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copyright questions

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Stackhouse, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Stackhouse

    Stackhouse F1 Rookie
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    Feb 14, 2004
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    Just wanted to know what images and lettering are copyrighted and cannot be duplicated without permission. ie. Prancing horse Image, FERRARI, S.F. shields... And what % of change can be made if any? Would appreciate any imput.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
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    I'm kind of curious too, like how music has an allowable amount of sampling that can be taken (8 measures?) without royalties. Is there an equivelant for images?
     
  4. Stackhouse

    Stackhouse F1 Rookie
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    It's been a while since I dabbled with copyright issues but if I remember right there is a % of similarity allowed before your infringing. I think it's 20% ie. prancing horse with no tail or three legs, color...
     
  5. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    No rule of thumb for copyright "substantiality" of taking. Most of these things are protected by TM laws, too, so even if it is not enough appropriation to constitute copyright infringement, or looks sufficiently different in detail (ie a different looking horse, but still black on a yellow background), you'll really be wishing you hadn't. There are, in addition to civil law proscriptions (injunctions, damages, payment of plaintiff's attorney's fees, etc.) potential criminal law violations as well. So, when the child-molesting, serial murderer in the cell next to yours asks what you are "in for" you can make his day. (I hear they are pretty rough on counterfeiters in the joint). BTW, at least in the US, typography (lettering styles) are not protected by copyright, but TM will cover distinctive styles, and the overall look of a "logo" or other graphic indicia composed of unique lettering and/or other elements .
    On music, there is no "allowable" sampling that's de minimus; most parties in the industry are usually on both sides of the issue at one time or another (being sampled or wanting to use a sample), so with a few exceptions, these issues get worked out by consensual licensing arrangments, before or after the fact.
    There are, on occasion, cases holding that a similarity between two songs resulting from the presence of the same musical "riff" or spoken word may not be actionable, but when a master recording is sampled into another recording, its arguably harder to claim that what was taken is not protectible, because the copyright in the recording (unlike that in the musical composition) could cover an incredibly complex combination of sounds that are layered together to create a particular "sound" as part of the given performance, even though that may only be a few beats or bars. Disputes over how much was taken and whether its is protectible are constant in copyright law, but there is no rule of thumb.
     
  6. Klint

    Klint Karting

    Dec 7, 2003
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    What's bugged me is that i've seen private pictures as such, have "copyrighted by xxx 2004" on them, can anyone just put that onto a picture then if it's copied one can be sued? Or is there actually a legal document required for the picture to be truely copyrighted before anyone can claim that the picture has been copied?
     
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  8. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    Copyright arises automatically, upon "fixation" of a work, ie in the case of a photograph, the taking of the photo, presumably by one who has made certain aesthetic judgements about framing, lighting,angle, composition, etc.
    While there is one case in the US stating that a photograph of something was not copyrightable because it was merely a mechanical representation of the subject, that is not the law and the facts of that case were very peculiar. (I can explain it in detail separately, if you like). The courts generally do not judge artistic merit of works, such as photos. Copying a photo, even in a different medium, can be infringement. (There was a famous lawsuit involving the artist Jeffrey Koons, who based a sculpture on a photo of several puppies sitting on the laps of a human couple).

    The legend you refer to is a copyright notice, generally no longer required to maintain copyright in a work. There is no need to register a work to obtain copyright protection. (See my first sentence for how copyright arises, here in the States, and generally elsewhere in the world).

    Copying photography off the Internet and reposting it is technically infringement. There is an argument that anyone who posts on the Internet, at a minimum, is implicitly authorizing viewing, and perhaps downloading, but probably not reposting. And, much that is on the Internet is not there with the authority of the copyright owner in the first place. So, the short answer is, you could be exposed to a claim for copying someone's photo, even if it didn't have a copyright notice and was not registered for copyright. (In fact, there are very few countries which even have a registry for copyright filings, the US is almost unique in that respect, but again, registration is not a prerequisite to protection. It does afford certain additional benefits under the US system, which i will not detail here unless you want me to).
     
  9. Klint

    Klint Karting

    Dec 7, 2003
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    Excellent information, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! I better start changing a photoalbum of mine then! ;)
     
  10. Stackhouse

    Stackhouse F1 Rookie
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    Great information!
     

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