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  • Customers who send logos from google

    At a printing company that is online based, a customer will send their logo, which will typically match the business name attached to their order and usually even as part of their e-mail address (example: "JohnDoeInc.ai" for "John Doe, Inc" sent from johndoe@johndoeinc.com) - we trust these are sent and the customer has permission to use such files provided (and it's usually obvious that they do).

    Dilemma: Customer sends files that are clearly from Brands of the World or another free source online for a logo for a bigger corporation, the content they want to include implies they work for a business that should own rights to these logos (which means they should be able to reach out to their marketing department, in my opinion) but their e-mail address is personal/not related (example: "chevrolet.jpg" (from "car-logos.50webs.com" for "Average Joe" sent from "averagejoe1985@yahoo.com").

    I am right to ask the customer straightforward that we need them to send files that are approved for proper use from these corporations, yes? Or to ask for proof that they have rights to use these logos?

  • #2
    I'm not a lawyer, and you may be wise to consult one about this, but could you put something in your customer agreement stating that by using your services and agreeing to your terms, the customer attests that any artwork they send you is art that they own the copyright on or that they have full legal permission to use. And if they are using fraudulent art, the responsibility for that falls on them, not you?

    I'm not wording it well, but I assume most printers have some sort of statement that protects them from this exact situation. If you had to take the time to trace back ownership on every piece of art you receive, it would cripple your production time.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #3
      <not a lawyer.

      It's called an indemnity clause.
      Definitely consult a lawyer for the proper wordage.
      It won't stop dishonest people from sending you bad art, but it might CYA in the event of a lawsuit.

      The dumb thing is though, some smaller venues that do have the right to use the corporate logo often don't have the wherewithall to find the corporate assets through the proper channels.
      I'm surprised BOTW still exists in its current form. There's some pretty awful stuff on there purporting to be real logos.

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      • #4
        I think it's a matter of judgement.

        For instance, I work for a newspaper. A lot of the customers I get either do not have logos for the brands they support or the logos they do have are just bad. I will often replace them with vector art I find either by a Google search (which often does turn up Brands of the World) or by visiting the corporate site. Many corporate logos can be obtained by downloading annual reports and using Illustrator to get rid of all the stuff around the logo you need. Other companies have media kits or direct downloads to their logos.

        Generally I don't have an issue with this in the case of say, a plumber or A/C company. These are the products they service or sell. There is a legitimate use to the logo, because if there was not, they would be prevented from selling those products or servicing them to begin with.

        But in other situations it's rather obvious a logo is being misused and at that point I have to speak to a rep. Arbitrarily dropping in a Disney logo for no reason is a pretty big flag. Stuff like that.

        I think it's possible that there could be legal consequences in your case, but I'm not so sure how likely that is. I mean if you've got customers who are some fly by night type of business who really aren't licensed or approved that's probably one thing. But established companies? Selling or servicing established products? Different I think.

        Just my take here.
        Last edited by eyoungren; 08-21-2017, 02:38 PM.
        Erik Youngren • Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
        2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5

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        • #5
          It's not just logos. Text and photos can be a liability as well. Fed-Ex Copy Centers will refuse to make copies of something if it's obvious a person doesn't have permission. For all other things you have to sign off on their Terms and Conditions which has a clause saying you are solely responsible if you are using materials without permission. Walgreens has a policy of not printing photos that appear to be professionally shot, because those would likely be copyrighted. My mom will take some of the family photos I've shot into them and she also has to show them a business card from me as well as a letter on letterhead saying I give her permission to make copies.

          My concern is a client who wants to do a brochure and they give me a photo they shot that has no model releases, and then those people object to being used in the marketing. If I suspect something I will ask the client what kind of release they have and that it may be a liability issue for them if they don't have one.

          This isn't legal advice, but this is a line I use in my contracts:
          "RELEASES: The client shall indemnify graphic designer against all claims and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, due to uses of
          text, graphics and photos supplied by the client for which the client did not obtain valid written releases."

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          • #6
            <Not a lawyer.

            The stock image sites go one further than that, Mojo.
            By license, they not only require you to indemnify them, they also require you to defend them in court should it come to that.
            Here is the iStock standard license indemnification:
              1. Indemnification of iStock by you. You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless iStock and its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and content suppliers, and each of their respective officers, directors and employees from all damages, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable outside legal fees) arising out of or in connection with any breach or alleged breach by you (or anyone acting on your behalf) of any of the terms of this agreement.
            http://www.istockphoto.com/legal/license-agreement

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            • #7
              Thank you, this is all extremely helpful!

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