View Full Version : Titles and Copyright?
04-25-2008, 04:03 AM
We've been trying to come up with titles for some print comp images. The question came up today about copyright and print comp titles.
If you use a title of a song or product or advertising slogan for a print comp title, are you violating copyright?
04-25-2008, 05:42 AM
Gosh, I hope not. My recent image I hung was "When I'm 64"
04-25-2008, 10:48 AM
I used "I feel pretty" for an image last year. One of the judges started singing when the print of a pelican came around. The title added to the impact.
04-25-2008, 11:46 AM
Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:
Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded)
Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
04-25-2008, 12:45 PM
good to know!
04-25-2008, 02:26 PM
It says "generally not eligible," but I would feel uncomfortable reusing a title for a creation in the same genre. For instance, I personally would not write a novel about the rise of an Italian crime family and call it "The Godfather."
04-25-2008, 05:29 PM
So, "cabbage patch kid" would be okay?
04-26-2008, 01:16 PM
"cabbage patch kids" may be a registered trademark, being the name of a product line.
I don't know how that fits in and the trademark, patent and copyright website is no help at all--at least the explanation I came found only explained the protections of copyright and patent. My guess is that you'd be safe in using it to name a competition print, but probably not to use as a children's promotion, but I'm not speaking authroitatively here.
If you really want to find out: http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm
04-26-2008, 03:12 PM
My guess is that you'd be safe in using it to name a competition print, but probably not to use as a children's promotion, but I'm not speaking authroitatively here.
As a title of a photograph in a competition, it would not be a trademark violation. However, as the title of a children's promotion--note the word "promotion"--it would definitely be a textbook trademark violation because you'd be "trading" on it.
George Lucas has registered "Star Wars" as a trademark, which doesn't prevent anyone from using it as the title of a work of art far removed from anything having to do with science fiction adventures "long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away."