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Intellectual Property Rights on coins


Tooeygeotrashed
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Since this matter was raised in another thread and cannot be discussed there without the risk of having the thread closed, what is your opinion on Intellectual Property Rights on coins?

 

If I buy a coin or have traded for a coin is it not my right to sell it without fear of becoming entangled in legal proceedings?

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Since this matter was raised in another thread and cannot be discussed there without the risk of having the thread closed, what is your opinion on Intellectual Property Rights on coins?

 

If I buy a coin or have traded for a coin is it not my right to sell it without fear of becoming entangled in legal proceedings?

 

I would say yes, unless there was a condition agreed upon before you bought it specifically stating that you not sell the coin afterward.

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Since this matter was raised in another thread and cannot be discussed there without the risk of having the thread closed, what is your opinion on Intellectual Property Rights on coins?

 

If I buy a coin or have traded for a coin is it not my right to sell it without fear of becoming entangled in legal proceedings?

 

It was my (layman) understanding of the Intellectual Property Rights that it pertains to the use of the Intellectual Property to create new/or derivative works using someone else's work. As the coins are already have produced by the property rights owner and legally sold to the public, there is no legal basis for restricting sale or trade of said coins. It may be said that the coins cannot be used in production of new works (ie using artwork from the coins, incorporating the coins into other works, making similiar coins.) but thats it.

 

Personally, I think the whole concept of trying to restricting coin sales after they have been released in multiple versions over 2 years silly.

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It was my (layman) understanding of the Intellectual Property Rights that it pertains to the use of the Intellectual Property to create new/or derivative works using someone else's work. As the coins are already have produced by the property rights owner and legally sold to the public, there is no legal basis for restricting sale or trade of said coins. It may be said that the coins cannot be used in production of new works (ie using artwork from the coins, incorporating the coins into other works, making similiar coins.) but thats it. ...

 

the same holds true of using another piece of art to create the design for a geocoin. for example, using a photo of a horse race finish to create a painting/coin design that is the same. or from the cover of a book, from a photo in a book of a museum piece. who owns the copyright or license to those works of art. the book manufacturer, the photographer that took the pic? the museum owner of the piece?

 

unless one is creating a coin from ones total imagination, it is a slippery slope to base it on anything else. there are restrictions at theme parks on how photos can be used. how about sporting events? did the coin designer use a photo of a winning touchdown to make a coin? not a good idea, the photographer or the team owner holds either copyright or licensing rights if the team is easily identifiable.

 

now if the coin designer saw a game, thought, i can draw a picture of a touchdown, his/her own interpretation of what he saw, no team identity, from his imagination, i do believe that is a different story. it is when photos are used as the basis of the art that things can get tricky. especially if the photographer recognizes his photo.

 

i can't remember the name right now, but there was this photographer that took a photo of a group of puppies all in a line. a sculptor used that photo to create a piece of sculpture. photographer sued, photographer won.

 

geocoins are commercial enterprises. you can't use someone else's work as the basis of your design. marilyn monroe, elvis, museums and the owners of a golf course where there is a distinctive tree and others, have licenses governing the use and reproduction of certain subjects. so think twice if you are designing a coin with elvis on it!

 

team logos etc, the list goes on. the slope is indeed slippery when it comes to intellectual property rights.

 

i am just a layman but a professional photographer who watches what happens with my art all the time. often times grad students doing a study of this or that flower, wants to use a photo of mine in their presentation or as the basis for a botanical drawing, they MUST ask permission to do so.

 

i usually say yes to those folks, usage for no money is ok, it is educational. but when california edison wants to use the same pic in a booklet then no, they may not use the photo unless they pay a usage fee, for a one time use.

 

it is one thing for non-profit use, it is an entirely different story for use by a for-profit company especially one as large as Cal Edison. and yes, they ask all the time, you think they would get the message by now. if your project does not have the measly $$ to pay the photographer, then don't call me. but i digress.

 

i figure if one is a geocoin artist, then one can create a coin from scratch, from the imagination and not from a drawing in a book or other piece of visual art.

 

and i don't see anything in the copyright law that says a derivative piece of art has to be changed by X% and then it is ok.

 

there is this place called the goldwell open air musuem. the giant pieces of art are often photographed. it is copyrighted art. that info is right on the web site. so i can photograph the wonderful scene, i cannot make a geocoin from them nor use them in an ad without permission. and a designer certainly cannot use my photo of the sculptures to create a coin.

 

plagiarism and copyright are closely linked so it is good to know what is what when designing a coin.

 

scificollector said it very well. you can buy the coin, you can sell the coin, but you cannot use the design in your own coin. the same goes for creating coins from another piece of art.

 

rsg

Edited by RedShoesGirl
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what is your opinion on Intellectual Property Rights on coins?

 

It has nothing to do with opinion, it has to do with the law.

 

If I buy a coin or have traded for a coin is it not my right to sell it without fear of becoming entangled in legal proceedings?

 

This happened to me with the GeoSmurfz coin. It doesn't matter how or if I bought it. If it is considered contraband or counterfeit then it can be sold on the open market. Just because I bought it doesn't make it ok that I can sell it. Did that answer your question or did you have something more specific?

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what is your opinion on Intellectual Property Rights on coins?

 

It has nothing to do with opinion, it has to do with the law.

 

If I buy a coin or have traded for a coin is it not my right to sell it without fear of becoming entangled in legal proceedings?

 

This happened to me with the GeoSmurfz coin. It doesn't matter how or if I bought it. If it is considered contraband or counterfeit then it can be sold on the open market. Just because I bought it doesn't make it ok that I can sell it. Did that answer your question or did you have something more specific?

 

This is interesting.

 

My assumption, which may be wrong, is that Castleman originally had permission to mint the Tranquility coin. The disagreement between the artist and manufacturer came later. The agreement seems to be over payment for design, not permission to mint the design.

 

I have heard from GCG. I had commissioned Paula to do art for me several years ago, and he made it clear that the art I commissioned belongs to me. I paid for it.

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...I had commissioned Paula to do art for me several years ago, and he made it clear that the art I commissioned belongs to me. I paid for it.

 

that is probably true. if it is indeed work for hire. then it is yours. i hope you got that in writing.

 

on the other hand, the city of barstow hired me to do a shoot for them, they got some physical photos and shared copyright. they can do with them as they wish, and so can i.

 

it is all in the fine print. and also, where did paula get the design. from her imagination? cool, from a photograph? hmmmm, tricky.

 

rsg

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...I had commissioned Paula to do art for me several years ago, and he made it clear that the art I commissioned belongs to me. I paid for it.

 

that is probably true. if it is indeed work for hire. then it is yours. i hope you got that in writing.

 

on the other hand, the city of barstow hired me to do a shoot for them, they got some physical photos and shared copyright. they can do with them as they wish, and so can i.

 

it is all in the fine print. and also, where did paula get the design. from her imagination? cool, from a photograph? hmmmm, tricky.

 

rsg

 

Yes, I have the agreement in writing via our emails, and now a backup from Jim, who now owns Geocoin Design.

 

I had always assumed that she drew the design I asked her to, but became a little worried after seeing the Lady Luck coin, and similarities to another piece of art.

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...I had commissioned Paula to do art for me several years ago, and he made it clear that the art I commissioned belongs to me. I paid for it.

 

that is probably true. if it is indeed work for hire. then it is yours. i hope you got that in writing.

 

on the other hand, the city of barstow hired me to do a shoot for them, they got some physical photos and shared copyright. they can do with them as they wish, and so can i.

 

it is all in the fine print. and also, where did paula get the design. from her imagination? cool, from a photograph? hmmmm, tricky.

 

rsg

 

Yes, I have the agreement in writing via our emails, and now a backup from Jim, who now owns Geocoin Design.

 

I had always assumed that she drew the design I asked her to, but became a little worried after seeing the Lady Luck coin, and similarities to another piece of art.

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...I had commissioned Paula to do art for me several years ago, and he made it clear that the art I commissioned belongs to me. I paid for it.

 

that is probably true. if it is indeed work for hire. then it is yours. i hope you got that in writing.

 

on the other hand, the city of barstow hired me to do a shoot for them, they got some physical photos and shared copyright. they can do with them as they wish, and so can i.

 

it is all in the fine print. and also, where did paula get the design. from her imagination? cool, from a photograph? hmmmm, tricky.

 

rsg

 

Yes, I have the agreement in writing via our emails, and now a backup from Jim, who now owns Geocoin Design.

 

I had always assumed that she drew the design I asked her to, but became a little worried after seeing the Lady Luck coin, and similarities to another piece of art.

 

yep. and i am glad you have your agreement in writing. :-)

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Please let me clarify my post in the 'other' thread -

 

Joni is absolutely correct - The Crystal Ball coin she commissioned from Geocoin Design was bought and paid for in full, therefore, that is considered to be a 'work for hire', and she is the full and outright owner of the copyrighted artwork and the dies/moulds used to make the coin. The reproduction of the coin can only be authorized by her as the owner of the copyright - regardless if she owns the moulds or not.

 

The agreement that was made between Geocoin Design to design & create Castle Coins & Pins website, and several designs of trackable and untrackable geocoins, lapel pins, earrings etc. (details of that agreement will not be made public here) was breached. Therefore, EVERY version of EVERY design that was produced is protected by USC Title 17.

 

Having said that, let me make one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR to all of you -

Any item purchased from ANY individual through the Castle Coins & Pins website or through eBay, or via a trade, which was obtained in good faith, is owned by that individual free and clear. It is the ORIGINAL SELLER that is infringing on the protection afforded by Title 17, not the paying customer.

 

Those individuals (as Avroair recently found out), may indeed turn right around and re-sell those items in any manner in which they choose. That is perfectly within their right to do so.

 

The issue is with the ORIGINAL SELLER ONLY, and those sales will be blocked.

 

I apologize to EVERYONE for the error in my post in the 'other' thread, but it had been closed before I could edit it. The post was not meant to be threatening in any way whatsoever to legitimate buyers of the coin(s) in question.

 

I hope everyone can now take a deep breath, and rest assured that they can feel free to resell on the open market what they purchased.

 

Regards,

~J

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I apologize to EVERYONE for the error in my post in the 'other' thread, but it had been closed before I could edit it. The post was not meant to be threatening in any way whatsoever to legitimate buyers of the coin(s) in question.

 

 

That thread is open again if you want to post your clarification.

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Please let me clarify my post in the 'other' thread -

 

Joni is absolutely correct - The Crystal Ball coin she commissioned from Geocoin Design was bought and paid for in full, therefore, that is considered to be a 'work for hire', and she is the full and outright owner of the copyrighted artwork and the dies/moulds used to make the coin. The reproduction of the coin can only be authorized by her as the owner of the copyright - regardless if she owns the moulds or not.

 

The agreement that was made between Geocoin Design to design & create Castle Coins & Pins website, and several designs of trackable and untrackable geocoins, lapel pins, earrings etc. (details of that agreement will not be made public here) was breached. Therefore, EVERY version of EVERY design that was produced is protected by USC Title 17.

 

Having said that, let me make one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR to all of you -

Any item purchased from ANY individual through the Castle Coins & Pins website or through eBay, or via a trade, which was obtained in good faith, is owned by that individual free and clear. It is the ORIGINAL SELLER that is infringing on the protection afforded by Title 17, not the paying customer.

 

Those individuals (as Avroair recently found out), may indeed turn right around and re-sell those items in any manner in which they choose. That is perfectly within their right to do so.

 

The issue is with the ORIGINAL SELLER ONLY, and those sales will be blocked.

 

I apologize to EVERYONE for the error in my post in the 'other' thread, but it had been closed before I could edit it. The post was not meant to be threatening in any way whatsoever to legitimate buyers of the coin(s) in question.

 

I hope everyone can now take a deep breath, and rest assured that they can feel free to resell on the open market what they purchased.

 

Regards,

~J

Many thanks for the clarification, just a pity it was not made clear in the first instance.

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It has nothing to do with opinion, it has to do with the law.

 

Are we not entitled to an opinion on the law?

 

This happened to me with the GeoSmurfz coin. It doesn't matter how or if I bought it. If it is considered contraband or counterfeit then it can be sold on the open market. Just because I bought it doesn't make it ok that I can sell it. Did that answer your question or did you have something more specific?

 

Don't you mean it can't be sold?

 

My understanding is that the GeoSmurfz coin contained an image of a worldwide recognised copyrighted brand, I can fully appreciate why that would be a breach of copyright. In any event GCG has clarified his other post which makes the picture much clearer now, although it does leave me wondering why it was made at this particular point in time.

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i was under the impression that "ignorance of the law" was no defense when re-selling items of questionable origin. for example, you find a great deal on what you "think" are legitimate DVD's, the person selling them tells you they are legal copyright originals, but when you go to sell them at the local swap meet, law enforcement impounds the whole bunch of DVD's and slaps on some shiny handcuffs as you are now under arrest for selling "bootleg" DVD's! your defense is: "the guy that sold 'em to me said they were legit, and if you hold up a 'real' copy next to a 'bootleg' copy, you can't see any difference at all, Your Honor." pow! 30 days in jail and $1000 dollar fine for ignorance of the law!

 

is this a realistic scenario? or am a way off base?

 

i know that the situation with the tranquility geocoin is different, but there was a question in another thread about the liability for selling or auctioning a counterfeit geocoin coming out of china (it was a cheap replica of a "knights templar" geocoin) and whether or not an ebay seller could be in trouble for selling or auctioning off "stolen property" (intellectual property in this case) even if they did not know the item was counterfeit or stolen.

 

there seems to be some gray area here, and in my opinion there are many authorized geocoins and pathtags that look an awful lot like replicas of copyright material, so i knew it would only be a matter of time before some sort of legal action occurred. in a way, its good to get some clarification on these issues, and start the establishment of guidelines, "rules", and even boundaries to the geocoin game.

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Please let me clarify my post in the 'other' thread -

 

Joni is absolutely correct - The Crystal Ball coin she commissioned from Geocoin Design was bought and paid for in full, therefore, that is considered to be a 'work for hire', and she is the full and outright owner of the copyrighted artwork and the dies/moulds used to make the coin. The reproduction of the coin can only be authorized by her as the owner of the copyright - regardless if she owns the moulds or not.

 

The agreement that was made between Geocoin Design to design & create Castle Coins & Pins website, and several designs of trackable and untrackable geocoins, lapel pins, earrings etc. (details of that agreement will not be made public here) was breached. Therefore, EVERY version of EVERY design that was produced is protected by USC Title 17.

 

Having said that, let me make one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR to all of you -

Any item purchased from ANY individual through the Castle Coins & Pins website or through eBay, or via a trade, which was obtained in good faith, is owned by that individual free and clear. It is the ORIGINAL SELLER that is infringing on the protection afforded by Title 17, not the paying customer.

 

Those individuals (as Avroair recently found out), may indeed turn right around and re-sell those items in any manner in which they choose. That is perfectly within their right to do so.

 

The issue is with the ORIGINAL SELLER ONLY, and those sales will be blocked.

 

I apologize to EVERYONE for the error in my post in the 'other' thread, but it had been closed before I could edit it. The post was not meant to be threatening in any way whatsoever to legitimate buyers of the coin(s) in question.

 

I hope everyone can now take a deep breath, and rest assured that they can feel free to resell on the open market what they purchased.

 

Regards,

~J

Many thanks for the clarification, just a pity it was not made clear in the first instance.

 

I detect a whole heap of back tracking here - I just took another look at the original post, copied below, note the capitalisation.

QUOTE(GeocoinGuy @ May 24 2010, 11:46 AM)

 

This will constitute my final post in this thread.

 

For ALL to heed:

 

ANYONE attempting to sell TRANQUILITY on eBay from this point forward will be reported as an intellectual property right violation.

 

Questions* can be directed to the law firm of:

 

Hutchinson, Cox, Coons, DuPriest, Orr & Sherlock, PC

John Cox

200 Forum Building

777 High Street

Eugene, Oregon 97401

 

(541) 686-9160

 

*not that they will talk to you about it.

 

~J

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Ill just say that I'd like to stay out of this discussion.

I have my own opinions and thoughts, but frankly, I HATE conflict and wouldn't touch this discussion with a ten foot pole other than to say...

 

Remember that when Im asked to do designs by customers, Im often SPECIFICALLY told what to do, or what references to use. (Which, was the case in one or two coins I've seen 'referred' to. Often a person will say, I want THIS on the coin, and I want it to look like 'this'. I change it, but as a hired artist have to make the person paying me happy, or I don't GET paid. =) Sometimes Im asked to use characters as they are, which, is out of my hands. Obviously, these aren't coins Im as excited about as ones I entirely draw from my own concepts and ideas. But - I enjoy working on coins, so I'll indeed do what Im asked to do.

 

For the Tranq, the coin was ENTIRELY my own idea and design. As Ive said MANY times, it started out as a basic 1.5 inch coin I was playing with, and evolved into the coin it is now. Its original photoshop art illustrates the evolution, in the sense that layer after layer was added to make the coin larger, and more detailed. It was not a 'hired' design, it was one I came up with, and from start to finish was my own concept and idea.

 

I hate seeing the conflict surrounding it, whether its the insane number of versions, or the current debate.

I love the coin, but sure can't stand the drama.

 

Thats all I have to say about that... :)

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Please let me clarify my post in the 'other' thread -

 

Joni is absolutely correct - The Crystal Ball coin she commissioned from Geocoin Design was bought and paid for in full, therefore, that is considered to be a 'work for hire', and she is the full and outright owner of the copyrighted artwork and the dies/moulds used to make the coin. The reproduction of the coin can only be authorized by her as the owner of the copyright - regardless if she owns the moulds or not.

 

The agreement that was made between Geocoin Design to design & create Castle Coins & Pins website, and several designs of trackable and untrackable geocoins, lapel pins, earrings etc. (details of that agreement will not be made public here) was breached. Therefore, EVERY version of EVERY design that was produced is protected by USC Title 17.

 

Having said that, let me make one thing PERFECTLY CLEAR to all of you -

Any item purchased from ANY individual through the Castle Coins & Pins website or through eBay, or via a trade, which was obtained in good faith, is owned by that individual free and clear. It is the ORIGINAL SELLER that is infringing on the protection afforded by Title 17, not the paying customer.

 

Those individuals (as Avroair recently found out), may indeed turn right around and re-sell those items in any manner in which they choose. That is perfectly within their right to do so.

 

The issue is with the ORIGINAL SELLER ONLY, and those sales will be blocked.

 

I apologize to EVERYONE for the error in my post in the 'other' thread, but it had been closed before I could edit it. The post was not meant to be threatening in any way whatsoever to legitimate buyers of the coin(s) in question.

 

I hope everyone can now take a deep breath, and rest assured that they can feel free to resell on the open market what they purchased.

 

Regards,

~J

Many thanks for the clarification, just a pity it was not made clear in the first instance.

 

I detect a whole heap of back tracking here - I just took another look at the original post, copied below, note the capitalisation.

QUOTE(GeocoinGuy @ May 24 2010, 11:46 AM)

 

This will constitute my final post in this thread.

 

For ALL to heed:

 

ANYONE attempting to sell TRANQUILITY on eBay from this point forward will be reported as an intellectual property right violation.

 

Questions* can be directed to the law firm of:

 

Hutchinson, Cox, Coons, DuPriest, Orr & Sherlock, PC

John Cox

200 Forum Building

777 High Street

Eugene, Oregon 97401

 

(541) 686-9160

 

*not that they will talk to you about it.

 

~J

Yes, and after posting to that thread yesterday - didn't go back to it until it was closed by the mods-

I clarified my position to Groundspeak privately, and again, didn't even look at the thread until this morning, to which I have edited the post. Go check... it's there.

 

Again, I apologize for the error. Prodeo Pacisci :)

 

~J

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jim, no matter the corrections, you have alienated a large part of the geocoin community. once said, something cannot be unsaid and in this case, the underlying hostility of your words.

 

personally, you and paula could release the much-heralded second coming of tranquility and I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial ten-foot pole.

 

rsg

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...

 

Remember that when Im asked to do designs by customers, Im often SPECIFICALLY told what to do, or what references to use. (Which, was the case in one or two coins I've seen 'referred' to. Often a person will say, I want THIS on the coin, and I want it to look like 'this'. I change it, but as a hired artist have to make the person paying me happy, or I don't GET paid. =) ...

 

no paula, you may not design a coin that is a copy of an illustration or photograph no matter what your client wants, nor what small changes you make. and you can't do that for one of your "own" coins.

 

that is plagiarism and is not legal under any circumstance.

 

rsg

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no paula, you may not design a coin that is a copy of an illustration or photograph no matter what your client wants, nor what small changes you make. and you can't do that for one of your "own" coins.

 

that is plagiarism and is not legal under any circumstance.

 

rsg

 

Not to debate, which I won't, but please tell this to the countless designs with Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Smurfs, other licensed characters, etc. And, tell it to Groundspeak who approves the designs.

If Im asked to do a personal coin, or a design, I'll take the work. I, like everyone else, need work to get paid, and will absolutely do what Im asked. There are so many coins out there 'inspired by' or likewise, that if I was to list them all, and the designers who did them - this post would be endlessly scrolling.

 

I just refuse to let this debate get personal. I don't like ugliness, and will refrain from getting involved.

The coin that brought it up - the Tranq - does not apply - it was literally built from thin air. Not inspired by, not anything. =)

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no paula, you may not design a coin that is a copy of an illustration or photograph no matter what your client wants, nor what small changes you make. and you can't do that for one of your "own" coins.

 

that is plagiarism and is not legal under any circumstance.

 

rsg

 

Not to debate, which I won't, but please tell this to the countless designs with Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Smurfs, other licensed characters, etc. And, tell it to Groundspeak who approves the designs.

If Im asked to do a personal coin, or a design, I'll take the work. I, like everyone else, need work to get paid, and will absolutely do what Im asked. There are so many coins out there 'inspired by' or likewise, that if I was to list them all, and the designers who did them - this post would be endlessly scrolling.

 

I just refuse to let this debate get personal. I don't like ugliness, and will refrain from getting involved.

The coin that brought it up - the Tranq - does not apply - it was literally built from thin air. Not inspired by, not anything. =)

 

If I wanted to build a house and employed a professional architect, I would hope and expect that the Architect would give me professoinal advice, that's what he is paid to do ! If I requested an architectural feature that just isn't going to work then I would expect to receive advice accordingly, and forego the feature I desired and not have the architect incorporate it into the plans.

 

If I wanted to have a coin designed and minted and went to a professional designer I would expect the same professionalism - not someone who would absolutely do what I asked if it wasn't going to be in my best interests. Using copyrighted material in geocoins may have been done time and again, it doesn't make it right and it certainly doesn't make it acceptable, in any circumstances.

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jim, no matter the corrections, you have alienated a large part of the geocoin community. once said, something cannot be unsaid and in this case, the underlying hostility of your words.

 

personally, you and paula could release the much-heralded second coming of tranquility and I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial ten-foot pole.

 

rsg

I don't think I have alienated anyone. I made a generalization in one post that has been corrected.

 

I'm simply saying that the art to which mould/dies were created to make certain geocoins was not paid for, but then also used time and time again for personal financial gain. That's what is being addressed. Have a good day.

 

~J

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jim, no matter the corrections, you have alienated a large part of the geocoin community. once said, something cannot be unsaid and in this case, the underlying hostility of your words.

 

personally, you and paula could release the much-heralded second coming of tranquility and I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial ten-foot pole.

 

rsg

I don't think I have alienated anyone. I made a generalization in one post that has been corrected.

 

I'm simply saying that the art to which mould/dies were created to make certain geocoins was not paid for, but then also used time and time again for personal financial gain. That's what is being addressed. Have a good day.

 

~J

 

Edited to add: I believe I can speak for both Paula and myself in saying that when/if the 2007 Tranquility dies are EVER returned to either of us, they will not be used to create another geocoin. I know "I" have no desire to add to the confusion of what version is what or how many were minted. I 'believe' Paula feels the same way, and I believe she stated elsewhere that the dies would not be used to make any further coins.

Edited by GeocoinGuy
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jim, no matter the corrections, you have alienated a large part of the geocoin community. once said, something cannot be unsaid and in this case, the underlying hostility of your words.

 

personally, you and paula could release the much-heralded second coming of tranquility and I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial ten-foot pole.

 

rsg

I don't think I have alienated anyone. I made a generalization in one post that has been corrected.

 

I'm simply saying that the art to which mould/dies were created to make certain geocoins was not paid for, but then also used time and time again for personal financial gain. That's what is being addressed. Have a good day.

 

~J

 

Actually you HAVE alienated many people and they have said that both in this threat and in the other one. You posted that one post in the heat of the moment. My guess would be that when you had your private discussions with Groundspeak that you were told that you couldn't do what you had threatened and that is claim intellectual property violation over anyone that tried to sell that coin. What I remember is the hostility and vehemence that came out in that post rather than your belated "correction."

 

I believe that the there are many great points that have been made in this thread and it seems that most boil down to the fact that the rights to the art can be claimed but not the actual object itself. If the object could be claimed then I guess I can't sell any of my books since the writer owns the words but I guess I don't own the actual book itself

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jim, no matter the corrections, you have alienated a large part of the geocoin community. once said, something cannot be unsaid and in this case, the underlying hostility of your words.

 

personally, you and paula could release the much-heralded second coming of tranquility and I wouldn't touch it with the proverbial ten-foot pole.

 

rsg

I don't think I have alienated anyone. I made a generalization in one post that has been corrected.

 

I'm simply saying that the art to which mould/dies were created to make certain geocoins was not paid for, but then also used time and time again for personal financial gain. That's what is being addressed. Have a good day.

 

~J

 

You may not think it - but the fact is you have, plain and simple, and I don't understand the part where you say you made a generalization in one post - in my eyes it was pretty much to the point.

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Jim, I appreciate the PM, but I'm not inclined to keep my opinions private about this recent occurrence. As someone who enjoys the general light-hearted nature of this forum, I don't enjoy seeing it get shredded with audacious threats, regardless of their subsequent retraction.

 

As was just shown, you specifically wrote: "For ALL to heed:" and "ANYONE attempting to sell..."

 

Even if you were only being emotional, the emphasis implied by the all-caps is undeniable. Hard to defend that you didn't intend that to begin with. Regardless, you indeed have no legal rights to block any consumer resale of Tranquility coins by a general "first-sale" application of the law. With regards to your intellectual property rights for the Tranquility coins, nobody here besides you, CinemaBoxers and CastleMan knows exactly what was said or agreed upon. Your back and forth accusations in these forums does nothing but effect your reputations in the court of public opinion. If one of you wants to be officially declared "correct", then it's up to the three of you to duke it out in a real court.

 

I can imagine that you're all frustrated with this situation, as well as others that have occurred over the past few years. But to be perfectly blunt, my particular observation is that these issues are too often brought upon yourselves by your own actions. It's just become exhausting to watch so much drama surrounding the same sources played out repeatedly in this forum. And now that this ongoing situation has introduced open threats of legal action against forum readers, yes...people are easily being alienated. Like RSG said, this may be one time when retractions, apologies and excuses won't help. It's flat-out getting old.

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Well, I'm sorry to say that you've certainly alienated me. The tone of that post was so high-handed and condescending -- the use of the caps, the drama-queen posting of your lawyer's contact information, and then the nice little follow-up suggesting that yeah, go ahead and talk to my lawyers, but don't bother, because they won't reply.

 

I understand that you're upset. I'd be upset too, if, say, Pete or Mike took one of my designs and made oodles of money off of it without paying me, and agreed to sending me the dies and then didn't because he didn't trust me not to honor an agreement not to send those dies to China and make more. It would make me furiously angry. But I would never, ever, ever, ever barge into the Forums and threaten action against my customers.

 

It's vendor suicide. This is yet another textbook example of how not to relate to your customers.

 

And Jim, a little dose of humility in your posts would do you a great deal of good, and it would be a really, really good idea if you would consult with those lawyers whom you've retained before making legal statements on the Forums. Maybe it would have been better to simply state what had happened (instead, for example, of posting extracts from Copyright code) and ask that people suspend their sales, rather than threaten them. And maybe it would help if you would outright apologize rather than characterize your threat against the whole community of Tranquility owners and want-to-be-owners as "a generalization".

 

Plus, I don't think you even have the legal authority to threaten Castleman -- it's a judge who'd issue a restraining order against sales while the lawsuit runs its course, not you, and it's the judge who'd make the final determination that breach-of-contract and/or intellectual property theft did indeed occur, not you. But I'm no lawyer -- it may indeed be lawful for you to do that but for heaven's sake, would you check with your lawyers and handle it privately with Castleman rather than in the Forums? I'm sure your lawyers would appreciate the opportunity to do their jobs and send him a Cease & Desist letter rather than you sending him notice on a public message board.

 

This also serves as a warning to other artists: when you send your bill to the vendor, don't wait until almost three years later to claim payment (or non-payment). Set a payment period in your invoice and raise hell if they don't pay within the time limit. I know very few of us use actual signed contracts before beginning work, but I'm thinking (at least, for myself) that this really is the way to go. At least, with email, there's some sort of record, but I think it has got to be so much harder to prove breach of contract in a court of law when there's no actual contract.

 

All in all, I'm thinking that the general community is learning a lot here. Pity it has to be through negative example.

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I think Yime said it well here:

 

It's just become exhausting to watch so much drama surrounding the same sources played out repeatedly in this forum.

 

The topic of this thread is clearly in the title. It's not to bash this vendor, talk about what's going on behind the scenes, etc. It's to talk about both the law and people's feelings and opinions about selling coins that they've bought, or using the likeness of others on coins and how that affects your ability to sell them, etc.

 

Any more personal exchanges should be done offline.

Posting to this thread and referring to the other thread is as much off-topic as anything else so let's keep the discussion on point please.

 

At some point (in the very near future) Eartha and I will have to start either kicking people out of these threads and/or issuing suspensions. Believe it or not, we don't like doing either so please let's keep it from getting to that point and stay on topic.

 

Thank you.

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If I ask that someone design a coin for me and I will give them a certain number of the minted coins (whether its called an AE or not) would that constitute payment so I would own the rights? I guess it would be the best idea to put it in writing who owns the intellectual properties of coins we have designed.

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Here's a start for those interested in reading about the relevant laws regarding copyright infringement (the Wikipedia article covers US, British, and Canadian law, so your mileage may vary in other countries) and First Sale Doctrine, both of which have been mentioned in the thread. Note, of course, that this is Wikipedia, so if you really want to ensure that you have the details down correctly, I'd recommend further research (or consult with a copyright law expert).

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If I ask that someone design a coin for me and I will give them a certain number of the minted coins (whether its called an AE or not) would that constitute payment so I would own the rights? I guess it would be the best idea to put it in writing who owns the intellectual properties of coins we have designed.

 

I agree. It'd be good to cover:

 

1) Payment and how that payment is calculated, if it's in coins. For example, I request that I get a single copy, free, of any edition made. It would probably be good to state, if you so desire, that you require a single copy of any edition made for this and any future minting.

 

2) Terms (when payment is due, whether deposits are required, etc)

 

3) Rights -- who holds the copyright? I'd also recommend putting a statement in there that if the agreement is that the rights go to the buyer (vendor or client), that the rights revert to the artist/vendor if payment is not made within an agreed-upon timeframe.

 

4) Disposition of the dies. Who gets physical custody of the dies? The contract should stipulate whether remints may be made, and whose permission is required (as applicable) for additional runs. If the dies are sent as part of the artist's compensation package and if the vendor does not want the artist to make copies, then the contract should specify this, and I think it should be really specific: that is, if it's okay that the artist make limited runs (and a number should be specified) of coins using non-metal materials (e.g., sculpey) for anything other than personal use, then the contract should say so.

 

That's just a start. I'm sure people with more of a lawyerly bent will be able to make other suggestions.

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Note, of course, that this is Wikipedia, so if you really want to ensure that you have the details down correctly, I'd recommend further research (or consult with a copyright law expert).

 

Wait?!?! You mean Wikipedia isn't the end-all and be-all of all accurate information? :)

I would start here.

 

~J

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Note, of course, that this is Wikipedia, so if you really want to ensure that you have the details down correctly, I'd recommend further research (or consult with a copyright law expert).

 

Wait?!?! You mean Wikipedia isn't the end-all and be-all of all accurate information? :)

 

Would you trust a website that is run like this to cover you in a legal situation? The bold parts are mine.

What is Wikipedia?

 

Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, written collaboratively by the people who use it. It is a special type of website designed to make collaboration easy, called a wiki. Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes per hour. All of these changes are recorded in article histories and recent changes. For a more detailed account of the project, see About Wikipedia.

 

<snip>

 

Don't be afraid to edit — anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Find something that can be improved and make it better - for example, spelling, grammar, rewriting for readability, or removing unconstructive edits. If you wish to add new facts, please provide references so they may be verified, or suggest them on the article's discussion page. Changes to controversial topics and Wikipedia's main pages should usually be discussed first.

 

Remember - you can't break Wikipedia; all edits can be reversed, fixed or improved later. Wikipedia is allowed to be imperfect. So go ahead, edit an article and help make Wikipedia the best information source on the Internet!

 

Jackalgirl is correct in saying one should contact an attorney for legal advice, (not Wiki, and not a discussion forum) and what's good for Minnesota might not be good for California, or Greece, or England, or Texas, or New York, or Brazil.......

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...

Jackalgirl is correct in saying one should contact an attorney for legal advice, (not Wiki, and not a discussion forum) and what's good for Minnesota might not be good for California, or Greece, or England, or Texas, or New York, or Brazil.......

 

copyright law is the same from state to state as it is federal law. there are attempts to regulate copyright world wide but as far as i know, that has not been successful.

 

contract law - have not a clue from state to state! :)

 

i think plagiarism — what is plagiarism and what is acceptable, is an important issue, but that might be something only an attorney can decide and a judge.

 

rsg

Edited by RedShoesGirl
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Interesting. I had to pay for my Moose coin design BEFORE any design was made. Same when I hired Paula to design another coin.

 

In the past several people were asked to pay up front but never received the design they paid for. I think I might handle it like home repair contractors and the like--pay something up front and the balance on completion of the services.

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Interesting. I had to pay for my Moose coin design BEFORE any design was made. Same when I hired Paula to design another coin.

 

Well, that would be part of the terms of the project. The artist might request payment in full before beginning work. Perhaps there would be a non-refundable deposit that's part of the total cost. Perhaps there might be stipulations that you agree to mutually as to what will happen if you're not satisfied. It all depends on what kind of requirements the artist has, what requirements the client has, and what they'[re both willing to agree to.

 

I think it would probably also be a good idea, because RedShoesGirl is absolutely correct about copyright, to put in a stipulation that the client states that he/she owns the rights (or has permission to use) any reference photos or art provided by him or her to the artist, as well as the right to reproduce any quotes that are not in the public domain, and that the artist also states that any art, etc., he or she brings into the project is permissable for use. In some cases, the artist might want to say something like "if you're not sure whether you have permission to use this and I need to produce an original piece of art inspired by -- but not "strikingly similar" as defined by copyright law -- you'll be charged $x per hour for the production of said piece". Or otherwise come up with some other kind of mutually-agreed stipulation, as required. I, personally, just throw it into my whole bulk price, as I'm doing this part-time and not trying to make a living off of it, and I enjoy drawing from scratch, but that probably would not -- or should not -- work for other artists.

 

Edited to add: there should also be something in there regarding the time period of the project. For example, if Pete & I agree that the art phase of the project will be done on by a certain date, then Pete should not have to pay me, or there should be some other stipulation, if I don't get it done on time. On the other hand, I might also put in something that requires, on the part of the client, a clear idea of what he or she wants, so I don't miss my deadline because the client keeps changing major parts of the design because it "just isn't quite right".

 

I've had that happen (in the challenge coin world) and it was tremendously frustrating. To the point where I seriously considered something like "the cost for a design is $x, which includes two major changes and five minor changes. Major changes are defined as changes in which significant elements are changed (for example, you decide you'd rather have a daffodil on the coin instead of the elephant you asked for at first). Minor changes are defined as changes in typeface, color, or scale, or the removal of elements and the minor changes of phrasing that does not require an overall redesign. The corrections of any errors made on my part will be free and unlimited, and the correction of other obvious errors (for example, spelling errors) is likewise free and unlimited."

 

Edited: tweaked for clarity.

Edited by Jackalgirl
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Back to the original post - Would it not be acceptable to have known images on geocoins? Do not want to single out any one coin and have lots of examples (but) - roadrunner coin we just looked at on another thread, dark side of the cache coin (can't help but think about pink floyd), mickey diver (mickey shape) and so many more ... without permission from say - Warner Brothers/Mel Blanc, Pink Floyd or whomever created album cover art, Disney/Walt Disney. Just would like some clarification in laymans terms not in paragraph/subparagraph, part C unless superceded by part 2a ...

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Back to the original post - Would it not be acceptable to have known images on geocoins? Do not want to single out any one coin and have lots of examples (but) - roadrunner coin we just looked at on another thread, dark side of the cache coin (can't help but think about pink floyd), mickey diver (mickey shape) and so many more ... without permission from say - Warner Brothers/Mel Blanc, Pink Floyd or whomever created album cover art, Disney/Walt Disney. Just would like some clarification in laymans terms not in paragraph/subparagraph, part C unless superceded by part 2a ...

 

it is done, but it is not acceptable to use known images on geocoins.

 

but the "wounded" party has to speak up. that would be warner bros, or the photographer whose work was stolen to produce a coin or the licensing body that controls the likeness of marilyn monroe or elvis, etc.

 

disney is particularly vehement about the use of their images on ANYTHING that is not licensed by them.

 

heck, they used to not let photographers with too "professional" looking cameras into their parks.

 

unfortunately, the appropriation of popular images seems to be widespread in the geocoin design world. and i think in the overall scheme of things, geocoins are small potatoes.

 

we seem to be so concerned about someone using one geocoin design on another coin without permission, but are ignoring the larger picture of copying other art for a geocoin.

 

we are not talking clip art or images that are totally royalty free that can be used for commercial projects.

 

the question every designer should be asking themselves — is this my imagination or is this someone else's work - cartoon, sculpture, movie poster, museum art, tv show logo, the sistine chapel, vintage illustration, etc.

 

real artists need nothing but their imaginations and their clients should accept that and not expect artists to copy from other sources.

 

my 2¢

 

rsg

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from a photograph? hmmmm, tricky.

 

That has no bearing on the situtation if it's her own photograph or if it was inspired or adapted from. My earlier post I missed the point, I thought people were talking about unauthorized mintings of artwork. It would depend upon how the agreement is set up. If it's a 'work for hire' (something all artists and freelancers loath) then they do not retain any copyright over their design. If it's licensed or limited rights (such as world wide usage one or perpetural usage to do with as the minter pleases) then there are no grounds.

 

For my own artwork, I retain the rights to do with it as I please, but also grant unlimited usage to the minter (or vendor) with a fraction of compensation for any additional usage beyond the first minting. I have no say with what the vendor does with my artwork, however, due to our continuing working relationship, they respect my views on reminting, repurposing or reusing.

 

I have no idea what transpired with the tranquilities, whether there is paperwork, emails etc. But that year the geocoin community was introduced to some new terms such as Special Edition (SE), formally SE meant standard edition. AE = sprinkling glitter on a coin and calling it an AE. And other terms such as LEAF --- Limited Edition After the Fact. So with all these new terms becoming convenient truths, I highly doubt there will be an amicable resolution, published minting numbers or any other objective information available.

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copyright law is the same from state to state as it is federal law. there are attempts to regulate copyright world wide but as far as i know, that has not been successful.

 

Correct it's very, very hard to follow up on copyright infringment internationally.

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roadrunner coin we just looked at on another thread, dark side of the cache coin (can't help but think about pink floyd), mickey diver (mickey shape) and so many more ... without permission from say - Warner Brothers/Mel Blanc, Pink Floyd or whomever created album cover art, Disney/Walt Disney. Just would like some clarification in laymans terms

 

Yes, you need to seek permission, even if you aren't doing it to profit from the venture... chances are no one is going to come after you since you a small fish and at most would be told to stop. Vendors on the other hand (especially those who claim they are just minting a product, should be asking for the permissions). If they don't and someone does file claim they are also liable. i have seen this happen a couple of times (not to geocoins).

 

For copyrights and trademarks you have to actively defend them from inception, you can't make something then decide 4 years later to defend it.

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from a photograph? hmmmm, tricky.

 

That has no bearing on the situtation if it's her own photograph or if it was inspired or adapted from....

 

if it her own photo that's understood — unless she/he has photographed an object that is protected like some parks rides and other objects. many places simply say no photography allowed. or personal use of the photo only. that means no geocoins as a commercial enterprise.

 

so to be really clear, using someone else's photo is verbotten. using ones own photo is ok, unless the object is private, protected by licensing or copyrighted - then it is not ok.

 

think of a train. you shoot a UP train. you want to use the photo of the train for a geocoin. BUT you cannot use the UP logo on the coins. so what you end up is a generic image of an engine.

 

there is an art event down in one of the california beach towns called the "sawdust festival." signs everywhere say no photographs allowed. being a newspaper shooter i was given permission. but if someone else snapped a pic surreptitiously and then tried to make a geocoin from it, that would be illegal.

 

if there is any doubt, ask for permission. better yet, use original art that contains no logos or other identifiable elements.

 

does this make sense everyone?

 

rsg

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