Who is Responsible for Printing Intellectual Property

AP90

Well-known member
So I was wondering, who is responsible for making sure that intellectual property isn't violated in printing. Is it the creator or the printer? If I have someone send me a file of say a book that they wanted printed for personal use and they are the creator of the book, but it uses intellectual property from someone else, would we as a printer be responsible for the content printed or would they as the creator be responsible for violating it. Is it our job to make sure that someone else project complies with all relevant laws?

As an example lets say someone "creates" their own spinoff of a popular show or something and makes it a short novel. If they came to us to have it printed for their use, are we supposed to scour the work to make sure nothing is violated or are we ok because we are not the "owners" of their file?
 

gordo

Well-known member
Normally the stipulation is to put it in your terms of service - the print order - that it's the client's responsibility to ensure that copyright laws/intellectual property laws are adhered to. Those terms need to be drawn up by a lawyer so that the wording is correct for your jurisdiction and it should be regularly reviewed.
Problem solved.
 
Last edited:

keith1

Well-known member
Don't know the legal answer but I reckon common sense plays a pretty large roll.
If someone sends me an image with a watermark I won't use it. Odd how many people don't even notice those watermarks.
If someone has blatantly ripped off someones work & claiming it as theirs I won't use it.
Personally, I don't feel it's a printer's job to read every sentence of every job they take in. As a matter of fact, during my years as a press operator I've printed entire books and couldn't tell you what they were even about.
Had a guy one time who wanted his university report card (or whatever they're called) reproduced. Naturally with the addition of glowing marks. He needed something to show his parents. I refused. The main reason being that the university was a large customer and if word got out . . . However, I'm sure he went along to the next shop or the one after that & got his marks reproduced somewhere.
I doubt there's a black or white answer. Circumstances & context would have to be taken into consideration. Common law allows for this.
 

keith1

Well-known member
terms of service
I'm sure these exist. I've never seen one in over 40 years. I get quotes sometime from one printer that adds about 3 pages of crap to the quote. I've never read it. I suppose they could have terms in there somewhere.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
The only one I ever read was the most $$ we ever got and no one else had read it.
It was a Government contract for services and it stipulated they would OWN the software which we were 'licensing'.
Needless to say the CEO had a hissy fit and refused to agree unless they removed the offending clause.
Clause removed we signed and the company had three years of growth.
CEO said 'Thanks'. I guess that was enough. Sigh.
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
Years back, I worked with for a software developer that was designed to scan book pages and clean them up / align them - and create new 'ready to digitally print' PDFs. one of our customers was Lightning Source, who would then print these books "on demand" so places like Borders and Amazon did not need to stock hundreds of physical copies. Most Paperback you buy of older paperback books are manufactured this was ( large digital roll fed presses like IBM InfoPrint systems ) - there is no question that all liability lies in the person ordering the print job, not the press owner. Now, if you were reprinting a poster by some artist and selling them without their knowledge, yea, you are breaking the law.
 

AP90

Well-known member
Years back, I worked with for a software developer that was designed to scan book pages and clean them up / align them - and create new 'ready to digitally print' PDFs. one of our customers was Lightning Source, who would then print these books "on demand" so places like Borders and Amazon did not need to stock hundreds of physical copies. Most Paperback you buy of older paperback books are manufactured this was ( large digital roll fed presses like IBM InfoPrint systems ) - there is no question that all liability lies in the person ordering the print job, not the press owner. Now, if you were reprinting a poster by some artist and selling them without their knowledge, yea, you are breaking the law.
That does a pretty good job of clearing things up for me.

The example I had was someone wrote their own story based upon an existing story. Lets say Superman for instance. Fans of the stories write their own and its called FanFiction. They talked about getting their own novel printed for only their use. Basically so their kids someday could read what they wrote or for their own satisfaction of writing something. Obviously they don't own the rights to superman. I just wasn't sure if as a printer if we ever did something like that would we be responsible for reproducing it?
 
These are in our terms-
Copyrights

The customer warrants that it has the right to produce the subject matter to be printed, duplicated or distributed. If the subject matter is copyrighted, the customer warrants that it owns the copyright or has express permission of the owner to reproduce the copyrighted subject matter, and that it has not removed any copyright notice from any material to be reproduced without written permission. (Company name) will not be held liable in any copyright infringement case or lawsuit brought about by such material supplied by the client. And client agrees to pay any legal fees brought on by such action.
 

davarino

Well-known member
Fan fiction...

So long as the wording and drawings are truly original, there is no copyright problem in the U.S. But there is quite possibly a trademark problem.

Basic idea would be the answer to the question, "Would a person be lead to believe that this is a ______ comic published by the owner of the trademark for ______?" If the answer is yes, it's trouble.

If it's intended to make fun of _______ the laws and courts tend to be lenient. (In other words, no reasonably intelligent person would mistake this for the real article.)

As you see, it's not a simple problem. And it's a possibly WORSE situation... it could fall within the realm of fraud, because comics are often bought for collectibility and no other reason.

Fan fiction is a case where I'd suggest that the customer use a self serve copier, unless s/he signs a release and shows proof that the owner of the "intellectual property" agrees to its reproduction. If the customer does the duplicating and you are unaware of an actual issue, the liability is essentially that of the customer.

As an aside... I am appalled at the "intellectual property" codes throughout the world. I understand that they exist to encourage creativity, but their crafting and re-crafting by the big corporate entities since the 1960's does everything except encourage creativity.

It is not for nothing that the 1988 Copyright Extension Act in the U.S. is nicknamed the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.
 
Last edited:

Controlling the Purse Strings

Avanti
CONTROLLING THE
PURSE STRINGS

By Noel Ward, Editor@Large
What did you buy for your
business last week?
And how are you making sure everything you purchase is properly managed and accounted for?

Read the Article

   
Top