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Old 01-12-2010, 07:22 PM   #11
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From the U.S. Copyright Office: Copyright Law of the United States of America
and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code

§ 101. Definitions

A “compilation” is a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship. The term “compilation” includes collective works.

A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.

§ 102. Subject matter of copyright: In general

(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:

(1) literary works;

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

(7) sound recordings; and

(8) architectural works.

(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

§ 103. Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works


(a) The subject matter of copyright as specified by section 102 includes compilations and derivative works, but protection for a work employing preexisting material in which copyright subsists does not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully.

(b) The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work, as distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, and does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection in the preexisting material.

§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

Doctrine of "fair use"

One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the copyright law (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” The doctrine of fair use has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years and has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
2. The nature of the copyrighted work
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.

Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself. It does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.

When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered fair nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.

FL-102, Revised May 2009

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:25 PM   #12
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Basically, what I make and call my labels are compilations of derivative works. It is definitely a gray area because I use no portion of the original works, though most of my images are based on works that may or may not be copyrighted. I did not look into case law or contact any of the copyright attorneys who work in my firm (maybe I should).

For what I am using my labels for, I am confident I fall under fair use. If you were to use them for competitions and more public showings it may be worth looking further into or just using original art or finding free images.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Basically, what I make and call my labels are compilations of derivative works. It is definitely a gray area because I use no portion of the original works, though most of my images are based on works that may or may not be copyrighted. I did not look into case law or contact any of the copyright attorneys who work in my firm (maybe I should).

For what I am using my labels for, I am confident I fall under fair use. If you were to use them for competitions and more public showings it may be worth looking further into or just using original art or finding free images.
Agreed, anything related to home brew labels should be under fair use
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:34 PM   #14
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It all depends on whose copyright you infringe upon. If you draw your own mouse with a round head and two round ears...you might (it's a long shot they'd care about a homebrewer) get someone with lots on money and lawyers mad, and they'd win.

But, as a homebrewer, you're pretty safe. Not many people will come after you unless you are trying to make money off their idea/property.

Personally, I don't use anything that is copyrighted or created by someone else without getting express written consent first (not even implied oral consent is enough for me). But, I'm an intelectual property snob, and a graphic designer who has had my stuff ripped off before.

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #15
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I think this is the final one. I used Powerpoint for text and bitmaps for the image.
Im hoping to be home this weekend and try to use GIMP to do the same thing.

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