Important: We are not your attorneys and the information contained in this article is for your general information only. The information contained in this article is not legal advice of any kind. This article may not cover important issues that affect your use of content. You should consult with an attorney if you have any questions about any area of intellectual property law or your use of particular content.
What is copyright?
Copyright is the right of an author of a creative work to prevent others from using that work, including reproducing a work, publicly displaying a work, distributing a work, or using it to create new works (a derivative work). We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with copyright law before uploading content to Gelato. You can read more about copyright law below.
Note: Please note that these resources are for informational purposes only.
- U.S. Copyright Office – Copyright FAQ
- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse – Copyright FAQ
- Norwegian Copyright Act - (Norwegian only)
What types of materials are copyrighted?
Copyright can cover almost any creative expression fixed in a tangible medium of expression, including, but not limited to, architectural plans, cartoon characters, diagrams, drawings, literary works, maps, paintings, photographs, posters, and sheet music.
If you did not create a work and do not have the consent of the copyright holder to publish or use it (e.g., upload it to Gelato for printing), your use of that work may be unauthorized, and you may be subject to liability for copyright infringement.
What happens if I upload an image of copyrighted work containing a cartoon character, painting, or photograph to Gelato, and I did not create the underlying image?
If you upload a copyrighted work to Gelato and you don’t own the copyright and don’t have permission to upload, reproduce, distribute, publicly display, or create a derivative work of that copyrighted work, you may be subject to liability for copyright infringement and can be sued for such infringement.
The damages for copyright infringement can be severe. E.g. Statutory damages (available to a copyright owner without proving actual harm) can, under US law, range from $750 - $30,000 per work infringed, and run as high as $150,000 for willful infringement.
If we are notified that material uploaded to Gelato infringes someone’s copyright, we will expeditiously remove or disable access to such content as required by applicable law. We will terminate the accounts of repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances in accordance with applicable law or in our sole discretion in the event of egregious violations of the rights of third parties.
What about fair use? If I’m using Gelato for my own personal use, isn’t that okay?
The “fair use” doctrine is an affirmative defense to copyright infringement that allows the use of a work for certain limited purposes such as criticism, commentary, parody, news reporting, research, and teaching. Fair use is a complicated doctrine, and it is an open question whether a particular use of a copyrighted work constitutes fair use. Just because you are using a third party’s copyrighted work for non-commercial purposes does not mean that the use is “fair.” You are responsible for the content you upload to or through Gelato and may be liable for monetary damages if it is determined that you wrongly assumed that your use of certain content constituted “fair use”.
You can read more about copyright law relating to the fair use doctrine below.
Note: Please note that these resources are for informational purposes only.
- U.S. Copyright Office – Fair Use
- Stanford University Libraries – Copyright & Fair Use
- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse – Copyright and Fair Use
- Norwegian Copyright Act - (Norwegian only), see Section 12
Further information regarding copyright infringement
- The use of a small portion of a copyrighted work may cause you to be liable for copyright infringement.
- A copyright notice (i.e., ©) is generally not required for a work to be protected by copyright law.
- Distributing content containing copyrighted material without the copyright owner’s permission may be a violation of copyright law even if you give the content away for free.
- There is no exception for “private” copying in U.S. law. Even if you are requesting the printing of products for delivery to friends and family, you could still be liable for copyright infringement. See Section 12 of the Norwegian Copyright Act for an exception under Norwegian law.
- You can be liable for copyright infringement even if you give attribution to the owner or author of the copyrighted content.
- Even if you used your creativity to design a new work of authorship that embodies another person’s copyrighted work, you may be liable for copyright infringement.
- The only way that you can know for certain that content does not infringe anyone else’s copyright is if you created the entire work yourself without using anyone else’s copyrighted materials.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods.
What types of goods may be trademarked?
Trademarks are generally words, phrases, logos, and symbols used by producers to identify their goods. Trademarked goods can include the Coca Cola swirled bottle, famous character designs, and well-known product names and logos (e.g., Nike swoosh). Unauthorized use of third-party trademarks on Gelato can expose you and others to liability and will not be tolerated.
What other types of infringement do I need to know about?
In addition to copyright and trademark infringement, you should also avoid uploading any content to Gelato that might violate the publicity rights of an individual. In many jurisdictions, you cannot use someone else’s name, image, voice, likeness, signature, or other indicia of identity without their consent.
Also, orders that, in our reasonable opinion, may violate any law, infringe the rights of a third party, or are inappropriate, obscene or immoral, may be rejected. If we nevertheless fulfill the order, Gelato has no responsibility for such violation or infringement.
How will I be notified if something I have uploaded to Gelato has been the subject of a notification of claimed infringement?
If we receive notification of claimed infringement with respect to anything that you have uploaded to Gelato, we will notify you at the email address associated with your account or such other contact information that you have provided to Gelato. You are solely responsible for maintaining current, accurate, and complete contact information at all times. If you have a statutory right to object to a notification of claimed infringement, we will afford you that right. But Gelato retains the right to remove content at any time at its sole discretion.
A work I uploaded to Gelato has been identified in a notification of claimed infringement, and I think this is an error. What do I do?
If you believe a notification of claimed infringement has been submitted in error and that you were authorized to upload the identified work to Gelato, then, if such work is alleged to violate a third party’s copyrights, you have a statutory right under the laws of the United States to file what is called a counter notification with Gelato.
Such counter notification should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and must provide the following information:
- An electronic or physical signature from you;
- Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;
- A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;
- Your name, address, and telephone number, and statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided the notification of claimed infringement or an agent of such person.
If we receive your counter notification but the notification does not comply with applicable law or Gelato’s policies, we may inform you that we are not able to reinstate your work. We may also request further information from you in order to determine whether the work can be reinstated.
We will forward your counter notification directly to a complainant, which will include your personal contact information. At that time the complainant may take legal court action against you in the United States. If after 14 days the complainant has not taken legal action against you, you may contact us to request that we reinstate your work. If your work otherwise complies with our Terms of Service and other policies, we may reinstate your work at that time.
Someone has uploaded a project to Gelato and asked me to print their work on physical objects (e.g. mugs, T-shirts, posters, etc.) and I’m concerned that the person or entity making the request does not possess the necessary rights. What should I do?
If you are the recipient of a request for the printing and manufacturing of goods with content uploaded to Gelato and you have any questions or concerns about such content, you should contact the user who has submitted the order. Unless your concerns are addressed to your satisfaction, you have the right to refuse the order. Gelato, however, does not independently verify the lawfulness of items uploaded to or transmitted through Gelato.
Note: By using Gelato services, you agree to follow our guidelines and Terms of Service.