Making my own Greeting Cards ..

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
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15ian20
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Making my own Greeting Cards ..

Post by 15ian20 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:02 am

Hi there, new to the forum, hoping you can help me with the following questions, I'm struggling to find specific answers anywhere.

I'm thinking about setting up my own hand made card business, nothing too big, just selling locally and via twitter/facebook - I was thinking of making cards in the following 4 ways, but I'm not sure on the copyright issues on any.

1) on the front of the card use a picture I've cut out from magazines over the past 15 years - none of which have the © symbol on there.


2) use pictures I've taken from old books, even though the pictures don't have © on them, the whole book does ?


3) As above, but use a collage of pictures from magazines/books


4) Use pictures that I've "googled", I'm sure this can't be legal - but how do I know which I can use and which I can't, and how do I ask for permission?


thanks in advance for your help

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:40 pm

Hi Ian,
If you are using the original pictures physically cut from magazines and old books, and not copying them in any way, then it is unlikely that this is infringement, because there is no copying, just re-use. This is covered by a doctrine called exhaustion of rights, and it is much the same principle which allows you to destroy, sell or give away old magazines or books you own without the copyright owner having any ability to prevent you.

Collages made from similar sources in a similar manner should be OK, but since this technique involves cropping an image and juxtaposing it with others, there could be a slight problem if the author/photographer of the original image claimed that his moral rights had been infringed due to derogatory treatment of his work.

The last activity - taking images found on the internet - most certainly would be infringement because in order to make such images suitable for use on your cards, you would need to print them which of course is making a copy of the original.

You mention that some images have no copyright markings. This doesn't make any difference. There is no legal requirement for copyright notices, although it helps to alert people which is why it is done in books, magazines and or on a variety of items such as music CDs, DVDs etc. Copyright exists for the lifetime of the author or photographer plus 70 years, so any relatively modern image (say one created during the last hundred years) is likely to be in copyright.
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

15ian20
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Post by 15ian20 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:47 pm

Hi Andy,

Thanks so much for your detailed and quick reply.

Looks like I might be able to give it a go

Cheers
Ian

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