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Topic: screenprinting images copyright?  (Read 1687 times)
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« on: May 13, 2010 03:07:44 AM »

Hello Jane here, long time lurker first time poster.

I was thinking about screen printing clothes and selling them just for a little side money.
However I don't want to infringe on any copyrights/trademarks/etc.

I know this may be a dumb question, but how do I know what images I can use and what I can't? Like if I Ggoogle an image of a bird and screen print that is that a no no? I'm pretty sure a lot of the screen printed clothing I've seen are not all hand drawn.

Please help me out, any thoughts would be fine. I'd just like to avoid any lawsuits, stop/decease letters/etc.
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010 04:28:55 PM »

Pretty much anything you find on the internet will be off limits. I only know of one site where you can use the images for that sort of thing: graphicsfactory.com. Or, at least the last time I visited there they allowed people just to pay their subscription fee and use the images for whatever they want. All sites like this will have their rights posted on the site somewhere; for other images you find, just because none are posted doesn't mean they don't exist.

You CAN use other images, but there will always be a licensing fee of some sort to pay. So you have to decide whether or not you will pay it or get someone to create original images for you.

« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010 11:03:02 PM »

I thought so.

How about if I used brushes on photoshop to put things and shapes together? Is that ok or still a no no?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010 05:50:54 PM »

as long as you have created an original image it's all yours

« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010 11:18:04 AM »

generally the best idea is to make your own images so you can't be blamed for copyright infringement. however if you do find a image that you want to alter, as long as it has been changed by at least 30%, then it's okay. there is alot of grey area when it comes to using others images. if there is an idea that you really like, you could still use that idea as long as you make the image all your own. basically it's usually safe to stay away from internet images but, if you have the skills, you can alter images to make them your own.
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010 04:48:39 PM »

generally the best idea is to make your own images so you can't be blamed for copyright infringement. however if you do find a image that you want to alter, as long as it has been changed by at least 30%, then it's okay.

I hate to break it to you, Gerbil, but that is a myth.  From http://www.rightsforartists.com/copyright.html:

Can't I take an image and change it to make it mine?

No. Because one of the exclusive rights granted under copyright is the individual right of the copyright owner to create derivative works from their original copyrighted material.

Modifying or altering an image is infringing upon the copyright owner's rights unless expressed permission is granted or the modification falls under fair use (which is highly unlikely).

In a few court cases, a modified image was not considered infringement because the original image was no longer recognizable due to the extent and variety of the alterations.

Altering or modifying published works is strongly not recommended because most artists, writers, musicians, photographers, etc., can recognize their own work even through modifications.

Many people believe the "myth" that if they change an existing image a percentage (10%, 30%, etc.), then they can legally use the image. Be advised: that is not the law.

« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2010 11:04:47 AM »

Well recently at my university there was a great debate on this subject. A local bar had placed flyers on students cars that at first glance looked like the parking tickets by the parking authority. But upon closer inspection the designers had altered them to promote the bar. There was controversy on the copyright of the parking tickets. The school paper interviewed the designer of the flyer and he felt that since they had altered the image by 30% that they were safe from copyright infringement.

Now in the end, the parking company did not take any legal action against the designers but there were many reactions to the tickets. many didn't like them or did like them because of their play on the tickets. The flyers were created to be a playful trick to get the students to look at their flyer. 

It's because of events like these that you have to be careful. And this is why i say there is a grey area. Though the parking authority initially wanted to take legal action the designers the case didn't go anywhere. But had they pursued it i'm sure there would have been a great court battle, and i'm not sure what the outcome would be. This is why most people say to err on the side of caution.

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