We have created this page to provide information about intellectual property law and to help the Sticker Wars community in the submission process. Please remember that legal information is not the same as legal advice. Legal advice is the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. The information contained on this page is general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you are unsure of whether or not your proposed sticker art submission is compliant with the laws governing intellectual property, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer, as we are not a law firm, but simply purveyors of awesome stickers.
Copyright vs. Trademark
Some people confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some similarities among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes.
Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phono records of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
“Fair Use” is a legislative provision included in the U.S. Copyright Act that allows for use exceptions to a copyright holder’s exclusive rights. The predominant exceptions of fair use include non-commercial speech, social and political commentary, news reporting and teaching purposes. The four primary factors in determining whether use is fair include:
The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
One final key point to remember – per the terms on our Sticker Wars governing submissions – the final decision on whether to accept and print a sticker submission falls squarely on sticker-wars.com. If for some reason we decide to decline your submission because we feel it poses certain risks that we as a company do not want to gamble on, and then we simply will ask that you respect our decision and refrain from making subsequent arguments with us via emails etc. At the end of the day, the liability for infringement is going to fall squarely on our shoulders and as such, we ask that you respect our decision. Thanks!