New London Based T-Shirt Store ‘The Crown Tees’ [Submitted]

by Andy on September 11, 2012

Post image for New London Based T-Shirt Store ‘The Crown Tees’ [Submitted]

Hi, I’m Benny and I have recently started my own online T-shirt store. I draw influences from urban street wear using inspiration from 2 of my favourite cities; London (my hometown) and New York (my favourite city).

Please feel free to check out my website

Andy: I like the tees and I like the concept, but I must admit that I do have some concerns regarding copyright when it comes to this brand. I presume that the images used have been taken by Benny (or licensed), but I’m not 100% sure of the status of using images of certain buildings, such as the Orbital Tower from the Olympic Park or Tower Bridge in the LDN t-shirt. I’m not a lawyer so I really, really, don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s just something I thought when I saw the tees. As ever, it would also be nice to see images of the real shirts rather than just mockups, even though these are decent mockups.

  • Barry Twattington

    Copyright concerns vis-à-vis buildings are applicable if they were built after December
    1, 1990. Before that, buildings did not have copyright protection and
    were thus, by definition, in the public domain.

    In general, buildings erected after December 1, 1990 do not pose a big
    problem either. There is a “photographer’s exception” to a building’s
    copyright owner’s rights that permits the photography of buildings. This
    gives a wide leeway to the definition of “building”; everything from
    gazebos to office towers are included. As long as the building is in a
    public place, or visible — and photographable — from a public place,
    there is no infringement of the building’s copyright owner’s rights.
    This rule includes private as well as public buildings.

    When art is involved in the photography of a building, however, there
    could be a problem. If there is a work of art attached to or adjacent to
    the structure you are photographing, or if you are just photographing
    that work of art, to be safe you will need to get permission from the
    copyright owner. If the artwork is secondary to the subject or focus of
    the photograph, or if your photography is intended for educational,
    research, news reporting, criticism, or public interest use, your
    pictures may fall into the area of “fair use” — yet a litigious
    copyright owner could make your life a living, expensive and defensive

    There may also be issues when photographing a building built after 1990 which has been sponsored (Emirates Stadium, O2 Arena etc) and adding your own logo to the photograph as you are implying that building has association with your own brand.

  • Andy (Hide Your Arms)

    Well, that pretty much covers it, thanks ‘Barry’!

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