Legal Question in Technology Law in Tennessee

copyright law for the use of fonts and digital images

I know a company and their Creative Director buys the

licenced digital photos that their artists use to

design client‘s ads. This company is considering the

use of a web site to post these ads as PDF files. This

would be a proprietary site where only the company and

its branch offices (in other states) would have the

passwords to use the site. Question (1) Would posting

these images as PDFs violate copyright law? (2) If the

original images and the fonts in the ads were made

available to other branch offices to download and use,

would that be breaking copyright law? (3) If the

Creative Director is told that it is a matter of

trusting the other branch offices to police the use of

these images and fonts, only using those they own, and

then someone uses them without ownership --- Is that

Creative Director personally liable because they made

them accessable? Or, would those parties who break the

rules and use those images without entitl

Asked on 5/03/00, 2:17 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Francis Doherty Doherty Georgeson & Kerley LLP

Re: copyright law for the use of fonts and digital images

(1) You say "purchased" the photos. If the agreement contemplates that the company will use the photos in its commercial pursuits, then the use of the photos within the company seems appropriate. The contract of purchase controls the use of the photos. If this is a serious issue, the contract should address the use of the photos at more than one location. Put a price on the right to use the photos throughout the company, if there is any ambiguity about permissible use. Do not guess, address the issue and stay on the legal side of things.

b)Downloading is just the mode by which a branch of the company gets to use the pictures. If the contract anticipates company wide use of the photos, the use of new technology is appropriate.

c) Liability will follow the contract between the parties. If someone make unauthorized use of the photos, that person has broken the copyright law. The company may be liable in a negligence cause of action if it failed to take reasonable measures to prevent unauthorized disclosures of the photos.

Francis x. Doherty

415 421-8890

[email protected]

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Answered on 6/19/00, 6:58 pm
Theresa Peeler Law Office of T. M. Peeler

Re: copyright law for the use of fonts and digital images

In the absence of a license agreement to post the digital pictures on a website for purposes of downloading, it would be advisable not to do so. Downloading is a form of copying. The contract with the artists should include the right to use the works throughout the company; at more than one location. It would be the company's responsibility to monitor the use of the photos to insure that unauthorized usage does not occur otherwise the company will be liable. If you are interested in a license agreement that covers these points, let's talk.

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Answered on 6/23/00, 5:38 pm

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