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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty sure this has been asked before, but I just barely joined this site, and I have a question that needs to be answered as soon as possible. My boyfriend is starting his own t-shirt printing business in the UK, and he's just setting up a site for it on Myspace. Nothing too special. But he talked to a few shops in London that sold copyrighted images about this, and I'm not sure if he got correct information or not. Each shop told him that he would need to buy the rights to print and sell copyrighted images. However, if he searched images on Google, then he could use them without buying the rights, because Google is free reign and no one could sue him because he got it off Google Images. Is this true? Because my boyfriend doesn't have much money at all, and he figures he'll just use the Google Images and everything will be fine. I'm worried about this though. Anyone have any input that I can tell him??? :confused:
 

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I don't know about UK law...but I think in the USA he would be in violation of someone's rights..just because it is on google does not transfer any rights...example someone puts another's property on googe without permission and I used it...I would still be in violation as the posting individual did not have the right to do so...

after reading the above...not sure I made sense...but in short answer...I don't think your friend got good advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hmm. thanks for responding. I also posted the question in the UK forum, just because it will be happening in the UK, so I'm not sure what kind of laws they have about that. I just don't want him to get sued or anything bad to happen to him. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wait, so here's another question about that. Say my boyfriend didn't put up these images from google for other people to choose and get printed on his t-shirts. What if he just had a "customize" option and other people found images off of google to use? Then is he in violation? Because he's just doing the printing. He didn't choose the image to put on the t-shirt. Someone else did.
Right???
 

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again....don't know about UK...but I think 'due diligence' is required..if the image is one that most people would recognize, I would not print without permission.but if it was an obscure image I doubt he would be in trouble but who knows. I recently had a request from a customer...an insurance agent...to do some polo shirts with the company logo...I would not do it without okay from the corporate office...which they refused...

Right now my own policy is ....if I recognize it, I ask for permission...If I don't I proceed with customers request.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hmm. well, I'll give him that advice. I just want him to be careful and not be sued for something as stupid as not asking for permission. thanks again
 

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However, if he searched images on Google, then he could use them without buying the rights, because Google is free reign and no one could sue him because he got it off Google Images. Is this true?
No, it's dangerously untrue. There isn't even a scrap of truth to it.

What if he just had a "customize" option and other people found images off of google to use? Then is he in violation?
Sadly yes. This is why printers need to be careful - their customers can get them in trouble.

If it became relevant (i.e. if he got sued) it would be up to a court to decide. But to give two hypothetical examples, this is how it would likely go:

1) Customer steals Mickey Mouse image, takes it to printer. Disney sues. Disney is successful against both parties, as printer could reasonably be expected to know this was an unauthorised copy.
2) Customer steals Design #1 from my website, takes it to printer. I sue. I am successful against the customer, but not the printer. The customer was clearly in violation of copyright. The printer couldn't reasonably be expected to be aware of my site, he's not liable.

No guarantees, but that's likely how it would go. Less clear cut examples (e.g. a Threadless design), who knows how a court would decide?
 

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Just go to any Kinkos with a logo or design and see how they scrutinize it. They are just the printer but they need to cover thier own behind.
 

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... not to mention most images you find doing a Google image search are low-res and not print quality.
 

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A lot of people say a lot of things that allow them to justify stealing.

Google may make it seem like images are public domain, but they aren't. Google is a search engine, and EVERYTHING it finds is owned by someone. It is your responsibility to find out who owns it, and pay for it.

R.
 

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A lot of people say a lot of things that allow them to justify stealing.

Google may make it seem like images are public domain, but they aren't. Google is a search engine, and EVERYTHING it finds is owned by someone. It is your responsibility to find out who owns it, and pay for it.

R.
Do a search on google "images" for some type of image. Click on one of the results. At the top of the screen, you'll see that there's a warning that the image may be subject to copyright.

That warning should be enough to put you on notice that copying the image may get you in some type of trouble.

Why not try Wikipedia commons and look for some public domain stuff. It's not the best place, but it's a start.
 

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I think most people realize using these images is wrong. The answer you need is from a Attorney. This will allow you to get a official answer. .... JB
 

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Totally overkill. You don't need an attorney to tell you what can easily be verified with any free legitimate source of copyright information (e.g. copyright.gov, copyright.org.au, etc.). If you have a grey area question lawyers are useful, but for things like this it's a waste of time and money.
 

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Just a quick point i want to interject with..... if i say find photograph on Google image of a motorbike for example, then i trace said image myself and basically turn it into a unique piece.....is that fair game? I mean it would jsut be an outline and a graphic design image and not a photograph anymore?? I'm intriged by this topic...good thread.
 

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if i say find photograph on Google image of a motorbike for example, then i trace said image myself and basically turn it into a unique piece.....is that fair game?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: it is if you don't get caught.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply...well i'm pretty shocked by that... if you look at alot of Art, and particularly reference 'pop' Art, that has always used alot of actual images from our pop culture, look at What Warhol used. If i make a t shirts with James Dean on it i have no choice but to use a picture taken by someone else?? Also why on cafepress is it loaded at the moment with Obama and Mc Caine t shirts? have they all paid to use these images?
 

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well i'm pretty shocked by that...
It's a common reaction from people who didn't do any primary, or even secondary, research before asking a tertiary source. Have a sit down and a warm cup of tea. Catch your breath. Realise we more or less live in a police state, ruled by our corporate overlords. It'll pass.

if you look at alot of Art, and particularly reference 'pop' Art, that has always used alot of actual images from our pop culture, look at What Warhol used.
Most of it's either old, or illegal. The Warhols of today are street artists. Since what they're doing is illegal anyway, copyright isn't a primary concern. Copyright laws have become more and more draconian over the years. The world doesn't stand still.

Also, more and more courts are drawing a line between artists and businesses.

If i make a t shirts with James Dean on it i have no choice but to use a picture taken by someone else??
You also have no choice but to pay royalties to his estate.

Also why on cafepress is it loaded at the moment with Obama and Mc Caine t shirts? have they all paid to use these images?
Because the first amendment trumps the right to publicity (if not copyright law). Until free speech is made illegal, they're fair game.

That and Cafepress is loaded with illegal content that just hasn't been removed yet.
 

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I'm enlightened. Also kinda keen to not let it stop me.... As an Artist /Graphic designer i'd never ever ever ever steal another fellow Artists work and pass it off as my own.....but i'm dammed if i'm not going to use certain existing imagery (race cars, old retro things) to trace around and manipulate into 'Art'.

Cheers for heads up though....
 

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I would say the majority of images found on google fall under "Fair Use".

Those from Stock image sites that are taken by professional photographers that generate income from their photos are not, however.

Also, if you trace and image and vectorize it or manipulate it in any way is said to be "Transformative" and therefore falls under Fair use

Also, it depends on how much of the image as whole you use. For example if I take an image of a Model and crop out her body except one of her hands and use it as part of a graphic I create, then that would be fair use.

Lastly, use your common sense and read up the subject for free. Contacting a lawyer is basically throwing money away, unless you have it and don't mind throwing it away, which I'm guessing you don't.
And if you do contact a lawyer, his advice may or may not be correct. The only person who can decide fair use is a JUDGE.
 
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