Rules for labels?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

MrGneissGuy

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Location
Indiana
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.
 

elkdog

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2007
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
12
Location
Chapel Hill
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.
 

McKBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,186
Reaction score
43
Location
Hayden
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.
 

digunderground

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
74
Reaction score
1
Location
South Florida
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.

-DIG
 

LayMeister

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
320
Reaction score
1
Location
Kitchener, ON
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.

P
 

devaspawn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
937
Reaction score
3
Location
Central VA
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.

:tank:
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,266
Reaction score
25
Location
Brooklyn
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)
 

g_rath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
356
Reaction score
3
Location
Maine, Portland and Beyond.
Just do it. You are never going to run into a problem.
And those books are great and the art work is pretty messed up. You should post them here. I would be interested in how you incorporated it into a beer label.
 

Rick500

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
2,599
Reaction score
21
Location
KY
Please tell me you've worked a "lobstrosity" into your label.

And don't worry about it, put whatever you want on your labels. You're not selling anything and your risk is so close to zero it's not worth worrying about.
 

beerthirty

big beers turn my gears
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
41
Location
Podunk, VA. Not far from the NC line.
Labels, smabels. I don't spend a lot of time looking at the bottle, but I do stare lovingly into the glass. As long as people know its your beer, who cares, they will throw the bottle away anyway( I would send it back to you with one of my brews in it, Hooray for free trade).:D
 
OP
M

MrGneissGuy

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Location
Indiana
Please tell me you've worked a "lobstrosity" into your label.
Alas no. OK, I'll risk it :eek:


Wheat Ale extract with steeped chocolate malt and orange peel. ABV ended up higher than what I originally labeled


Standard IPA. Actually, the "Payle" and western style of this is kind of a shout out to a friend of mine on a gaming forum. Yeah, beer and video games...what a combo.
 
OP
M

MrGneissGuy

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Location
Indiana
Just tested my latest, a smoked vanilla porter, and as it turned out well even with more conditioning time coming, and it's slated to join me at a large Independence Day party, I decided to name and label it.

I call it Plasticine Porter, from the Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The background image is supposed to be the artwork from a four year old that was the inspiration for the song.

The fonts are also subtle, or maybe not so subtle, tributes. I got away from the Dark Tower for this one, but it's still nothing I could ever sell or market without dealing with copyright issues. Oh well...

 
Top