Photo of logo/signage that is trademarked

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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
 
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Chester, Virginia, USA
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


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
 
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it is one portion of the logo, not even the entire thing, maybe 10% of the logo
 
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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. :)
 
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well, it IS my school, so I could just ask them first

it is a pretty small school, haha
 
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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.
 
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thanks Walter

it is a private school

this is the image that I produced
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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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.
 
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the campus is private if that counts for anything
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?
 
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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
 
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