Photo of logo/signage that is trademarked

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by latazyo, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    Is it illegal to sell a photo of a sign or logo that is assumed (I don't actually know, but I would assume) trademarked or copyrighted?

    my exact question pertains to me photographing a portion of my school's logo/seal on campus
     
  2. Logos

    Copyright laws do not come into play for logos, that is handled under the trademark laws.

    I have been involved with some company trademark 'issues' at work and from all that I have been told. You usually have to acquire a license to use a company's logo. Just taking a picture of the logo, I would think, is not considered 'usage' of the logo. Should you make money from the sale of the picture of the logo, then you probably step into the real of 'use' of that logo.

    Unless you mass market the item and make a large amount of money, I doubt anyone will come looking for you.

    If it is not trademarked, I think you are free to pillage and burn.

    Don


     
  3. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    it is one portion of the logo, not even the entire thing, maybe 10% of the logo
     
  4. Mass production would be trademark infringement, but my understanding is limited "artistic" use would be allowable. There is a big gray area here that will probably get about as many opinions as attorneys that could get involved. :) 
     
  5. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    well, it IS my school, so I could just ask them first

    it is a pretty small school, haha
     
  6. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Is it clear from the small portion you used just exactly what it is and what school it represents? I'm not an attorney, but I think if it is not identifiable then you might be in the clear. Is this a school that receives public funding or is it a private school? If public, then there may be no trademark issues since technically the logo would "belong to the public". If someone at the school can't answer your question, you might contact the Photo Attorney Carolyn Wright - www.PhotoAttorney.com. She is a photographer and an attorney. She would be able to answer your question with some authority.
     
  7. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    thanks Walter

    it is a private school

    this is the image that I produced
    chiropractic.
     
  8. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Of course you can. The sign is viewable from a public place, no? Take the photo, sell it. I was just reading something last week or so about a photographer who took photos of advertisements and sold them as his own.

    He got sued and he won.
     
  9. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    the campus is private if that counts for anything
     
  10. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Is the subject of the photo visible from a public area? Do you have a reasonable right to be on the property? Are there any signs or known rules prohibiting photography? Is the art you intend to sell in any way competing with business or revenue from the owners of the sign?
     
  11. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    Is the subject of the photo visible from a public area?
    No

    Do you have a reasonable right to be on the property?
    Yes, my tuition paid for that sign, haha

    Are there any signs or known rules prohibiting photography?
    nope

    Is the art you intend to sell in any way competing with business or revenue from the owners of the sign?
    nope, its a student organization that wants the photo for their office on campus
     
  12. wbeem

    wbeem

    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Sell the photo and smile when the money comes.
     
  13. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    I agree. Make the sale and rest well. No issues, especially since it is a student organization on campus.
     
  14. latazyo

    latazyo

    Apr 23, 2008
    STL
    thanks for helping out with the thread guys
     
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