T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Statue of Liberty – Not only is this lady in the public domain, but when cropped just right she forms a perfect letter L.


Hello All,

I read this somewhere and found it interesting.

Is there anything else that is considered public domain and does it mean you can use it in your work and not have lawyers knocking on your door?

I guess you can tell by this question I am new at this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,187 Posts
starprince said:
Is there anything else that is considered public domain and does it mean you can use it in your work and not have lawyers knocking on your door?
Yes. If something is in the public domain you can use it freely for whatever you want.

From the Creative Commons website:

"Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived."

Just make sure that it actually IS in the public domain before you use it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Wait a minute here, some clarification is needed. What kind of things or people does this apply to? I just can start slapping a Porsche 911 on T-shirts and selling them... but technically the model of a 911 is in the public domain. What if it bears no name or symbols?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,187 Posts
error426 said:
Wait a minute here, some clarification is needed. What kind of things or people does this apply to? I just can start slapping a Porsche 911 on T-shirts and selling them... but technically the model of a 911 is in the public domain. What if it bears no name or symbols?
Where does it say that the model of the 911 is in the public domain?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,691 Posts
? I just can start slapping a Porsche 911 on T-shirts and selling them... but technically the model of a 911 is in the public domain.
The porsche 911 is NOT in the public domain.

Some things are and some things aren't. You have to research which ones are before you use it.

A commercial item from a company like Porsche is not going to be public domain.

Some things will be, some others may or may not be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Rodney said:
The porsche 911 is NOT in the public domain.

Some things are and some things aren't. You have to research which ones are before you use it.

A commercial item from a company like Porsche is not going to be public domain.

Some things will be, some others may or may not be.
Besides the Statue of Liberty and political figures I guess, can anyone specifically name something else in public domain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Haha, well this about sums that up. I believe I was thinking of something else...

"Public domain comprises the body of knowledge and innovation (especially creative works such as writing, art, music, and inventions) in relation to which no person or other legal entity can establish or maintain proprietary interests within a particular legal jurisdiction. This body of information and creativity is considered to be part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage, which, in general, anyone may use or exploit, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
starprince said:
Besides the Statue of Liberty and political figures I guess, can anyone specifically name something else in public domain?
Almost all art created before about 1920 (note that there are some exceptions, however).

(you also need to be careful about when it was created - a recent photo of an archaic sculpture is a modern copyrighted work, a recent performance of an old song is a copyrighted work, etc.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Solmu said:
a recent performance of an old song is a copyrighted work
Not sure what you're saying here, Solmu, but the way I read you is that you're contending that there is copyright protection for a recent recording of an old song that has run out of copyright. That's not true. Once a song copyright has expired due to its age, anyone can cover it, and new covers are not copyrightable. Ditto for other art forms.

If you weren't saying what I thought you were saying, maybe you could clarify, because I can't see how else your assertion could be interpreted.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Ross B said:
If you weren't saying what I thought you were saying, maybe you could clarify, because I can't see how else your assertion could be interpreted.
I was saying that, for example, Eric Clapton's recent album of Robert Johnson covers is a copyrighted work, and were someone to burn a copy of Eric Clapton's CD and sell it on eBay they would be breaking the law. The song is not copyrighted, but his own recording of it is. In other words "a recent performance of an old song is a copyrighted work".

Ross B said:
Once a song copyright has expired due to its age, anyone can cover it, and new covers are not copyrightable. Ditto for other art forms.
The photo of a sculpture comment was specifically a reference to Bridgeman vs. Corel, which acknowledges that such a photo would contain "at least the modest amount of originality required for copyright protection". The fact that you can take that photo indicates the copyright status of the sculpture (i.e. it has none), but that doesn't mean the photo falls into the same category.

I brought this up because some people make the mistake of thinking that just because, say, David is out of copyright that all photos of said sculpture are also out of copyright.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,970 Posts
It would have to be *your own picture* of the Statue of Liberty though, or a PD one (of which I know none).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,691 Posts
I brought this up because some people make the mistake of thinking that just because, say, David is out of copyright that all photos of said sculpture are also out of copyright.
This is a good point to bring up.

Although the statue of liberty is public domain, photos that other people take of her are copyrighted to those photographers as their work.

So you'd have to take your own photo of the public domain work for it to be OK to use. Or like Jon suggested, find a stock photo library source like istockphoto.com and purchase a license to use someone elses photo.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that all material produced by the US government is not copyright protected, but obviously with military logos, etc. you have a whole different set of laws (i.e. misrepresentation, impersonating an officer of the army, etc. - treason perhaps ;)) that could also come into play.

Basically copyright is one important aspect of whether or not you can use something, but there can be others. Specifically in the case of military insignia I have no idea what the law is, I'm just aware that there could be some serious laws in place (depending on how protective the government/military is of its emblems).

As an example, misuse of the symbol of the Red Cross could potentially be an international crime (i.e. in breach of the Geneva Convention). You wouldn't have to worry about copyright, but that's not the last word.

So, can you use US military logos? I have no idea, but if it was relevant to me I'd be damn careful about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,187 Posts
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top