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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am very new to the t-shirt game. I am trying to start my own company as we speak, and would like a little incite. When printing a design, how do you know if you have to pay royalties? Please help.
 

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Hey Carlyle.

What is it about the design that makes you believe you have to pay royalties? Did someone else create the design? Does it contain trademarked or copyrighted material?

If you can provide more detail, we can provide better answers.

Just questioning. Before I fall in love with any designs.

I have found a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge that I would like to use but, I do not know the Artist name. Would I be better off using my own pics?
 

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I have found a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge that I would like to use but, I do not know the Artist name.
Photographic images, even ones found randomly on the internet, are copyrighted by the photographer. Legally, you would need to get license or permission from the copyright owner to use it. Otherwise it would be considered intellectual property infringement and you could be sued.

Some images are specifically placed in the public domain. If you do a Google or Yahoo search for "public domain images" you should find some resources and perhaps find an image you like that is free to use.

Would I be better off using my own pics?
Most definitely! Any time you can use your own images or original artwork, you should.

In some cases, however, the content of the image or artwork could still be an issue. I do know that the Empire State Building cannot be used without permission. I don't know about the Brooklyn Bridge, so it may be worth looking into before proceeding.
 

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Just to complicate things even a little further. I believe if you take someone's image and modify it by 30% or more it actually then becomes your image. I'm not totally sure of the percentage but at least it gives you the flavor of the concept. However one can never be sure that if the original owner of the art decides to get cranky and sue you for "borrowing" his image that the jury will decide that your modifications were enough
 

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Just to complicate things even a little further. I believe if you take someone's image and modify it by 30% or more it actually then becomes your image. I'm not totally sure of the percentage but at least it gives you the flavor of the concept.
This is not accurate. There is no law that states if you change an image by a certain percentage that it becomes yours.

This was actually just discussed in another recent thread: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/graphics-design-help/t125966.html
 

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Thanks for the clarification. We do all our own 3D designs and renderings for our t-shirts but I have argued with people that it isn't kosher to use other peoples graphics and have been hit with the percentage argument all too often....Now I can ignore that specious argument in the future
 

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Thanks for the clarification. We do all our own 3D designs and renderings for our t-shirts but I have argued with people that it isn't kosher to use other peoples graphics and have been hit with the percentage argument all too often....Now I can ignore that specious argument in the future
...how do you do 3D designs on a tshirt?
Does everyone have to wear special glasses? :)
I find that the 'your honour' argument works well...as in 'I changed it by 30%, your honour'. 'I see it all the time on ebay, your honour'.
 

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What I mean by 3D tshirt designs is that we compose our graphics using 3D models and particle effects, lighting effects etc. Then we render the scene which produces a very high rez 2D psd, jpeg gif etc. That is what we print on the shirt using DTG. All of our designs are original concept illustrations but recently we took on an apprentice and her background is in printing and graphic design. She has a tendency to want to borrow from images she finds on the web and thanks to your wisdom I can now feel confident in saying you must acquire the rights to any little pice of an image you use in your work. Fortunately so far we havent printed any tainted work and now we never will. Our main line designs would probably be very difficult for a traditional silk screener to produce. I know the tshirt is only capable of holding probably 300 dpi but the printer is capable of around 1400 dpi so we use it. The results are fairly good.
 

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What I mean by 3D tshirt designs is that we compose our graphics using 3D models and particle effects, lighting effects etc. Then we render the scene which produces a very high rez 2D psd, jpeg gif etc. That is what we print on the shirt using DTG. All of our designs are original concept illustrations but recently we took on an apprentice and her background is in printing and graphic design. She has a tendency to want to borrow from images she finds on the web and thanks to your wisdom I can now feel confident in saying you must acquire the rights to any little pice of an image you use in your work. Fortunately so far we havent printed any tainted work and now we never will. Our main line designs would probably be very difficult for a traditional silk screener to produce. I know the tshirt is only capable of holding probably 300 dpi but the printer is capable of around 1400 dpi so we use it. The results are fairly good.
Cool, this is very interesting to me because I've used your techniques in making video transitions, title screens, and misc effects for video production never thought about using it for tee shirt art....now I feel like a real dummy! LOL

Could you post a few of you designs when you have the time I'd like to see how they look.

Thanks.
 
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