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Re: Copyright & Rubber Stamps



What thoughts and experiences do you have about rubber stamps?

I frequently see notices in rubber stamp catalogs that the stamps can only be
used for non-commercial use.  This means that they cannot be used to make a
book that you plan to sell.  I've had a lot of discussions with my spouse
about this.  Steve says that it's like buying a video that you can view at
home, but not charge admission for people to see.

I think it's different.  I can understand protecting your designs so that
someone can not copy it and make another rubber stamp of it.  And I can
understand that you can't buy the stamp, make a xerox image and then use the
xerox copy.  But the only purpose of a rubber stamp is to make images.  It
seem reasonable that if you buy the stamp, you should be able to make as many
images from it and use them any way you want .  It's  like saying you can
only use lead type or cuts for non-commercial use.  You buy type for one
reason: so you can make images with it.

I don't want people copying my artwork without permission.  But then I don't
sell it in the form of a rubber stamp either.

When I order stamps, I specify on the order blank what I intend to do with
them and that the order should not be filled if this is not satisfactory.  It
usually works out, but in one case I returned the stamps and got a refund
because we could not work out a satisfactory agreement.

I am more understanding of an artist's right to control the use of their
artwork when they have created the artwork themselves.  I'm less enthusiastic
about companys that take commercial art in the public domain, make a stamp of
it, and then want to control how that image is used.

Any thoughts?

Ed (Hutchins)


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