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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Copyright issues
Using scanned scrap book paper

 9:27 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone,

I am putting together a website for a company that creates their own thank you cards.

Over the weekend I happened to pick up a stack of cool scrap booking paper and I had my !eureka! moment for the design.

So I was wondering if scanning in a piece of the paper and using it as a background on my site would be violating any copyright laws.

The paper of course is copyrighted, but I'm thinking maybe you can't use it to create and sell other paper...

I know you can use the paper to make things that you are going to sell...so why not a website?

Thanks in advance for any insight!



 10:06 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

The paper purchased for a specific function (ie, PRINTING) is to be used for that purpose. An ELECTRONIC version of that paper is copyright infringement. I wouldn't do it.

I think you already knew the answer. :)


 10:30 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Everyone hates this sentiment, but in your case I would say it is easier to beg forgiveness then ask for permission.

Only a judge can decide if it infringes or not. The question I would ask is......

Is the use case you are describing going to result in any legal action.... My best guess is no


 1:57 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wow! Tangor and Demaestro's comments are a representation of the warring theories in my head!

After reading both of these comments, I think maybe using the image as "inspiration" and altering it enough so that it isn't the exact same as the paper itself might be the way to go.

I wouldn't have thought twice about it if it wasn't for the Obama Hope poster drama...but then again, I'm not a national designer and I'm not using an AP image, or anything of that nature.



 2:04 pm on Mar 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Demaestro is correct that most likely nothing will happen. I tend to error on the side of caution. A DCMA sent to your host is sufficient to shut you down... they don't have to warn you in these cases.

Nothing wrong with the inspiration part! Heck, I wake up each day, step out into the world, and find inspriation all around. Then do my own workup of same.

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