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Yet Another Copyright Question
Firstly, a bit of background:-
A couple of months ago, a customer walked into my place of work with some original paintings of adverts painted by her mother in the 1920's. She asked me if I could scan them, clean them up a bit & print them so that she could distribute the originals amongst her family.
I did all of the above. She was so pleased with the results, that she phoned back a week or so later asking me to do the same work to some more paintings.
The paintings are of adverts for Hovis bread, Player's cigarettes and 2 types of Rowntree's sweets.
Everyone who has seen the reproductions has loved them. My boss then thought that maybe we could sell the reproductions (with our customer's consent).
She has given us the consent, and we are now investigating the pros and cons of selling them online.
1) The images we now have do include companies that no longer exist, and companies that are still going strong.
2) In particular, the Hovis image has a logo on it that is very similar in style to logotypes that are still used by Hovis.
3) The images were not originally commissioned by the companies involved (Rowntree, Hovis, Players etc.), they were painted as part of an art college project.
So, the questions I have are:-
A) Do copyright laws apply in this instance?
B) If so, who holds the copyright?
C) What about trademarks?
D) Can our customer copyright the paintings?
Many thanks in advance
Re: Yet Another Copyright Question
IMO, the issue of copyright is irrelevant, the issue of trademark superceeds. Companies still in business own their trademarks. Trademarks of companies no longer in business are still owned by individuals or other companies and it does not matter if they those trademarkds are in active use or not. Paintings or other likenesses which can be substantially recognized as the original trademarks are in violation if reproduction rights have not been granted, assuming they are used for commercial gain.
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