Re: Legal framework for consultancy work? (take II)

Subject: Re: Legal framework for consultancy work? (take II)
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 13:01:29 -0600

Geoff,

In the case of a graphic design for an ad, the situation is somewhat
different. There, the concept or idea behind the ad is the product of
the designer's creativity, and would presumably not be something
likely to be hit upon by others.

Normally, a page layout for typography doesn't rise to that
level...largely because it isn't normally considered "art" or a
"creative" endeavor, more of a craft. There is typography used as
graphic design elements for artistic effect (in which the words or
symbols are almost secondary) that would have little trouble being
copyrighted. Also, using type for a logo design, for example, can
become *not* a copyright but a trademark.

(That would be the case for any corporate logo, in fact). It isn't the
use of the type but the distinctive arrangement representing the
company that is considered a protected element.

Thus, you could easily have the identical typographic treatment of a
different word or name that would not necessarily be infringing. The
standard in such cases would be whether the "copycat" is intended to
be intentionally confusing to observers.

Obviously, a page layout would not be a trademark; it would not
normally fall under copyright either--at least, in terms of its
layout. Make it a poster with highly unusual use of the type, though,
and it could easily be copyrighted.

Where the line is between "art" that can be copyrighted and simply
creative layout depends upon the case law--it isn't a hard and fast
distinction.

David
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References:
Legal framework for consultancy work: From: The Documentation Doctor
Legal framework for consultancy work?: From: Geoff Hart
Re: Legal framework for consultancy work?: From: David Neeley
Legal framework for consultancy work? (take II): From: Geoff Hart

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