Hey guys, I have a bit of an odd question. I’ll try to keep it brief, but I struggle with the balance of too much information vs too little - so I’ll have a TLDR and a more detailed chunk below it.
TLDR: Using a tracing of a copyrighted image is just as/nearly as bad as copying the image outright, correct? If so, any advice for explaining that or working around it if my colleague or the client tries to push the issue?
I’m the in-house designer for a print shop, so most jobs come through one of the sales reps, whether they’re design or print. I got one on my desk the other day where my instructions we basically a clients hand-written notes saying (paraphrased) “I fell in love with this image and want to use it for my logo.”
The picture in question is on a Leanin’ Tree greeting card, with all the appropriate copyright markings on the back - so I immediately stopped because that’s not going to happen. I messaged the guy who took the order in and told him I needed to talk to him, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. It’s a crazy week, so I’m not chalking that up to anything, mind you.
The mental snag I’m hitting is that there is also a “sketch” of what she wants her business cards to look like - it’s on tracing paper and the image is obviously traced off the card. While I’m not 100% certain that’s as bad legally as copying the image with a machine, it still seems like that’s at least art theft if not infringement of copyright, and not something we should present to a client for their logo or business card, even if they specifically requested it.
So if I’m right, that’s a big red stop sign. The other part, though, is this sales person has kind of made a habit of responding “Can’t you just…” when I bring up a problem - and so while I haven’t gotten to talk to him about this specific problem yet, I’m kind of worried I’ll get that kind of approach here, where he’ll ask me to cut a corner I’m not comfortable cutting.
Am I correct, in that both of the options as I understand them are big enough legal no-nos that I should hold my ground on not doing them? And if that’s the case, does anybody have any tips to making sure I communicate that effectively? I’m still the youngest/least experienced person in the shop, so sometimes my concerns get dismissed or downplayed if I don’t do a good job of keeping it clear.