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Newbie, just wondering if it's legal to take quotes from a book and print them on t-shirts and sell them? Don't know what the law is on that kind of thing, but I would think as long as you are giving the source of the quote also and not just the quote you would be ok. But, I could be wrong, does anybody know for sure?

And similiarly, what if you printed a brand name that you liked on a t-shirt like 'Fender Guitars', would it be legal to sell that, our could the company sue you?
 

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If the quote is copyrighted or trademarked, it would be infringement.

Giving the source of the quote makes it worse. It proves that you are using the person's quote as opposed to just using the quote on it's own merit within your own creative concept. Also, using a person's name without permission is a violation of their right of publicity and they can sue for that as well as IP infringement.

Most popular brand names are trademarked. They can sue if you use it without license or permission.
 

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I have several shirts, from several different sellers that have quotes on them from books. Shakespeare, Dickerson, the Bible... pretty sure none of them have been sued for copyright infringement. Also have some with song lyrics on them. I have also seen some recently with "quotes" from more recent books.
 

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I have several shirts, from several different sellers that have quotes on them from books. Shakespeare, Dickerson, the Bible... pretty sure none of them have been sued for copyright infringement. Also have some with song lyrics on them. I have also seen some recently with "quotes" from more recent books.
I too have seen many shirts with the same as FestiveChicken states above. What is the real deal on this question by the original poster? How can you be sued by people who are no longer with us or from the Bible? And what about quotes that people say in interviews or say in movies, books, magazine articles, etc?

What is the "answer" and where would you find it?:confused:
 

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What is the "answer" and where would you find it?:confused:
The bible cannot be copyrighted so go for it with anything from it.

Other publications it depends and even if the author is dead the copyright is in place for a long long time and belongs to the heirs or the publisher at that point.

In music, a single note cannot be copyrighted but several notes in a specific order to convey a specific melody can. The same with words, words in sentences and phrases can be copyrighted or trademarked.

I would suspect that someone wanting to put words from a book on a shirt would only do so if it was some cliché or other phrase that was readily identifiable as coming from the book. Otherwise, why would anyone want to put it on a shirt in the first place? To ride the popularity and coattails of the original authors work and make a profit off it, that is why.

In copyright the rule of test is if anyone looking at it or reading it automatically thinks of the original work. There is no percent change rule as some believe.

To read, research and make up your own mind about all of this a good resource is BitLaw: A Resource on Technology Law
 

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What is the "answer" and where would you find it?:confused:
There is no one answer that will cover every scenario. It all depends on the specific quote. Certain works are old enough to be in the public domain. Other works continue to be protected for 70 years after the author's death. There are some sites that specify all of this, but I don't have them handy right now.

Just because you see something in the market does not mean it's legal. When you use someone else's work, there is always some element of risk. Maybe you never get caught, maybe it's legal to use, maybe you can use the fair use defense.... It all depends on the specific quote you intend to use.

As a general rule, it's always a good idea to search the trademark database at www.uspto.gov. Trademarks are much stricter than copyright. So if something is trademarked, it's best to respect the owners rights.


ABrandWithNoName.com
 

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The bible cannot be copyrighted so go for it with anything from it.

Other publications it depends and even if the author is dead the copyright is in place for a long long time and belongs to the heirs or the publisher at that point.

In music, a single note cannot be copyrighted but several notes in a specific order to convey a specific melody can. The same with words, words in sentences and phrases can be copyrighted or trademarked.

I would suspect that someone wanting to put words from a book on a shirt would only do so if it was some cliché or other phrase that was readily identifiable as coming from the book. Otherwise, why would anyone want to put it on a shirt in the first place? To ride the popularity and coattails of the original authors work and make a profit off it, that is why.

In copyright the rule of test is if anyone looking at it or reading it automatically thinks of the original work. There is no percent change rule as some believe.

To read, research and make up your own mind about all of this a good resource is BitLaw: A Resource on Technology Law
Roy, Thanks for the link to BitLaw... will check it out. In regards to why someone would want to put words on a T? Maybe it's just to express positive or meaningful quotes to motivate or to get people to think positively about life & daily issues? Don't know if it was original poster's motive, but maybe it's not to ride the coat tails of the original author to make a profit as much as it might be to just spread positive & provoking thoughts? Which I find much needed in today's world & daily lives..... just a thought... not defending copyright infringement.
 

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There is no one answer that will cover every scenario. It all depends on the specific quote. Certain works are old enough to be in the public domain. Other works continue to be protected for 70 years after the author's death. There are some sites that specify all of this, but I don't have them handy right now.

Just because you see something in the market does not mean it's legal. When you use someone else's work, there is always some element of risk. Maybe you never get caught, maybe it's legal to use, maybe you can use the fair use defense.... It all depends on the specific quote you intend to use.

As a general rule, it's always a good idea to search the trademark database at United States Patent and Trademark Office. Trademarks are much stricter than copyright. So if something is trademarked, it's best to respect the owners rights.


ABrandWithNoName.com
Thanks Tim, for your link to trademark as well. I've read several post's now on this matter, and although it is not something I plan on getting into.... I will keep all links for future info and in covering my butt for sure!
 
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