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How do these companies get away with it?

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  • How do these companies get away with it?

    My boss has told me stories about printing files supplied by clients, and being sued/served a notice because of its contents.

    It has me thinking, how do companies like Vista print get away with it? They will print anything you send them.
    "I used to wonder what friendship could be, Until you all shared its magic with me." - Jesus Christ

  • #2
    Wild guess: plausible deniability? "We had no idea, never looked..."

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    • #3
      from VP's terms and conditions...
      [QUOTE]You agree to use this Site in a responsible manner that is in full compliance with these Terms of Use and with your local laws and regulations, including export and import regulations. Without limitation, no portion of Content may be utilized as a trademark or service mark, for any pornographic use, for any unlawful purpose or use, to defame any person, to violate any person’s right of privacy or publicity, to infringe upon any copyright, trade name, trademark, service mark or other intellectual property right of any person or entity. You agree that you will not use the Site to produce Products that are offensive, unlawful, harassing, libelous, threatening, harmful, obscene, malicious or otherwise objectionable. VP may terminate its service to customers found to be using VP to engage in undesirable activities.[/QUOTE]

      So if they do print something they're not supposed to, they can blame you for breaking the terms of use.
      Want to know what a true friend is? One who walks in when the world walks out.

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      • #4
        And they have such shite quality.
        "I love deadlines. I love the 'whooshing' sound they make when they go by." - Doug Adams
        LinkedIn

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        • #5
          As far as I know, clients are responsible for supplying legit files. Printing companies don't have time to check the copyright status of every file that comes our way. Yep, we print anything you send us. If you want to play with fire, we ain't stopping you.

          Also, how would we factor in the cost for policing copyrights anyway? The margins are pretty low as it is with cut price printing companies out there undercutting the local printer with gang run jobs.

          If something gets spotted and recognised out there in the wild, it doesn't come back to the printer. It's on the client (or their designer).

          <--pre-press person.
          It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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          • #6
            I used to work at a tshirt company. We didn't check every design that came our way for copyright violation, but we did refuse files all the time if it was something obvious. Like if someone wanted the Red Sox logo on a tshirt. We even had customers send us files with watermarks on them and asked us to edit out the watermarks. We would refuse those files also.

            I don't have that problem where I work now since most of our clients are pretty large companies instead of just some teenager who wants a custom tshirt.
            "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
            -Steve Jobs

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Obsidian86 View Post
              It has me thinking, how do companies like Vista print get away with it?
              Or Zazzle, Cafepress, deviantart and a whole host of other print on demand services. A printer can indeed be held responsible for infringement. Some of the large firms have very deep pockets and retain a staff of attorneys. A mere disclaimer is useless in some cases. Some mighty large screen printers have gone down as a result of it.

              In spite of all that, it's a fact of life that it continues. There's even bootleg merchandise in major stores. It's virtually undetectable from official merchandise, right down to the mandatories and hologram tags. Some store inventory buyers are either ignorant, on the take, or just don't care as long as it keeps the cash flow un-interrupted in this sinking economy.

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              • #8
                @foz: Ah, well past plausible then. Shows how naive I am on business matters.

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                • #9
                  Guess I should have read their terms of services. We have our clients actually sign an return a form which we keep on file when they fill out the tax/resale information. I guess it didn't help much then.

                  We only print for other printing/design companies throughout the United States, so realistically, they should know better than to use copyrighted material.

                  I wonder if I took files to Kinko's and had them print up some McDonalds logos, if they would get in any trouble.
                  "I used to wonder what friendship could be, Until you all shared its magic with me." - Jesus Christ

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                  • #10
                    It doesn't seem like it would be the printers job to police these things. That would be on the end of the creator. The printer is merely there to produce what has been given.

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                    • #11
                      It's up to the printer to at least ask.
                      We have a similar indemnity clause and that'll work up to a point, but if someone goes after the designer for infringement, sometimes they try for the printer too. Especially in cases of obvious infringement. We just happen to have a lawyer on staff.

                      As for Kinkos, no, they don't just print anything you send them. I've taken stuff there that was obviously trademarked and they've refused, even though I had the release paperwork (I think that was a case of an over-zealous employee but they are, or at least were, somewhat careful about what they'd reproduce).

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