|Delicate issue of copyright Infringement or not|
Is taking a picture of a product on a web page copyright infringement
We are about to become an unauthorized seller of products for a given manufactuer.
The manufacturer does not allow sales of their products on the web. The manufacturer also sells to the public, via there own website; as well as selling to 100's of retail stores. We have found a secondary source for their products at an excelent price.
I know that I can't take their images, make derivative works, or even scan their catalog, without violating copyright.
I am sure they will try to shut us down, so I want to make sure everything is air tight legally.
Their product is very generic. The product is shown with a white background with diffuse lighting; so the product looks very generic.
If we take a picture of the physical product; then we own the copyright; however it will probably look pretty well the same, and they can say we just photoshop any subtle differences. The only way of doing this, is by using real film ather than a digital camera.
Also, if we took a picture of their website showing the product with a film camera; who owns the copyright.
Where is the fine line between copyright and copyright infringement in the digital world?
|If we take a picture of the physical product; then we own the copyright; however it will probably look pretty well the same, and they can say we just photoshop any subtle differences. |
I don't think they can accuse you of this if you retain a copy of the original digital image to prove that you took it. If you take it at a slightly different angle from theirs it should be pretty obvious that it is an original image.
Also, if we took a picture of their website showing the product with a film camera; who owns the copyright. Where is the fine line between copyright and copyright infringement in the digital world?
There is no fine line but there is a very clearly defined line. As soon as someone takes an image of anything then they automatically hold copyright on it. As soon as anyone makes a copy of it then they are automatically guilty of copyright infringement.
Regarding taking a picture of their website, to get the image that is just copying it the same as any other method. It's like if you take a picture of an image in a magazine this is still an infringement.
So to get this right. As long as you photograph a physical object, you are fine (excluding people, military installations, etc; which all get into special rules).
The magazine analogy is interesting. I guess if you took a picture of a whole magazine its a physical object, and it is not copyright infringement.
As soon as you take pictures of images in a magazine, then its copyright infringment.
I don't expect an answer to the following scenario; Im just playing Devil's Advocate.
Now if you have an Art Magazine with a single borderless image per page; but is zoomed out enought that you can tell that its from a magazine; what am I doing, copying the picture illegally; or legally taking a picture of a physical object; in this case the magazine?
If you're taking a picture of an object, you're taking a picture and it's yours. If you're taking a picture of a picture, then you're copying it.
Seems pretty clear to me. You're asking if you can copy someone else's picture. The answer is emphatically no. Take your own picture. Then it's yours.
If you take your pictures yourself then you are fine, you own the copyright and they cant touch you, you should not photo their website, just photo that actual product.
It seems a silly business model to sell a product online when the manufacturer does not want you to - that is the area where they will come after you.
|It seems a silly business model to sell a product online when the manufacturer does not want you to - that is the area where they will come after you. |
Not really, there is a lot less competition; as most people will take no as the final answer.
With me; I have secondary sources; and its an opportunity to create parallel markets; and legally they can't stop me.
What perplexes me is why you would want to take a picture of the object on a website when you could just take the picture of the object itself? Doesn't make sense to me.
Typically they can't stop you. But they can stop whoever is providing you. Normally those folks would have an agreement in place that bans them from feeding suppliers such as yourself. So in creating your business, they put their business in jeopardy.
Not saying it's right, it's just what most of these companies do.
BeeDeeDubbleU: The picture of the product on the website was just a hypothetical question to find the line in the sand on copyright. Of course we would take photos of the actual product, now that we know where the line is.
It's a niche market, and our supplier is willing to take the risk; as they carry hundreds of other brands, and see the reward-risk scenario worth it. We have also developed techniques, to keep ourselves below the radar also.
The manufacturer is going to do a lot of digging to find out the source. We are hoping that they will just give up; or do a re-think.
The manufacturer will soon realize that two websites (his and ours) will increase their bottom line; not damage their sales.
Also we are from Canada, and our laws are more competition friendly.
And if we do crash and burn on this one, we will have six profitable websites to fall back on.