Fair Use & Infringement
So let's just talk about fair use real quick and when it's not infringement and this will help use to understand how you can use other people's work in your designs as well so what the hell is very used under the fair use doctrine? Other people can actually use your illustrations or artwork and likewise you can use other people people's illustrations and other copyrighted materials on lee in very specific circumstances so for purposes such as criticism commentary, news reporting teaching like in classroom used scholarship or research in those categories you can actually be using other people's copyright and it's considered a fair use and not infringement so let me give you an example of that sort of illustrated so someone might be teaching like a design class you know so let's say they're teaching a class on design what's good design what's bad design they might take you know a picture of one of your designs and show it in the class and say here's a great example of great design create...
d by this particular designer that's a fair use most likely ok most likely that's not copyright infringement because they're not trying tio claim ownership they're not trying to prevent you from generating revenue from it s o most likely it's going to be something that's considered a fair use however, if they took the illustration and sort of traced over it and use those tracings as like you know their own and tried to pass off the work is their own and tried to use the work and a bunch of different ways and made a hole course all about just your work without permission that's more likely to be something that would beacon is that our copyright infringement and not fair use so that shows you the examples I mean it's really a nuanced thing it's very fact specific and the only way to know for sure whether something is fairies or not is to go to court. Unfortunately, these are the factors that a court will use to determine whether someone whether a uses fair use or not so let's look at some of the things they look at the purpose and character of the use the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the stolen portions. For example, if I if I wrote a book review on my block of gone girl most likely if I you know take a quote here and there and just talk a little bit about the book that's probably not going to consider copyright infringement that's fair use. However, if I take the whole last chapter and throat on my blogged and, you know, create a spoiler alert until everyone what happens in the end then that is probably creating a situation where maybe the author is not getting paid because people do choose not to purchase the work sorry purchased the book s o that's going to be more likely to not be fair used in more like copyright infringement. So, like I said, very fact specific and of course, the last one is the most important one to consider the effect of the use upon the potential market or the value of the work. So if you're diminishing the value by using that work in some way, or if you're preventing the creator from generating revenue from it, then most likely it's not going to be considered fair use. Ok, so just now you have a basic understanding of it. We don't want to rely on this alone, so when you are creating, you know, websites and creating your designs, if you want to incorporate other artistswork and other creators work, then always get permission if it all possible, just approached them, email them, you know, call them and ask them for permission. You'd be surprised how often people are willing to give you permission, especially if you give them credit. So you just let them know, you know, I'm not going to pass off your work is my own. I'm going to make it clear, you know? You know, a lot of photographers, for example, will say, yeah, use, you know, this set of photos freely just make sure that you give me credit you know so that would be an example where you can use the work but just in sort of limited ways the way that the creator says so just be very careful about infringing on other people's work in your designs as well and I would say as a general rule do not rely on ferries alone if it's possible get permission ok always always seek permission you'll be better off that way so that you don't get a nasty cease and desist or get slapped with a lawsuit for copyright infringement and you know these are your fellow artists and creators right? So you want to respect their work because you want people to respect your work as well. So now you have a ton of information about intellectual property in your design business you know exactly the steps that you need to take to protect your intellectual property you have an understanding of why you need a solid contract with your clients why you need a solid contract with all of your independent contractors why it's important to register the copyright for your work and you understand exactly the steps you should take if someone is infringing on your work is very important to police your work so I'm really glad that you joined me for this class today and let's just close by checking out this quote from andy warhol that I love being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art making. Money is art, and working is our and good business is the best art and so that's. What I want you to think about just because you're an artist doesn't mean that you're not a good businesswoman or a good businessman. You, khun b both okay. Running your business is a form of art as well. So think of it that way. Make sure that you're always taking steps to protect your intellectual property and make sure that you think about your intellectual property every time you're making a business decision. Thank you so much for joining me.
Your designs are just that – yours. Do you have the legal knowledge and skill to protect your intellectual property, copyright, and trademarks?
Join Rachel Rodgers for a deep dive into the intellectual property concepts every designer should know. You’ll learn about properly copyrighting your work, creating client service agreements, preventing infringement, and much more.
No matter what kind of design you do, you’ll leave this class equipped and inspired to protect your unique work.