copying others designs

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mindyf, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. mindyf

    mindyf TPF Noob!

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    a friend of mine found some invitations she liked online and wants me to do them for her on photoshop. I know I can do this for her as a friend and not through my business but my question is when I have a customer that asks me if I can do this kind of thing can I? Can I use something found online for inspiration but not copy it exactly?
     
  2. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

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    i'm sure there is a very fine line there. I just don't know where it is. Sorry. I'd just make sure that I felt like it was still my own.
     
  3. mindyf

    mindyf TPF Noob!

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    Right that is how I feel. I don't ever copy things exactly I always throw my own spin on things. It's just that when I want to do this for someone when I am actually doing business I wasn't sure if this is right, you know what I mean?
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's an ethical question that only you can answer.

    Legally, I'm not sure... That's a question for your attorney.
    My guess though, would be that as long as you're just using it for reference material and doing the actual artwork yourself it would be OK.
     
  5. mindyf

    mindyf TPF Noob!

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    That's what I thought. Wouldn't it be the same as a customer coming to you with a picture they saw like in a magazine or book and said, " I want my picture taken like this one." and you tried to re-create that style?
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think I might have misunderstood your first post... Were you talking about photography, or graphic design?

    Copying a style is a lot different than copying a design. I wouldn't have any ethical issues copying a style. And I'm sure that happens all the time. "I want to look like that!"

    Of course, having your own style would be best. But I think being able to copy other styles well would be a good skill to have too.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The invitations are protected by copyright law just like all other artwork is protected by copyright law.

    You would be commiting copyright infringement to copy exactly.

    Ideas cannot be copyrighted because they don't have a tangeable form, so looking at others designs, images, artwork for inspiration is certainly ethical.
     
  8. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    ... even if you do it as a personal friend. It doesn't have to be a commercial copy to be a copyright violation.

    Using someone else's work as inspiration if acceptable if the final result contains significant new artistic expression. Copying it accurately, even if you use a different medium, is a violation.

    There was a case some years ago when a B&W photograph that Kodak was using as a promotional image for one of their papers was copied by another artist using CorelDRAW. The resulting image was a very accurate drawing replicating the photo, but was in color. The drawing was submitted to Corel's annual contest, won, and was used in Corel's advertising. Kodak and the photographer sued claiming copyright violation and damage to their promotional campaign. The court held that Corel and the artist did violate the copyright and awarded Kodak and the photographer rather massive (7 figure) damages even though the copy was a color drawing and not a B&W photograph.
     

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