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hand painted logo

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:37 pm
by bant
Hi. I recently took up painting and of the various things I am trying, I recently painted my favourite football teams logo, on an abstract background. Sharing it on social media got some nice feedback and that inspired me to do another. I ended up doing quite a few and then had the idea of approaching my club with a view to selling them. Sadly their "buyer" wasn't interested but one of their managers who helped me get the contact told me two things. He liked the art but said I couldn't sell them because of copyright law.

I must say I feel let down and a few of my friends feel the same. However, I am left wondering if the man was right about copyright vs hand painted art. It is of course my own representation of the club logo and of course looks a lot like it and is roughly the right colour. Of the ones I have done, they are all similar but equally different. Except for two, one is a 4 canvas piece that must be separated 10mm apart and the other is a single canvas piece but I have made the logo look fully 3D.

A little miffed at the club as this isn't mass produced unlicensed high profit stuff, this is time consuming hand made art. However I realise the only thing that matters is the law. The sad part is I would like to sell them and donate some of the proceeds to our local homeless, something that our club actually supports.

Thanks in advance.

Re: hand painted logo

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:30 pm
by AndyJ
Hi bant,

Assuming that the official logo of the club is sufficiently 'artistic' (not a very high threshold), then copyright will protect it, provided it wasn't created so long ago that the copyright has now lapsed*. In my exerience, football clubs continually tweak the design of their logos to keep them up to date and to keep the copyright alive. Secondly, most clubs will have registered their logo for trade mark purposes, and this prevents anyone who is not authorised from selling memorabilia etc bearing the logo, or indeed in your case, from selling the artwork bearing the logo even if this was your own version, if it would lead a consumer into believing this was official club merchandise (see section 10 of the Trade Marks Act 1994).

Because the clubs make a great deal of money from licensing and selling their official merchandise, they take protection of their intellectual property very seriously, as you, sadly, have found out!

As long as you do this for your own personal use you are likely to be covered by section 29 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 as it would be classed as fair dealing in the copyright work for the purposes of private study, but this exception would not apply to any commercial exploitation, or indeed, if you reproduced your artwork in a significant quantity, say beyond two or three different versions, to give to friends.

* under the law as it stands today, copyright lasts for the lifetime of the author/artist, plus a further 70 years after his/her death. So realistically the logo would need to have been created something like 120-130 years ago for copyright to have now lapsed.

Re: hand painted logo

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:32 pm
by bant
Hi Andy, thank you for your prompt reply. It is a shame that the whole idea fell through but I live and learn. Much appreciated. Have a great day.