Questions About Uploading GD Work Online

  1. Is it okay to post album covers that I created and band/movie posters (of real bands/movies)? And is it a good idea to include the band as a hashtag or no (Instagram)?

  2. Is it okay to use a fictional character from my favorite ASMR YT channel as one of my book cover’s authors (because I like the sound of his name)? If it’s okay, should I include the ASMR’s Instagram page in a hashtag? If it’s not okay, am I allowed to use an existing author or make up my own?

  3. For projects that have sponsors on them (ie. band posters), how does that work when uploading the piece online?

If it’s not covered in the forum rules, there’s likely not a problem — at least as far as the forum is concerned. If you want to credit someone or use a hashtag, that’s fine as long as it doesn’t come across as you advertising something. If you’re asking what is best for you to do from an ethical or legal standpoint, that’s for you to decide.

By the way, welcome to the forum.

Hey, sorry for not clarifying. I meant when uploading work on Behance, Instagram, etc. (not on here). Thanks for the feedback!

As far as I am aware, under US copyright law (others may know better, as I am a Brit), there is a caveat of ‘Fair Use’ so if it is something you created, even though the content is not yours, you have the right to use it to promote yourself.

Are you asking whether or not these things you’re proposing will be legal? Are these works you want to upload to Behance real projects for real clients? It sounds like they’re just personal projects. So assuming that’s the case…

There aren’t often attorneys who answer questions on this forum. I’m certainly not an attorney, so take anything I write about this with a grain of salt.

U.S. copyright laws are murky at best. Fair use is permissible, but what constitutes fair use is debatable.

If you are the employee of a company, the copyright on what you create as an employee belongs to the employer. If you are hired by a client, the copyright belongs to you unless you specifically transfer the copyright to the client — otherwise they’re only buying usage rights to your copyrighted creation. If you create something for yourself, you, of course own the copyright.

However…

If you create something and parts of what you create involve the appropriation of things owned by someone else, unless you have their written permission, you open yourself up to litigation since it could be argued that your creation infringes upon their copyright or intellectual property. Typically, this only becomes a problem if what you create is done for commercial purposes. For example, if you draw a piece of fan art based on a scene from your favorite movie then place it online, it’s probably a fair use situation since there’s no commercial intent. If, however, you offered prints of that artwork for sale, you could be sued for commercially exploiting their copyrighted materials.

I don’t think including or not including hashtags will make any legal difference, if that’s what you’re asking.

Lots of people tend to look at copyright issues as though they’re the final word on whether or not what they’re doing is OK or free of risk. This is an iffy way to look at things. For example, you can post things online that are perfectly legal but aren’t ethically OK to do. These kinds of things can, legal or not, come back to bite you in the butt. You can also post something online that you’re certain falls well within fair use. A judge might even agree with you, but really, are you prepared to go up against Sony Pictures’ fleet of attorneys in court in the event of them sending you a cease and desist letter? It’s usually best to weigh the risks vs. benefits and act accordingly.

Here’s a link to more information on copyrights for graphic designers from AIGA: https://www.aiga.org/copyright-basics-for-graphic-designers

Correct, I’m referring to faux projects of mine that I plan on uploading to Instagram, Behance, etc.

I do not intend to use the companies logos (or anything else from them) for commercial gain.

I simply want to place sponsors on my band posters to make them look more believable, and I’m wondering if that is safe and ethically okay to do?

Placing sponsors on your band posters would be an ethical breach.
It implies that you have contact with those companies and it implies they endorse your work.

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