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Old 07-27-2010, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default I have a possible issue and I need advice...

I put this on another web site for discussion but didn't get much from it so here we go...

I make these collectible jewelry boxes. They are extremely pretty and I've made them as gifts for family members up to this point.

Here's the problem:

A friend of my sister fell in love with her jewelry box and asked if I can make her one but with a design that she likes. Well, she sent me the design and I thought I had seen it before so I went browsing on the net and found it under a free clip art/educational site. She also told my sister that if it turns out nice, she'd like a couple more made that she would also purchase from me. I don't know what she's planning to do with them after that. To make sure I didn't step on any toes, I checked out the copyright notice at the bottom of the was very confusing.

At one point, under the "Terms of Use" it said; "Noncommercial: You may not use this image for any commercial purposes."

But further down the page it said; "Images licensed under GNU License: The GNU Free Documentation License gives users the rights to copy, redistribute and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Copies may also be sold commercially, but if produced in larger quantities (greater than 100) then the original document or source code must be made available to the work's recipient..."

What do I do?!?!

I'm not "commercial" and I wouldn't be making a bunch of them. However, I would be monetarily compensated for my work and expenses. Plus, I wouldn't be selling the black and white line drawing image that's on the web site, I'd be selling a painted version of the image on a wooden box. The lengthy Terms of Use doesn't say anything about reproducing the image onto an object, it was only regarding the image itself.

I'm confused...please help.


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Old 07-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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Is there a way that you can contact the person who designed this? I'm not too sure. You could talk to the person who wants this design and ask what they plan on doing with it.. explain the situation?
I know there's people on here with business and copyright knowledge. I'm sure you'll get some help..
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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You fall into commercial production once you put a price tag on something, be it one or one hundred but aside from that it seems it's all good to go for you to make and sell them with the images she likes from this group. It seems as long as it's not mass produced and your not making millions then they are open to you using it as you see fit .
As for changing the medium from print to paint, for future reference, it doesn't change an abuse of copyright but again it's just a little tip for later *smiles*. If I have a design in glass and then you paint it, your still copying my work. If someone makes something in wood and then someone mimics that pattern into rughooking, then it's still copying and can be an issue.
Can't wait to see the finished product!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default huh...

I did try to contact the web master that posts the image but didn't get a response.

Thank you for the advice, it seems to be a very gray area no matter how you turn it. It's just so confusing that there are two points on the Terms of Use that completely contradict each other. While I've been pouring over the internet trying to figure out a solution, I found another term that threw my original quandary into a more complicated question...Creative Leniency.

Creative Leniency is basically taking a readily available concept, putting your own creative spin on it and carrying on...legally. It's not like I would be changing the Coca Cola symbol into a blue background and passing it off as my own idea. That would be blatant copyright violation.

I'm going to see what other people say and still try and compose a judgment.

Thank you both so much!

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Old 07-27-2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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You will get a gazillion different answers form what ppl THINK u should do. What matters is what the OWNER of that design says. Since their own 'terms' are confusing, I'd just keep tryiing to contact them. Since it does say commercial is fine in small quantities, I would feel ok doing a few if the owner never replies. But thats me.
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