View Full Version : Infringement Rights - Legal Question

06-06-2003, 01:29 AM
Please only answer this question if you really know the answer...

If I model an excisting product from a company (lets say Braun), and I would put it on my website to show my potential customers what we can do, are we braking any laws? Would the company be able to go after us if we DON'T make negative remarks about the product.



06-06-2003, 05:31 AM
What I do know is that you should put it in writing in the initial contract is that the work you do for them, you may use for advertising purposes to show other potential clients your work.

06-06-2003, 08:32 AM
Actually, if you are making a 3d model of a product and that product has a copyrighted logo on it, and you are using that logo in your model, you are breaking copyright...

In today's world it's hard not to model much of anything without breaking copyright, but it can be done, and should be to avoid lawsuits.

Home Blueprints are copyrighted most of the time, so if you make an exact 3d duplicate of your house, it may be possible that you are breaking a copyright law... of course most of the time, it's hard for the original copyright owner to track you down, but not impossible... and most of the time, they don't care too much as long as you are not being recognized too much as a creative first for the copy or are not making money for the copy, but according to copyright laws, they could easily sue you if they can prove that you are copying without permission or with the sole purpose of educational reason (even if it is for educational purposes and you are not in school they can still sue you).

Copyright laws are funky sometimes...

In one case I read about a few weeks ago, somebody made a copy of a picture of an ancient architecture. The ancient architecture was of course, in public domain, but the picture that was scanned or photographed or whatever was not, so the original copyright holder of the photo sued the people that took the picture of the picture and lost the lawsuit because the people that took the picture of the picture proved to the court that their intention was to just copy the image of the ancient architecture, but had they not been able to prove that they would have lost the case because they did in fact copy a copyrighted image...

One thing that I think that is somewhat funny is that it's illegal to copy an image without the consent of the original artwork holder (as long as it's still not in public domain yet) but there is original artwork all over the net, and in order to view it your browser actually has to make a copy of the image to store in your cache... so technically doesn't that make all web browsers illegal?!?!

Here's a link for some more info: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=COPYRIGHT

06-06-2003, 09:38 AM
Hi John

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. Short of contacting the company's lawyers in advance and asking them what they will allow, and then letting them approve a copy of the image before you post it, you won't know for certain until they sue you.

And be careful, what one company finds acceptable, another one may not. I've worked with companies in the UK who will sue if you publish anything that incorporates any of their logos, and if you do anything funky with the logo then they will really get unhappy. And I know of a couple of companies in the UK who will sue if you even mention you worked for them. It all depends on how paranoid they are about their brand, and their perception of what you're doing to it.

I've found that the best way forward is to keep a low profile, and to do that I'd suggest you avoid:

- defaming or criticising the company or their products - or even doing a comparison of them with the competition

- changing or manipulating their logo in any way

- using images of their product in any overtly political, pornographic or any other manner that could be interpreted as being offensive

- claiming anything (other than the visualisation) for yourself - ie don't claim that you designed the product

- representing that you have any authorisation to produce images on behalf of the customer or are in some way associated with the customer

- making money from selling images or animations that include their products or logos

- doing a crappy image of their product, which they might view as damaging to their brand

So on that basis, producing a high quality image of one of their products for inclusion in your gallery to show what you're capable of should be okay, but you really never can tell. A safer bet might be to replicate the product but remove the brand name, or replace it with a fictional name.


06-06-2003, 10:27 AM
Thanks so much guy's!

This was really helpful. Ofcourse not what I wanted to hear... Too bad there are so many lawsuits.

I will try to follow all these rules and not get suit. However, if I don't write for a long time in this forum, I might be in jail. Could you bail me out?

Thanks again for all the info!