Copyright Issue/Exercise

Subject: Copyright Issue/Exercise
From: Rob Miller <Miller_Robert_C -at- 90 -dot- DEERE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996 14:13:23 -0500

John Russell asks about copyright infringement:


> My colleague (he is not a lawyer) argues that this is not copyright
> infringement because what matters is not the fact that it is one
> graphics file from which substantial portions were copied, but rather
> how the information is perceived; that is, it is perceived as text
> and six images (or graphics?). While the formatting of the text is
> similar, the text itself is different--no copyright problem there.
> The six images (graphics?) are different--no copyright problem there.
> I'm safe, even though all of these elements are aspects (pieces) of a
> single graphics file--a single image.

> I, on the other hand, argue that because I copied what I believe is a
> "substantial portion" of the graphic/image (that is, of the single
> file that entails several images), that I may be in the copyright gray
> area.

The fundamental question here is: "substantial similarity." Is your
creation substantially similar to the model that you used? You write
that you copied a substantial portion of the image. Do you mean that
you copied identifiable graphic elements from the existing graphic? You
may be in copyright "trouble" for that specific element.

A good guideline to follow: Don't copy any graphic from someone else.
There is enough freeware and icon tools that no one should need to
borrow someone else's work.

Just my $00.02.

Rob Miller
ou90846 -at- deere -dot- com

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