they've infringed on a copyright or trademarked logos. It simply amazes me that one would do so. IMO, it reflects a great lack of integrity on the part of the artisan." In addition to the integrity issue I think it also reflects a lack of creativity.

Dave Theobald

Edited by David

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Yes, David, you are correct - license agreements are one way of putting a trademarked logo on a product. There are other legal ways to do it as well. Again, it's best to discuss such issues with legal counsel if there's a question in one's mind about it. And unless one is such legal counsel, one should be cautious about what advice they offer in that respect.

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If I by a Tandy cell phone case, tool it with one of their template designs and sell it, is that ok? If I use that same cell phone case "as" a template, use my own leather that I buy from Tandy can I tool it and sell it with my own carving on it? I guess the question is where is the line drawn. I could cut a peice of leather for a cell phone case of my own design, but there may be someone out there that has already created one and Patented that design. Or I may have drawn something, carved it, and later someone sees what I have created, and sue me. So, basically, I just unknowingly infringed on someones art?. Like I said before, I have seen many things out there selling that are VERY similar that could have been "stolen" or just a coincidence. I am fairly artistic, and have done some cool drawings that I could use for leather. With just starting out I have friends that want to buy some of the stuff I've made for practice peices and I want to be clear on what I can and can't do. Perhaps I should start reading up on the "legalities" of this stuff. One of the wallets I did for my son was a "Jackass insignia, I didn't sell it, but thats what my kid wanted on his wallet. That would be concidered wrong, even tho it wasn't sold? This is only a hobby for me, but if I can sell some of the stuff I do for practice I'd like to, unless it turns into a pain in the a**.

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I know there are laws against it, but I have seen alot of stuff out there that I know is copy righted....and /or a trademark. I'm sure I could spend days reading stuff on the internet and get totally confused, I was more interrested in what was "acccepted" with the "leather Pros".

Thank you all for your input, its very helpful, I posted another topic with a little more detail in the question....thanks again.

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I try real hard in all aspects of my leatherwork to be creative and individualistic, that is what I enjoy about it. And yes it is difficult at times to not infringe on someone elses work, wether it is a pattern or artwork. As for the comment made above, Almost all politicians are lawyers and from what I can see are not very good at either endeavor so what they do and say does not suprise me. Maybe it's the free medical benifits and the ability to give yourself pay raises that appeals to them.

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Yes, David, you are correct - license agreements are one way of putting a trademarked logo on a product. There are other legal ways to do it as well. Again, it's best to discuss such issues with legal counsel if there's a question in one's mind about it. And unless one is such legal counsel, one should be cautious about what advice they offer in that respect.

Since I offered no LEGAL advice; there is no need for ME to be cautious at all, I expressed my opinion AGAINST using another's mark. Especially under the circumstances given in the post. The opinion was gleaned from 40 years of association with the profession. Now if I had advised to go ahead and use the mark....a totally different story. But I do want to make it PERFECTLY clear I am NOT an attorney and what I was expressing was an opinion. Which I still hold.

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As far as the Tandy pieces go, I think that would qualify as 'raw materials'. To use their EXACT pattern for a template, with no alterations at all might be pushing the envelope a bit. But, if you change it a little, like putting a snap closure on it instead of velcro, well I think it's altered enough- if you're using your design. Or maybe you stitch it instead of riveting it- still, you changed it.

You definitely need to read the legalities of it, perhaps talk to an attourney that specalizes in copyright laws. After all, I'm not a lawyer, and there's lots going on these days that doesn't jive with my ideas of "The way things should be".

Mike

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With respect to the first part of your question about using the Tandy kit as a pattern. I've looked over several Tandy kits that I have in stock and see no copyright or patent information on them. This information is required on patented items. You can look that up on any search engine.

With respect to the Jackass wallet, assuming that the Jackass is a trademark, it would seem logical that to be guilty of infringement you would have to sell or make a profit from it....but that doesn't seem to be the case. Simply making the mark is by definition an infringement. You can look that up on any search engine.

Dave

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If I by a Tandy cell phone case, tool it with one of their template designs and sell it, is that ok? If I use that same cell phone case "as" a template, use my own leather that I buy from Tandy can I tool it and sell it with my own carving on it? I guess the question is where is the line drawn. I could cut a peice of leather for a cell phone case of my own design, but there may be someone out there that has already created one and Patented that design. Or I may have drawn something, carved it, and later someone sees what I have created, and sue me. So, basically, I just unknowingly infringed on someones art?. Like I said before, I have seen many things out there selling that are VERY similar that could have been "stolen" or just a coincidence. I am fairly artistic, and have done some cool drawings that I could use for leather. With just starting out I have friends that want to buy some of the stuff I've made for practice peices and I want to be clear on what I can and can't do. Perhaps I should start reading up on the "legalities" of this stuff. One of the wallets I did for my son was a "Jackass insignia, I didn't sell it, but thats what my kid wanted on his wallet. That would be concidered wrong, even tho it wasn't sold? This is only a hobby for me, but if I can sell some of the stuff I do for practice I'd like to, unless it turns into a pain in the a**.
Russ,If it doesn't show patent pending, copyrite, trademark™ and you bought it it's yours to do with what you want. Borrow some ones design with their permission or use the one in the kit and sell it, give it, trade it etc. Don't be paranoid about being sued. We all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us, Stohlman, Baird, Giehl, Hurst, Gomer, King, Geer, Lair, Linnell etc., etc., etc. These folks gave to us so we can learn, practice and give to others in the future. The patterns are for you to gain experience and then you can create your own designs and patterns. (Example) It's not against the law to write and forge a check using someone else's name and account number BUT it is against the law to utter that instrument for personal profit! Sounds contradictory but it's the law as I enforced it!

I look forward to seeing some of your creativity.

Indy

:cheers:

With respect to the first part of your question about using the Tandy kit as a pattern. I've looked over several Tandy kits that I have in stock and see no copyright or patent information on them. This information is required on patented items. You can look that up on any search engine.With respect to the Jackass wallet, assuming that the Jackass is a trademark, it would seem logical that to be guilty of infringement you would have to sell or make a profit from it....but that doesn't seem to be the case. Simply making the mark is by definition an infringement. You can look that up on any search engine. Dave

Good answer Dave.

Indy

Edited by indypbear

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David: Never said you had given any legal advice.

I only posted the caution as a general statement.

Edited by K-Man

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Russ,

That is not much of a grey area to me....he made an object and put a Harley emblem on it....yeah Harley made the emblem but putting it on something he made IMPLIED that it was an official Harley product. DONT DO IT. Good way to get in trouble.

If a customer asks for a Harley emblem on something, he better be from Harley Davidson. If he isn't from HD....politely decline the job or try to encourage him to be creative or let you be creative.... I do it all the time.

Unfortunately, there are many bikers out there who don't have a creative bone in their bodies. Beeze here on LW is an outstanding exception...as are many others...Shirley... etc. Mostly bikers want something they saw on Joe Schmo's bike. Show them some of your creative work....you can lead them where you want them to go.

Dave

I meant grey area in a purely observational state ie your not likely to catch the attention of the emblem maker for one or two things on items that they themselves don't make and are for a purely hobby craft sense (misread and realised afterwards that they were being sold). Don't know if I'm coming across right it's been a long day, I'm a graphic designer and I continually have to deal with clients who just don't know (which today meant telling a client no I can't just grab photos off competitors webpages and put them on yours).

Davids point is right in that if comes across as being an official product you will likely get a cease and desist order very quickly, so in the end the simplest thing for selling stuff is if you didn't design it don't use it, unless you want to go through the added step of paying licence fees.

Edited by cem

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I meant grey area in a purely observational state ie your not likely to catch the attention of the emblem maker for one or two things on items that they themselves don't make and are for a purely hobby craft sense (misread and realised afterwards that they were being sold). Don't know if I'm coming across right it's been a long day, I'm a graphic designer and I continually have to deal with clients who just don't know (which today meant telling a client no I can't just grab photos off competitors webpages and put them on yours).

Davids point is right in that if comes across as being an official product you will likely get a cease and desist order very quickly, so in the end the simplest thing for selling stuff is if you didn't design it don't use it, unless you want to go through the added step of paying licence fees.

CEM

You are coming through loud and clear, you are on the front lines of this discussion and you comments are right on the money and very pertinent Thanks

David Theobald

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Thank you all for your excellent advise, and opinions on the matter. If and or when the time comes, I hope I am creative enough that I don't even have to think about the issue. But in the mean time, Its PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and challenge myself with anything and everything.

Thanks again folks

Russ

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Well not being a lawyer and not liking lawyers, I can tell you that anyone who gives you advice that is not a lawyer is being a little egotistical. Then again a person who asks for legal advice from a bunch of leather workers gets nothing but opinions which one should read then laugh and call a stinking lawyer. Now as for my opinion which you can stop reading or continue on , I was

taking a pottery class in which a man constantly made plates with the University of Cincinnati logo and name on them along with quite a few Kentucky Wildcat plates. Well imagine that this

very topic came up. He called the University of Cincinnati ( well he said he did ) and they supposable told him he could not use their name or logo for any reason , not even if he was

donating the plates to a charity auction, not even if he was giving them to his friends, not even if he was giving them to U.C. alumni , they told him he could not even make them for himself. Now this is all hearsay since I was not privy to the call , nor do I know this man well enough to

judge him a fibber or a truth teller. I just wanted to type something here so I did type my most humble opinion , which once again is call a lawyer when you need legal advice and call a leather worker when you need leather work. Call me if you want a humble opinion on anything concerning common sense, cents or is it cense or since.

WINDY :NEWFUNNYPOST::blahblahblah:

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