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03-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
For images as well as written work, you can't copyright an idea--only an expression of that idea. So I can do the exact same shoot, but it's considered a different expression of it.
Now you're getting into the murky depths of trademark law... I don't step into those depths. They're murky.

03-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Now you're getting into the murky depths of trademark law... I don't step into those depths. They're murky.
"Looks like sh!t. Smells like sh!t. Tastes like sh!t. It probably IS sh!t. Good thing we didn't step in it!"

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03-09-2010, 08:18 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Now you're getting into the murky depths of trademark law... I don't step into those depths. They're murky.
Trademark law is a little different than copyright law, although they're certainly related. Under trademark law, an image can be protected, even if it is not an exact copy.

For example, I can go out to the western national parks and take a black & white photo of Half Dome and sell it. The estate of Ansel Adams can not sue me for copyright infringement. It may be plagiarism and most would not consider it very creative, but it is not, to my knowledge, illegal. If, however, I reproduce one of his images from a book or print and try to sell that copy, then I've infringed the copyright.

OTOH, I can't make commercial use of a set of golden arches or a red "Coke" sign, even if I created the image myself, entirely from scratch. Those are trademarks.

But, you're right. This is a very deep, murky subject.
03-09-2010, 04:08 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Now you're getting into the murky depths of trademark law... I don't step into those depths. They're murky.
Trademarks have nothing at all to do with copyright law. And what I cited isn't the murky area if the law--it's the letter of the law.

Here's an example for you:

Budweiser (I think it was Bud) had that famous "WASSUP!" campaign a few years ago, with people phoning others and repeating that expression. Well, a telecom company is now using that exact same idea, except using something different than "WASSUP!?"

They lifted the exact idea, but expressed it differently.

Surprised some if you guys aren't aware if this, because it happens in advertising on a daily basis, with thousands of examples. And with all of the evidence in as far as litigation, it's 100% legal in the U.S.

03-09-2010, 04:33 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Trademarks have nothing at all to do with copyright law. And what I cited isn't the murky area if the law--it's the letter of the law.
Actually, trademark and copyright tend to overlap a bit, but you're right they're not the same thing. My point was, what you described (a nerd on a beach surrounded by 10 hot chicks) could in fact be trademarked under the right circumstances, and then it would be a violation to duplicate that scene for your own commercial interests.

Just because you see lots of re-uses of trademarks in TV commercials doesn't mean trademark law doesn't apply.

Being a photographer is full of pitfalls. The #1 law of any country with laws is "Ignorance of the law does not excuse an offender". If you inadvertently take a picture of something that happens to be protected by intellectual property laws (which includes trademark and copyright, among other things), you're in violation and can be prosecuted. End of story. It sucks, but that's the way it is.
03-09-2010, 06:07 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
The #1 law of any country with laws is "Ignorance of the law does not excuse an offender".
This is somewhat off topic, but.....
I'm betting (and my lawyer is somewhat in agreement) that a person might now be able to argue this, at least in Canada on some of the lesser known laws.
I asked my legal guys how many laws were enacted in Canada, and no one in the office was able to tell me, but they figured that to live where I live, including Federal, Provincial, RM and Civic statutes, the number would be somewhat in excess of 20,000.
A person could argue that with this many laws, it is no longer reasonable for a person to know and obey them all.
03-09-2010, 06:12 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
A person could argue that with this many laws, it is no longer reasonable for a person to know and obey them all.
Way to promote chaos and anarchy!

Try using that one when the RIAA brings you to court for copying your own CD to listen on your music player. Did Canada ever pass that dreadful DMCA-like bill they were threatening us with? I forgot to keep track.
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