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Logo Copyright Information

Find logo copyright information: Ford, Microsoft, American Red Cross, Harley Daivdson, Hallmark, GE, and other company names and logos.

Perhaps you created a Web page about your Harley Davidson motorcycle trip, or created a craft project using old Hallmark Christmas cards, and you decide to use the Harley Davidson logo or the Hallmark symbol on your Web site to illustrate your content. Can you use the company logos on your Web site or on your craft project?

No. All company names, logos, brands, and symbols are copyrighted by the company or organization. You would need to contact the company, explain how and where you want to use their logo, and ask permission to use the logo.

Simple, well known symbols may also be copyright protected. For example, the red cross symbol of the American Red Cross may not be used in any manner by anyone other than the American National Red Cross and its duly authorized employees and agents and the sanitary and hospital authorities of the armed forces of the United States.

If I draw a simple red cross, add a smiling face, arms and legs may I use this on my Web pages or documents?

No. This would be a copyright infringement and you could face legal procedures.

PLEASE NOTE: A red cross symbol is not a generic symbol for first-aid, emergency, hospitals, healthcare or medical services, products or personnel. The red cross symbol is a trademark owned by the American Red Cross and protected by federal and state trademark law, unfair competition law and anti-dilution law, and it is also protected by federal criminal law (See 18 U.S.C. 706, 917). The American Red Cross vigorously pursues those who infringe American Red Cross trademarks".

Another example of copyright infringement involves Hallmark cards. Perhaps you found a lovely flower arrangement and butterfly picture on a Hallmark card you received for your birthday. You decide to scan the front of the card, use a graphics program to remove the butterfly, then use the flower arrangement to create a beautiful Web page border background. Can you do this?

No. The lovely flower arrangement was created by an artist and belongs to Hallmark or to the artist who created it. Although you have "changed" the image by removing a part of that picture, you are using art created by someone other than yourself without permission. In order to take a portion of an image, or change the image in any manner (adding to it or recoloring it), or to create another clip art or background or an animated clip art, and to use it or claim it as your own "newly created" clip art is a copyright infringement.

There is a rumor (or myth) that if you change one part (or one line) of a piece of art work (painting, clip art, etc.), that the art work is now a "new creation" and you may use it in any manner you choose. Is this true?

No. The original artist of a painting does have the right to change a painting in some manner to create a new original painting. This does not mean that anyone else has the right to change a painting (or a piece of clip art) in any way (recolor it, animate it, use only a portion of it, etc.) and claim it as your own painting or clip art.

Copyright laws for created content, such as company logos, music, art, stories, clip art, etc., apply to every media, including cyberspace.

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