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Author Topic: Where's Johnny Cash  (Read 4803 times)
HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2009, 03:04:26 PM »

Sean is right on the mark about copyright law here folks.  I used to have a specialty printing business and we had to be very careful when somebody brought us an obviously professional piece of artwork and wanted it printed onto something.  I had several customers take the project elsewhere and somebody else would do it.  But I was still much more comfortable that we had declined it.

As always, folks often "can" get away with it.  You can also drive 85mph down a 65mph highway 364 days in one year and get busted on the 365th day.  The ticket will still stand and still take just as big a bite out of the wallet.  When you do have to answer for such an infringement, if the copyright owner chooses to go easy, they may only require destruction of the infringing artwork - a new paint job to cover it.  But if they choose to, they can pursue substantial damages from both the person commissioning the copy job and the person(s) that actually did it.

The Cash family may consider it flattery, but as Sean pointed out, they may not be the ones owning the copyright.  That could be a "starving artist" tired of people copying his work without him getting royalties.  In which case you can guess how that would go.

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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2009, 03:18:40 PM »

Whats so "special" about Johnny Cash's bus paint job .There doen't appear to be any graphics an artist would do. Looks pretty plain consisting of a few different color stripes.

If that is copyrightable then anyone who paints anything may be in trouble.

Fred. M
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JackConrad
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2009, 03:25:20 PM »

    Just curious, do you have to file some kind of paperwork with some gov'ment agency to make a copyright "official" or it an automatice thing?  If it is automatic, does that means that anything I write cannot be reproduced without my permission (such as using the "quote button" on this BB)?  If someone decided to paint their bus using the same design that I used on my bus (I have no idea who would want to), I could sue them?  Somehow this just doesn't seem reasonable.  
     I recall a musician telling me years ago that up to a certain number of bars of a song (I don't remember the number) could be used without infringing on the copyright.   I also recall a professional photographer telling me that if he signed a photo he took, it could not be reproduced (legally), but unsigned photos could be legally reproduced.  Jack
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 03:28:26 PM by JackConrad » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2009, 03:46:11 PM »

None of this makes any sense to me you are not copying a book,song or a painting on canvas but painting a bus look at the murals on some of these rigs.   Sean's bus was painted by 2 different people who owns the rights to it Mike ,John or Sean it would be like buying a new car and sue because somebody had the same paint job.
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 04:40:19 PM »

Not trying to get a you know what contest going here...however...I took it as Sean providing good and true information to a question posted.  Now the person asking the question probably never thought about the copywrite part of it...now he knows and can do as he pleases.  Had he gone on and done it...then got busted by the 'copywrite police' it would not be pretty. 
I worked for John Deere...they have a bunch of folks that go around to flea markets, and such looking for this type infringement...and they prosecute!
If you want to talk about copywrite problems look up George Harrison's fight about "My Sweet Lord"!  Cost him tons in lawyers and he lost the case which cost tons more!
I have lots of friends with patents and copywrites...most will defend them to the max!
My two cents.
Jack
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Van
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« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2009, 05:01:36 PM »

I'm still not buying into it,no one has the patent for a straight line or even a simple curly cue incorporated into a paint scheme.This is all absurd to think I could not paint my bus or any other vehicle the same colors with the same pattern as any one Else's, so long as what was achieved is not being represented as the original artists work.This whole notion of legal doom and gloom because I used the same colors and strips is ridiculous .Mommy,Mommy ,johnny next door has a bicycle like mine (sobbing)make him get rid of it ,I want to be the only one on the block that has that color (sobbing).Should some one come to me and tell me to remove my paint from my bus cause it looks similar to their colors,then you are right there Sean ,It will most likely end up in court but not for the reasons you stated.LMAO ,again.


   Van  
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2009, 05:14:30 PM »

To set the record straight,I do agree with the copy right infringement aspect of your statement,Sean ,no argument there.Nothing but good info here,If the individual was uninformed as to the legality of copy right violations,I'm sure they are now.Have a great evening,Ya'll

        Van
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2009, 05:27:23 PM »

Which bus are you talking about, he had one with a signature worked into the swirl, that one is definently copywrited, he had the same pattern on his stationary but that is the only one that i remember that was unique in any way.
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Sean
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2009, 05:31:31 PM »

... do you have to file some kind of paperwork with some gov'ment agency to make a copyright "official" or it an automatice thing?


It is automatic, as soon as the work is created in "tangible" form.  This question, and many others, are answered on the U.S. government's copyright web site: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork


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 If it is automatic, does that means that anything I write cannot be reproduced without my permission (such as using the "quote button" on this BB)?


Yes... "but."  There is a doctrine called "fair use" which allows for things like the "quote" button.  You are permitted to quote small excerpts from a copyrighted work for the purposes, of say, answering them or providing more detail, so long as the quote is properly "attributed."  The software here on the board does the attribution for you automatically -- that's the part with your name in it above the quote I excerpted above.

Now, if I went to, say, a long post you made here on the board about how to build a set of bus ramps, for example, and I copied that post and put it over on my web site, without asking your permission first, then I have, indeed, violated your copyright, and you'd have every right to tell me to take it off, and you could pursue legal remedies against me if I didn't.  That sort of copying is not covered by the "fair use" doctrine.

Note that many BBS's ask you to sign over the rights to anything you post; usually, you have to agree to this before membership is granted or you are allowed to post.  Most web sites that operate BBS's, for example, Yahoo Groups, have a terms-and-conditions page wherein you acknowledge that once you post there, they will redistribute that material, and you grant them the explicit right to do so.  I have to confess, I don't remember the T&Cs here at MAK.

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 If someone decided to paint their bus using the same design that I used on my bus (I have no idea who would want to), I could sue them?  Somehow this just doesn't seem reasonable.

Whether or not all the paint on your coach constitutes a protected work is open to interpretation by the courts.  There is no question that the Cash bus does, or a Marathon.  But if you have, say, plain white paint with no design, that can't be copyrighted.  If you add, say, a 4" red stripe all the way around, that probably can't be protected either.  You have to add unique design elements that you created yourself in order for the work to qualify.

Once it qualifies as a copyrightable "work," yes, you could sue someone for copying it.  Whether or not that is "reasonable" is a philosophical debate.

Quote
    I recall a musician telling me years ago that up to a certain number of bars of a song (I don't remember the number) could be used without infringing on the copyright.


There are special rules for music based on case law.  The statement above is correct.

Quote
I also recall a professional photographer telling me that if he signed a photo he took, it could not be reproduced (legally), but unsigned photos could be legally reproduced.  Jack


That would have been a personal decision of the photographer -- he is granting an implicit right to use his photographs if they are not signed (if that's what he told you).

There is no such requirement in the law.  When a photographer takes a picture, it is immediately his copyrighted work.  He is entitled to charge for its use.  Here again, if the photographer is an employee, the rights go to the employer, therefore many photographs are copyrighted by, for instance, Associated Press.

Whats so "special" about Johnny Cash's bus paint job .There doen't appear to be any graphics an artist would do. Looks pretty plain consisting of a few different color stripes.

If that is copyrightable then anyone who paints anything may be in trouble.


Again, how much artistic discretion is used will influence whether the work qualifies for protection.  Most one-off and commercial graphic coach paint jobs qualify.

Consider the following scenario:  Country Coach comes out with a new motorhome model (and yes, I know they are in Ch. 11), and gives it a "distinctive" paint job.  Like most such paint jobs, it consists of a few swooshes, lines, and a couple of different colors.  What most of us would look at and say "all these coach paint jobs look alike."

Now Monaco (also ch. 11), just down the street, comes out with a new coach, and, rather than make up their own unique scheme, they simply copy, more or less swoosh-for-swoosh, the Country Coach paint scheme, with almost (but not quite) identical colors.

Can CC sue Monaco for this?  You bet they can, and I can guarantee that they will.

Again, people, I don't make this stuff up.  You can look it up for yourselves.  The government copyright site I linked above has a wealth of information.

-Sean
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« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 05:37:19 PM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2009, 05:49:25 PM »

My employer considers its color (UPS Brown) to be a trademark. There is a trash company that had a white and brown paint scheme and UPS considered the brown part to be too close to the UPS Brown color. UPS won and the trash company repainted their vehicles. I believe you could get away with a Jonny copy, but it could get costly if there was an issue with it.
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2009, 06:05:24 PM »

That MCI has been sold 3 times with the same paint scheme so who owns the rights to the paint scheme   good luck


The fact that it has been sold (any number of times) does not "release" all copyright interest in the work.

If you go down to an art gallery and buy a painting by say, Thomas Kincaid, what you own is the canvas and the representation thereon -- not the design, which still belongs to Kincaid.  The fact that you bought the painting does not give you the right to, for example, copy it.

You do, of course, have the right to sell the painting to someone else.  But, even after the sale, Kincaid still owns the design, and neither you, nor the person you sold it to, can rightfully copy the painting.  The painting can be sold over and over again, but Kincaid, as the original artist, still retains the exclusive rights to the design -- only he can decide to make a copy of the painting.

A bus is no different than that "canvas" the painting is on.  The original artist holds the original rights, unless it is a "work for hire," in which case the "employer" of that artist retains it.  For example, John Stahr, now a fairly famous coach painter in his own right, used to work for Marathon Coach.  All the designs he created at Marathon belong to Marathon.  And, yes, those coaches have, in most cases, been sold many times over.  But no one else can copy those paint schemes onto another coach without express permission of Marathon, no matter how many times the original coaches are bought and sold.

To answer your question, "who owns the rights" now, the answer depends on how the original work was done.  Again, it will either be the original artist, the original converter, or the Cash estate, unless whichever of those three held them "assigned" them to the purchaser(s) of the coach (unlikely).

-Sean
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 I disagree. If I pay someone to perforn a job for me I own the rights not them, unless stipulated in contract otherwise. The man who invented the xerox machine does not have his name in the patent office xerox does, as the company that was employing him. The same is true of copyright law.
However all you need to do to copyright something is send a copy of it in a letter to yourself and leave it sealed untill the court date. Now if you purchased a piece of art that was made before you compensated the individual this is indeed a frog of a different colour.
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« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2009, 06:29:09 PM »

Okay guys, first off I don't have a dog in here (it's not a fight Grin Grin Grin).

Sean has been right on. Our laws of the land are exceedingly complex. I know a lot about copyright laws (still not as much as I need to know).

There has been some question about whether if a person pays a artist or photographer, for example, has the rights to the work. The answer is yes and no. It all depends on how the contract is written. If the contract states that the rights go to the buyer (like my brother wrote a book for a national publishing company and in the contract the company got the rights to the book), then the buyer has the rights. If the rights aren't given, then the maker of the art, book, letter, whatever, owns the rights. Example, I know a guy that does wedding photography. A couple will pay thousands of dollars for him to take pictures at their wedding. Unless signed over (which rarely happens) the photographer owns the photo's, even though he was paid to do it, even though the pics were taken of the couple, the pics are still the photographers.

Even if you pay somebody to make something for you, unless spelled out in the contract, you don't own the rights.

Somebody mentioned music. There are specific laws about that too. Portions can be used fine, some can't...

Movies same thing, can use certain portions.

And about written. One usually can use portions as long as there is proper credit given.

I would assume that there is just as much issue with paint jobs, but then again who will be checking. The biggest problem would be if somebody does check...

HTH

God bless,

John

Oh, and I am not saying whether they should paint their bus with that scheme. I was just informing about some of the laws.
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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2009, 06:42:50 PM »

It's all bs about the paint you can take a photo of a bus you like to any of the bus painting guys like Wilson, Starr, Starjet or the guy in Mexico and tell them that is what you want go back in 2 weeks and that is what you get no question asked been there done that.Ace has a problem his is the same color as Wille Nelson's bus lol
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 06:47:13 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2009, 06:44:11 PM »

Looking closer at the sides views available, what I thought looked like there might be some artistic work on the driver side looks more like reflections from something else nearby.

If all there is to it is just the two plain stripes on a solid color, that might be a little more open to copy.  The copyright protection case would certainly be tough to win in that case since they would have to prove they were the first to do that stripe pattern/color combination.  Not likely possible nor worth the legal expense.

Copyrights are automatic.  Filing for a formalized copyright just makes it easy to prosecute infringement, but any creative work is automatically copyrighted by the artist/author.  If they end up taking a case to court they have to prove the date they produced it.  Essentially, the court will base its decision on whether there is adequate proof that one person's production of it predates the other(s).

On the issue of "work for hire".  If a creative person (artist, author, etc.) is contracted to do a job, the contract dictates ownership of the rights, but if it fails to address it, the artist/author retains the rights by default even though they are being paid for the work.  If the contract defines it as a "work for hire", then the rights go to the party specified in the contract.  If a person is in full employ of a company for the purpose of creative work, their employment contract will address the rights to their creations.  If it doesn't, there are legal criteria that a court will use to make a judgement if the issue comes up.
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2009, 06:58:06 PM »

Sean is right, not that my endorsement will make any difference to those who think he is wrong.

The point is, you have the ABILITY to do whatever you want; you may not, however, be legally entitled to do whatever you want. And, if you do something you are are not legally entitled to do, you MAY get away with it; BUT, if the proper people find out and wish to take issue with what you have done, you will probably lose in court.

Not to mention, even if you win, it will cost you.

That said, do whatever you like. Your bus, your money, your behind if you get caught.

TOM
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