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I really don't think this would be copyright infringement, but I maybe made the mistake of talking with the company and they wanted me to write a business proposal to use their material. I don't want to use their material, though their material inspired a shirt idea.


Below is a poster made by Voice of the Martyrs. It looks at the places on earth where Christians are being persecuted. On others they use the tagline "Pray for the Persecuted"

That said, other organizations have made almost identical maps before. It is all public information. The term "pray for the persecuted" I think is pretty darn generic. My idea for a Christian shirt was the map on the back (one that I made myself) and then the statement "Pray for the persecuted" on the front. As far as I can tell, neither the map nor the phrase are trademarked. I really don't want to step on these guys' toes, since I really respect their ministry, but at the same time, I think I am in my full right to make this shirt.

Thoughts???
 

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Since you're generating your own art work, and I'm not sure you can copyright the planet. I'd make sure the phrase isn't trademarked. Following that, I believe you'd be good to go. The only thing I'd caution is since they're non-profit the could raise a stink in the media which could possibly look bad for you. Is there another phrase you could use, or maybe a bible passage for the front?
 

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The map can't be copyrighted. The concept of showing hostile areas can't be copyrighted either. So the only real issue here is the phrase "pray for the persecuted," which could be trademarked (depending on how and where they use it). So do some research on registered trademarks and common law trademarks. Or better yet, ask a local IP attorney for a few minutes of their time to ask a few questions.

But keep in mind... Any time you use something that is already being used, there is always some level of risk. And now that you have contacted the other party, you are on their radar. Even if they have no legal leg to stand on, they can still tie you up in legal proceedings. You may win in court, but you may have to pay legal fees to get there.

All that said... Unless they have a trademark on the phrase, it would be frivolous of them to take any legal action. There is no copyright infringement in regards to the use of the map.
 

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I am not a lawyer, and my understanding of the law is... well... minimal at best.

I know someone who has dealt with Patent issues.. He (A) designed something that didn't violate another companies (B) patent. It was a different way to get the same thing. Company (B) while their patents were not actually violated, they felt they were. So they filed a lawsuit on (A). Just trying to secure the correct lawyers in the correct state put him completely out of business. He could not afford to fight the case, even though he likely would have won. Since his business was based in a state on the other side of the country. (B) Filed the lawsuit in their state, and the way the law system works he would have to hire a lawyer in the state that the suit was filed. SO while they may not legally have a leg to stand on... they could very easily drive you out of business just by making you fight a case. It costs next to nothing to file a lawsuit compared to defending against one.

Now, this may be apples to oranges, but it is something to think about. Not to be a Debbie Downer on my first post here.. but one of the best pieces of advice I have been given in my life is CYA... Cover Your Assets.
 
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