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Embroidered patch question ?

 
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usbulldog
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Joined: 11 Jan 2012
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Embroidered patch question ? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I make bags and such and want to sew embroidered patches on them to sell. The patches would be film related. Would this break copyright law?


Thanks
Nick
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,
Is the 'us' bit of your login name significant? In other words are you asking about US law, because it is somewhat different to UK law on this subject. Assuming that you mean under UK law, I think you would need to be more specific about what you mean by 'film related'. If you mean that you want to take a still from a film and create an embroidered version of it, then that would technically infringe copyright for two reasons, both covered within section 7 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. Firstly a single still from a film is classed as a substantial part of a copyright work
Quote:
Copying in relation to a film or broadcast includes making a photograph of the whole or any substantial part of any image forming part of the film or broadcast.

and secondly copying in any format, including a three-dimensional representation of a two-dimensional object, of a substantial part of a copyright work would be infringement.
Quote:
Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means reproducing the work in any material form.
This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means.

That said I think a court would look very closely at how faithfully such an embroidery actually reproduced the film still. I'm sure you could get permission from the copyright owner to do this without too much trouble. However an alternative approach would be to make your embroidery 'in the style of' rather than directly copied from a still.
However if you do live in the US, I believe (but you should check with someone with more knowledge of the subject) that this would be covered under the fair use provisions in section 107 of the US Copyright Act 1976, which provides a wider interpretation of what constitutes 'substantial' in relation to the original. This has allowed the de facto defence of pastiche or parody to be used.
I hope this helps.
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Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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usbulldog
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Thanks for the reply, sorry for being a bit vague. The 'US' bit is actually one of my dogs(american bulldog) so not related.

The film in question is Harry Potter, you can buy embroidered patches on the net of the 'Houses' from the films (I think as I've never seen them). They are like coats of arms for lack of a better description.

What I would like to do is purchase these and sew them on to my bags, then in turn sell them on my site.

Hope that makes more sense.

Nick
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,
Thanks for the extra detail. Assuming the patches you want to buy are correctly licensed, then there ought to be no problem with you using them on your bags because you are not the person making the copies. However if the patches are not manufactured under licence you could face being sued for secondary infringement, namely importing and/or selling infringing copies.
I suggest that the best way of ensuring the supplier is licensed, is to obtain their details, and possibly an example of one of the patches, and then contact the Warner Bros UK trade mark agents for comfirmation about the licensing status. Their details are:
Copyright owner:
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, California, United States, 91522
Representative:
EDWARDS WILDMAN PALMER UK LLP
Dashwood, 69 Old Broad Street, London, United Kingdom, EC2M 1QS

This will not involve you in any additional costs (beyond a stamp) but might save you all sorts of problems if these patches are manufactured in the far east without any licence (as is highly probable). If your source turns out to be a rogue one, the trade mark agents may be able to direct you to a legitimate supplier.
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Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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