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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 38889
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I'm creating a logo for a client. They want an image of a

Customer Question

I'm creating a logo for a client. They want an image of a lighthouse with a silhouette of a man cut out. I found a silhouette of a man (no particular man just an image) on google. Is it considered copyright infringement if I use that silhouette for the logo? What if I make changes like give him curly hair?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 months ago.


An original work capable of copyright protection requires only "minimal creativity." Assuming that the silhouette is more than the most trivial drawing, it is protected by copyright. This further assumes that the author/publisher were able to discover your use.

Putting curly hair on the drawing creates a "derivative work," which requires a license from the author/publisher, and so is also copyright infringement.

Rather than trying to find a means to make the drawing work for you, and worry about being sued for infringement, you could simply find a friend, dress him or her up a bit like a classic lighthouse keeper (a hat, coat and some boots, is probably all you need). Then, take a picture of the person, put it in Photoshop, black it out, and you have your own silhouette.

A bit of a pain, but better than the alternative.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 months ago.

Do you need further clarification, or do you have what you need? Please reply, thanks!

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