Copyright protects a person’s intellectual property rights, specifically from unauthorized use. A work’s owner has exclusive rights to copy and reuse content for financial gain. At the same time, the law bars anyone else from copying or using someone’s work without permission. It can be challenging to know what you can use, for instance, when ordering screen prints for t-shirts or promotional products. This article contains the best tips to guide you.
Here is all you need to know.
1. Understand What Copyright Laws Protect
As mentioned, many people don’t know what copyright protects. Although these laws can be confusing, there are severe repercussions of breaking them. There’re apparent things that you shouldn’t print on t-shirts, such as logos, books, and characters from television shows or movies.
But there’s more that copyright laws protect. For instance, you cannot print celebrity images or brand slogans. The list also includes pictures taken by someone else and anything that suggests a character or brand. Copyright infringement goes further to protect altered yet recognizable information or photos.
2. Ensure That You Verify Your Image Sources
Images can be the trickiest when it comes to copyright. It would be best if you think very carefully before using an image for screen printing. Most of the time, screen printers get in trouble for reproducing protected images. That makes verification an essential exercise.
As a customer, most screen printers will want to know your image source. Lying will get you in trouble, as most screen printers will give you a form to sign that you have the image’s rights. Signing it means that the screen printer has legal protection while you don’t have any.
3. Remember, Internet Content Has Default Protection.
Downloading internet content and reusing it may seem like an easy thing to do. It would be best to remember that anything you read, watch, or download from an online source has protection. Of course, the internet doesn’t produce content itself; there are people responsible for everything on it.
That means you should refrain from using any internet materials by default. Seek permission from the website owner or content creator to ensure they don’t report you for infringement. Remember, you’ll be breaking the law whether you benefit from it financially or not.
4. Understand Licensing Agreements
You can obtain a license to use any copyrighted images or writings, but that doesn’t give you lifetime access to the property. This makes it necessary to know the limitations. Licensing agreements state a period or number of times you can use someone else’s content.
You should check how many times the license allows you to reproduce the content or for how long. Another thing to remember is that even though you can use the property, you shouldn’t alter it in any way. Failure to stick within these limitations can also lead to legal action. When in doubt, always read through any licensing agreement carefully.
Many people overlook copyright issues when ordering custom t-shirts and other products from screen printing companies. But then, as mentioned earlier, the consequences of that can be severe. It is your responsibility to ensure that you don’t use anyone’s work if it infringes on their intellectual property rights.
Even with authorized access, you should operate within the law. Check the limitations of license agreements and be sure you’re on the right track. Use the tips mentioned above to avoid breaking intellectual property laws and having your orders rejected.