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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default What Are Your Rights as the Holder of a License for Artwork

    This partains to digital product.

    Part of my business involves taking digital art and producing tangible goods from that artwork. The designers I purchase from create for this express purpose. They create a design, I purchase the digital file of the design and produce it on various items via embroidery, vinyl transfers, sublimation etc. I am not reselling the digital file they sold to me. I only sell the tangible goods I created from the design. These artists are solely in business to sell to people like me with a retail end business, so they are a wholesaler of sorts.

    Most designers are pretty hands off when it comes to this- you cant resell or share the digital file which makes total sense. Others, however, get completely overzealous in trying to control what is done with the design after the fact. Some say you can only produce it xx amount of times, you can only sell it at this price, only put on this item etc. Some have tiered pricing for personal vs commercial licensing. Not only that but some of the pricing for licenses is all over the map. Some are a few bucks to hundreds of dollars. Most of the designs themselves sell for less than 5.00 each, but can be sold an infinite number of times, creating passive income for the designer. If I purchase the design, I'm trying to determine what "terms" are actually legitimate. I'm not talking about heavily trademarked items like logos etc. just original artwork with no other implied copyright other than from the person I'm purchasing from.

    Are they within THEIR legal rights to control the after market of a product they sell or are there guidelines/laws that prevent them from enforcing these terms, like first sale doctrine?

    As an example...here is the description on one designer's product. Their website actually has nothing under their terms and agreements, nor is there a way to purchase an "extended license" as the product listing is blank.

    ******Printable PNG File******
    This file includes a hi resolution 300dpi PNG file with transparent background. This is the perfect file for easy sublimation printing or for printing on iron on paper.

    PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A DIGITAL FILE, NO PHYSICAL ITEMS WILL BE SENT. FILE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AS SOON AS PAYMENT IS MADE. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD YOUR FILES FROM THE EMAIL THAT WILL BE SENT OR FROM LOGGING INTO YOUR ACCOUNT

    *****IMPORTANT INFO******
    You are welcome to use this design on personal items that you sell in small amounts (less than 100 pieces) No mass producing allowed. This included license does NOT allow for the sale of printed transfers. If you wish to create transfers and sell them to your customers you will need to purchase an extended license.

    **You MAY NOT upload this design to any print on demand sites such as but not limited to Cafe Press, Zazzle, or Amazon Merch.

    **You MAY NOT sell, share, trade, or give this file away.
    You may not use any un-watermarked pictures of this design. If you wish to advertise the design on your website, facebook, etsy or any other digital platform you MUST ONLY USE THE WATERMARKED PICTURE.

    **UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU ALLOWED TO REFORMAT THIS DESIGN OR ANY PART OF IT, INTO AN EMBROIDERY FILE or SVG.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,236

    Default Re: Are There Set Guidelines for a License or Can the Creator Make Up Whatever They W

    Yes, they are within their rights to limit the use of their design under the license agreement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Are There Set Guidelines for a License or Can the Creator Make Up Whatever They W

    if the licensing agreement/terms and conditions are literally NOT there at the time of purchase, (the terms page as well as the licensing page on their website both say that the page has been deleted/removed) what would be enforceable?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,236

    Default Re: Are There Set Guidelines for a License or Can the Creator Make Up Whatever They W

    If you purchased a license without reading and understanding the license that would be on you. If it wasn't available prior to the sale you should contact the seller and request a refund.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Are There Set Guidelines for a License or Can the Creator Make Up Whatever They W

    I havent purchased from this place before (and havent yet) but i was trying to research the terms before buying and they're literally blank. They also state no refunds for any reason.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,236

    Default Re: Are There Set Guidelines for a License or Can the Creator Make Up Whatever They W

    That is good. Then you need to contact the seller before the purchase.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    670

    Default Re: Are There Set Guidelines for a License or Can the Creator Make Up Whatever They W

    Quote Quoting airmansgirl
    View Post
    Are they within THEIR legal rights to control the after market of a product they sell or are there guidelines/laws that prevent them from enforcing these terms, like first sale doctrine?
    The owner of a copyright is free to license use of the copyright protected work on whatever terms he/she desires.

    The first sale doctrine has absolutely nothing to do with this. That doctrine simply says that it is not a violation of the U.S. Copyright Act for the owner of a lawfully-acquired copy of a copyright protected work to sell or otherwise transfer that copy. However, nothing in the first sale doctrine prohibits a seller and buyer of a copyright or a copy of a copyright protected work from contractually agreeing to limitations on the disposition of the thing being sold/purchased.

    I'm not sure what the point of the rest of your post is, except that it seems to be an example of a click license.

    Quote Quoting airmansgirl
    View Post
    if the licensing agreement/terms and conditions are literally NOT there at the time of purchase, (the terms page as well as the licensing page on their website both say that the page has been deleted/removed) what would be enforceable?
    If the terms of a purported click license are not made reasonably available to the purchaser, then those terms might not be enforceable.

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