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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    1

    Default Legal to Use Store-Bought Greeting Cards to Make into Journals to Sell

    I am wondering if it would be legal to turn a store-bought greeting card into a "junk journal"; that is adding papers, ribbons, tabs, pockets, etc., which are sewn into the center of the card to create a booklet. The card itself would be kept intact, just added to.

    Also, a similar use...using the cards with the added papers to be the "signatures" of a junk journal book that I have made from scratch. The cards would be sewn into the book as the pages.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,864

    Default Re: Legal to Use Store-Bought Greeting Cards to Make into Journals to Sell

    If you're talking about cutting up / manipulating the existing cards, then as long as you do not represent any brands (trademarks) as your own or implying that the brand is associated with you, you probably are ok.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,230

    Default Re: Legal to Use Store-Bought Greeting Cards to Make into Journals to Sell

    Quote Quoting amerj
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    The card itself would be kept intact, just added to.
    As soon as you use the word "sell" in your plans you run the risk of being sued for copyright infringement because you are making money off somebody else's work.

    The card company will protect its product like a bear protecting her cubs. You won't like the financial slashing you get.

    If you can't create your own cards, I suggest you abandon your idea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,201

    Default Re: Legal to Use Store-Bought Greeting Cards to Make into Journals to Sell

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    As soon as you use the word "sell" in your plans you run the risk of being sued for copyright infringement because you are making money off somebody else's work.

    The card company will protect its product like a bear protecting her cubs. You won't like the financial slashing you get.

    If you can't create your own cards, I suggest you abandon your idea.
    I disagree. The copyright holder got paid for the card that the OP is using, and once the OP bought the physical card, he is free to resell it to others without infringing on the copyright of the holder. For example, you buy a paperback Harry Potter book. After you read it, you sell your used book to your sister. You're making money off the sale of the book, but that copy was your copy to do with what you wanted: sell it, give it away, whatever. If you added some other element to it, like a decorative protective cover, that wouldn't change the outcome. A copyright holder would be foolish to sue in that circumstance; the complaint would be pretty easily dismissed.

    However, if the OP made copies of the cards and used the copies he/she made, it's a different matter. The copyright law does not allow him to make reproductions of the work without the permission of the copyright holder.

    Trademark law is another matter. As flyingron notes, it does matter if trademarks might be shown in the works and whether the buyer might confuse what the OP is selling as being the same product the card company sold. One would have to look at the works to see if there might be a problem. But it shouldn't be too hard in a project like this to avoid significant trademark issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,864

    Default Re: Legal to Use Store-Bought Greeting Cards to Make into Journals to Sell

    Not just the card maker either, if it's a card that bears a trademark of someone else (Harry Potter, Snoopy, whatever), he needs to not infringe on those marks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Legal to Use Store-Bought Greeting Cards to Make into Journals to Sell

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    Not just the card maker either, if it's a card that bears a trademark of someone else (Harry Potter, Snoopy, whatever), he needs to not infringe on those marks.
    Right. That's a good clarification. It wasn't clear in my previous reply; I should have broken the sentence down into two parts. It matters if a trademark is shown in the work (any trademark, not just the card company). It also matters if the altered works sold by the OP might be mistaken by consumers as being the same as those sold by the card company.

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