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Old 08-14-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
MrGneissGuy
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Default Rules for labels?

Up until recently, I didn't make labels for my home brew. I typically only had one batch at a time, so there wasn't an issue with identifying which was which. But I did come up with a name and a couple of label ideas for a dark wheat and an IPA. My question is, the images I got are actually art work I found on the web, which I'm assuming are copyrighted. I have no intention of marketing or selling this stuff, it's just for personal use (and for friends and family).

Are there issues with using an image like that if I'm not selling? The images are artwork created for the Steven King Dark Tower series of books, and work great with the beers.

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:38 PM   #2
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This will be no help with your real question, but I use the little stickers that people mark prices with at garage sales to label the caps of my beers. I only make labels for beers that I'm giving away.

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Technically you would be in violation of copyright laws. Realistically, unless you have a disgruntled family member out to get you, you probably are not going to run into any issues.

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Technically you would be in violation of copyright laws.
I probably shouldn't display them on here then, huh?
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
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Take a look through the label threads. You'll see plenty that use images from very recognizable sources.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:45 PM   #6
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I would be more worried about the ATF or whoever being mad for you giving away your brew. I think even giving it away is a violation in most states, unless it is an organized event. Im not saying this to scare you, just to say I think its the least of the potential problems. I just don't see someone catching you and telling the original artist his work has been "stolen". Finally,unauthorized usage of copyrighted work is usually only perseued if the violator has made money off the usage.

either way, it is nice to make it all yourself, just like your brew.

I'm a multimedia designer and manager , and have dealt with plenty of multimedia copyright issues.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGneissGuy View Post
Are there issues with using an image like that if I'm not selling? The images are artwork created for the Steven King Dark Tower series of books, and work great with the beers.
This is where Copyright law is really f****d up. If you violate a copyright, which you will be, you are subject to statutory damages for each infringement. In this case it would be $750 to $30,000 per work (bottle). Since you now are aware of the infringement and potential damages (Don't read this post), the infringement becomes willful and the maximum is raised to $150,000 per work (bottle). If you had just pretended that you didn't think it was infringement, then damages would have been $200 per work (bottle).

Copyright damages have no relationship to the actual money damages you caused. This probably would have been $0 since you aren't selling anything that the copyright holder could have sold instead. Since most copyright infringement is related to "individuals" (e.g. Napster, Kids, Single Parents etc.) instead of "corporations" there is little pressure to change this.

On the other hand, you don't violate a patent if you don't sell anything based on the patent and patent damages are either real money damages (none in your case) or triple damages if willful. Most Courts limit damages to a few percent of the product price. Of course few individuals are involved in patent infringement. It is limited more to corporations and hence has more Lobby power behind it.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #8
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Just use the images and deny that you did it if anyone in authority asks. It's unlikely that you will ever run into this problem.

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Old 08-14-2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by devaspawn View Post
Just use the images and deny that you did it if anyone in authority asks. It's unlikely that you will ever run into this problem.

Bump! Meant to add this to my previous post.

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Old 08-14-2008, 11:10 PM   #10
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Don't forget though: companies only care about the bottom line. No one will try and take you to court for an amount of money unless it is large enough to make-up for the PR hit they will take for going after a nobody (no offense). No smart corporation will try and get a couple grand out of some random guy because it will almost always mean bad publicity and a drop in sales due to fallout. (of course there is always an exception, just look at the RIAA, who don't care how much business they ruin as long as the little man is taught his lesson)

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