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Advice with Lego copyright

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Jim.niceone, May 18, 2016.

  1. Jim.niceone

    Jim.niceone New Member

    Hi,
    I am currently building my portfolio site and was wanting to use my own photograph of Lego figures to represent areas of design that I work in, i.e.. a business man figure for corporate work and a DJ figure for creative work.
    Does anyone know if this would be ok to do or would I be breaking copyright laws?
    Ive read the official Lego fair play brochure, but, I don't really understand it!

    thanks
    Jim
     
  2. Vanessa

    Vanessa Member

    I would think that's a copyright issue - you'd be better off doing your own illustrations (not of lego figures though!)

    You didn't create the lego figures, and wouldn't be able to as Lego is a trademark, so I would steer very clear of it!
     
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    To be honest and obviously I'm not a lawyer I'd say this is a bit of a grey area and one where it could solely be down to a judge or LEGO's opinion.

    Lego, it's logo/branding and I'd say the actual lego figure shape would be protected under trademark/copyright. But they appear to have fair use stuff where you can add disclaimers etc.
    Then there's the 'freedom' to create your own artwork using a camera which would produce imagery that you have the copyright to due to them being original artworks.

    This is where it would start to get complicated because they make take issue with you using your photographs, which you have the copyright and freedom of use, to promote your business because it features their copyright/trademarked materials and could be seen as misrepresentation of Lego etc.

    Personally I'd be playing it safe and designing my own cartoon characters or similar.
     
  4. Jim.niceone

    Jim.niceone New Member

    Thanks for the replies. Not what I wanted to hear, the mock up I did was looking good!! Ah well back to the drawing board.

    Suppose the last thing I want on a site that is promoting my skills and services is to have images that are inflicting on copyrights. Not really setting a good example, is it!!!

    Thanks again
     
  5. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

  6. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    It's a bit of a tricky one legally speaking.

    I can imagine that it'd look really good so like Hank said, I'd be inclined to go with it as I'd doubt you'd ever hear a dickie bird and the worst would be a cease and desist.
    It's not like you'd be claiming to have invented them or portraying them in an immoral way unlike a t-shirt I did with a Lego guy taking a crap. ;)
     
  7. Wardy

    Wardy Active Member

    I really don't see it would be a problem, as long as they are only appearing on your site and not used for advertising materials etc. There were loads of those videos
    around at one point, using the lego figures. You could always get rid of the Lego logo if it's visible, as there are other bricks out there.
     

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