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application of an artistic work in color vs. black & whi

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:34 am
by Faiza

In trademarks, if a logo or a device is registered in black and white, it can be used in any color by the owner of the mark. (This is the case in India, not sure about other countries.)

I just wanted to know if the above is applicable even in the case of copyright?

If not; what are the advantages and disadvantages of filing for copyright protection for an artistic work in black and white or color?

Thank You. :D

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:43 am
by AndyJ
Hi faiza,
It's important to remember the different purposes of copyright and trade mark protection.

Copyright is intended to protect the creative expression of an author, artist or musician etc. Thus if an artist produces a work in colour, the fact that there is colour within the work forms part of the original creativity; equally if the artist etc deliberately wished to produce a work in monochrome (black on white for instance) again that decision would form part of his creativity. Theoretically producing a monochrome version of an image which was originally in colour (or vice versa) would result in a derivative work. If this was done by the artist, then the works might well be considered as two separate works each capable of being protected by copyright. If someone else made a monochrome copy of an artist's original colour work without permission, that could amount to infringement if a court decided that a substantial part of the original had been copied. Copyright works do not need to be registered to gain copyright protection. However where official registration is possible (such as in the USA) in order to gain additional legal benefits, the version which is registered should be the same as the original in as many respects as possible. That said, say the work was an oil painting, the copy which was registered (known as the 'deposit') would not need to be in oils, and would most probably be a colour photograph of the work. Something similar would apply to a three-dimensional work such as a sculpture. This might mean that the registered copy did not exactly match the colours of the original, due to the technical limitations of the reproduction process.

Trade marks are used to signify the origin of the goods or services for which they are registered and so although colour may be an important element (for instance in the case of the soles of shoes made by Christian Laboutin) very often it is the overall design, shape or wording which constitutes the mark. If the mark is just as recognisable in any colour including monochrome then it can still serve the purpose of identifying the origin of the goods or services. It has been acceptable practice to register a black and white drawing of a graphic trade mark with a written description of the colours to be associated with the design, if this is required.

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:22 am
by Faiza
Thank you soo much ...really appreciate the quick and detailed reply :)