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Thread: Photography background template Copyright Infringement??

  1. #1

    Default Photography background template Copyright Infringement??

    I have a question and wanted to see if anyone had any knowledge on the issue.

    I have a business that deals with taking photos for people in public and I was going to create a number of templates of backgrounds for the people to be photoshopped into but I was told it might deal with copyright issue.

    I live in Jacksonville, Fl. So for example, say I had someone come in to take a close up portrait photo and I had a few clean Jacksonville Jaguars logos as template for the background.
    If I was charging the customer money for the photo and rendering, would it then be copyright infringement?

    Also, what if their Registered Trademark was still in the photo, announcing that it was someone's official trademark?

    Does anyone have any knowledge about it?

  2. #2

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    If you use anyone's trademark, there is certainly a risk of trademark infringement. Using a logo in the background for your own commercial purposes in the manner you described would seem to be infringement. Trademark infringement is often not completely black-and-white (which is why there are trademark cases that actually make it to court), but your proposed use would seem to violate the Jacksonville Jaguars trademark.

    As far as copyright goes, if you use someone else's copyrighted image as the background, that too would likely be an infringement. There are exceptions under copyright law for "fair use" so in some cases there might not be infringement. For example, you show a background of a living room and there is a book lying on the coffee table or a painting hanging on the wall. Although the cover of the book and the art on the wall are probably copyrighted works, their inclusion is not the focus of your work and might be OK under the doctrine of fair use. On the other hand, if your background was JUST a copy of the cover of Hunger Games or the famous Andy Warhol Marilyn Diptych, you would likely not be engaging in fair use.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmenard0313 View Post
    I have a question and wanted to see if anyone had any knowledge on the issue.

    I have a business that deals with taking photos for people in public and I was going to create a number of templates of backgrounds for the people to be photoshopped into but I was told it might deal with copyright issue.

    I live in Jacksonville, Fl. So for example, say I had someone come in to take a close up portrait photo and I had a few clean Jacksonville Jaguars logos as template for the background.
    If I was charging the customer money for the photo and rendering, would it then be copyright infringement?

    Also, what if their Registered Trademark was still in the photo, announcing that it was someone's official trademark?

    Does anyone have any knowledge about it?
    The NFL will go after you. They have no problem suing small businesses who use their trademarks and images without permission. They are very serious about it. You can't even use the word "Superbowl". Out of all of the organizations that you do not want to risk messing with, the NFL and Disney are at the top of the list. They have no mercy and they win A LOT.

  4. #4

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    However, if you take landscape photo's as an example, the person that actually took the picture is the copyright holder. It doesn't even have to be your camera. If you are vacationing in London and have someone take a picture of you and your wife, the person who took the picture is the copyright holder.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    The NFL will go after you. They have no problem suing small businesses who use their trademarks and images without permission. They are very serious about it. You can't even use the word "Superbowl". Out of all of the organizations that you do not want to risk messing with, the NFL and Disney are at the top of the list. They have no mercy and they win A LOT.
    That's crazy,...
    I mean, I guess I understand. But I would be doing it for the customer to support their passion for their team. Hmmm. I guess I will have to contact them personally and see what they say about it.. Thanks for the input!

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