Archive for June, 2012

Images And Copyright

Copyright and trademark issues can get a bit complicated especially when you may want to try and capture or display a memory.  Be it a photograph, a piece of writing, a musical composition, an image, art work or other types of work, the copyright and trademark laws apply.  While there are some exceptions, in general copyright is created the moment something original is created and relates to anything published or unpublished and or used publically or privately.  As such, you don’t need to formally register the piece of work for it to be copyrighted because you as the creator or author already own the rights.  With trademarks you do need to formally register them as it may be a logo, picture or image that the owner has created and wants to protect other people from using it.

The main rights you have when you have copyright and trademark ownership are:

  • The ability to show, broadcast and publish the work including on the internet.
  • Able to reproduce and copy the work.
  • Distribute, sell, lend or charge a fee for use of the work.
  • Able to adapt, perform and communicate the work.

Importantly, the reason we need copyright and trademark law is to protect the rightful owner.  In some cases the owner may have invested vast sums of money to create the work and as the owner, that person must have the rights to control how it is used – whether it through making money through sales, licensing or any other means that the person deems necessary.  If the copyright or trademark owner doesn’t have this protection then it is quite unfair for other people to derive benefit when they don’t have the rights for the use of the work.  Hence, the need for copyright and trademark laws to be enforced.  In addition, if the copyright and trademark laws are breached then punishment, fines and other costs can be significant.

At Etched in Memories we are often asked to copy or reproduce items, images and photographs that are not owned by the person requesting our services.  These images may have been obtained from a magazine, internet or any other printed or digital publication and as such we will not reproduce it.

Should you be able to supply a written form of permission from the holder of copyright/trademark/licence of your desired image (and include contact details of that person) then it may be possible to use your images, pending contact with that person or organisation.

This is a link to our terms and conditions and the main part in relation to copyright is as follows:

13) Etched In Memories® complies with all copyright and reproduction laws.  We reserve the right to refuse any order requesting us to ignore those laws.

· Logos, trademarks and other copyrighted material will only be engraved if they belong to you or you have permission from the company and/or owner of that material. Any request for reproduction should be accompanied by a written letter of permission, including contact details for the company/owner and a sample of the image being approved.

· Alternatively, where an image has been purchased in digital format, please show proof of purchase and any documentation that shows the purchase allows reproduction.

· Some examples of material covered by these laws include (but are not limited to) famous logos (eg Coca-Cola), celebrity images, watermarked images, images found on the internet and images taken by a professional photographer.

· Licenced material will not be engraved under any circumstances.

We do understand it is disappointing, especially when great ideas are presented to suit niche interests or hard to buy for people.  However, to reproduce such material (those carrying copyright, trademark or licence) without permission from the owner is illegal.