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So, U.S. copyright law needs to go die in a fire.

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You probably already believe this to be true, as I have for some time. However, I do not mean just any fire. I'm talking flames of eternal damnation here. Let me explain.

A few days ago, I discovered that my bank (Wells Fargo) allows customers to customize their credit cards with an image of their choosing, free of charge. I thought to myself, "How freakin' epic would it be to have the Overworld album art on my credit card?" I read the image guidelines, and they state:

--- Quote ---For all images you must:
* Own the image or have permission from the owner to use the image on your card.
* Have approval from the owner if you use any logo, name, or tag line that isn't yours.Images that include any of the following will be rejected:
* Trademarks, copyrighted materials, advertising, or branding.
* Celebrities, musicians, athletes, entertainers, or other public figures.
* Telephone numbers, URLs, account numbers, addresses, or email addresses.
* Cartoon characters or artwork that you have not created and/or do not have permission from the copyright owner to use.
* Violent, offensive, anti-social, or death imagery - including any other material that could be perceived as violent.
* Provocative, lewd, or sexual content - including nude, semi-nude, or partially clothed pictures of people of any age.
* Dead animals, including game animals.
* Political or religious imagery.
* Symbols representing money or other content that might result in confusion at the point of sale, or that might result in card fraud.
* Socially unacceptable or discriminatory behavior or signs (for example, gangs, hatred, drug or alcohol abuse, graffiti, profanity, or other obscene behavior or gestures).
* Images of flags, unless it is one of the flag-related images from our photo gallery.
--- End quote ---
So, it's possible to use a copyrighted image if you obtain permission from the copyright holder. So, to this end, I e-mailed Rob about it. He, being the awesome dude he is, shot me back a message right away saying:
--- Quote ---Do it! Kick ass!

Robert, Machinae Supremacy
--- End quote ---
So, I went straight back to the card design page and uploaded the Overworld album art, positioned it as I liked on the card, and submitted my design. At this point, the website informed me that someone would review my design and approve or reject it based on whether or not it adhered to the guidelines. I waited for the e-mail, and three days later (two hours ago, at the time of this posting) I received a notice that my card design had been rejected.

I figured this would happen since there's no way during the design process to specify that yes, this is a copyrighted work, and yes, I'm using it with permission, and yes, here's the proof. No big deal, I'll just call the number they gave in the e-mail and straighten this out, right? Wrong. The lady on the phone stated that it is against their policy to approve any design that includes a copyrighted work. The reason she gave for this is that it says "Wells Fargo" on the card, and that they are the ones who would be sued if the copyright holder had not truly given permission.

However, note parts of the guidelines highlighted in green above. They contradict the statement that it is policy to reject all card designs that include copyrighted work that isn't your own. In fact, they suggest that as long as you get permission from the owner, any piece is admissible. Still, the fact that their guidelines need to be rewritten to match their policies doesn't really make me angry, just slightly annoyed that I wasted my time on such a futile effort.

What pisses me off is the reason Wells Fargo has a policy against allowing copyrighted artwork. U.S. law allows copyright holders to sue the pants off anyone who uses their "property" without permission. And even if you have permission, unless the specific scope of what you're allowed to do with it is defined in a legally-binding contract, if they don't end up liking something you did with it, they can still sue you pantsless. The reason my bank's policy against permitting the use of copyrighted art exists is because they know this; it's safer to reject all copyrighted designs than to tempt fate and allow it, even if permission has been obtained.

Stupid laws, ruining my fun 'n' shit.

I wish I had something more in-depth to say about that... but goddamn, that stuff is just fucked up.

All that copyright shit has gotten just completely out of hand.

Think copyright's bad enough, take a look at patents, and especially patent trolls. They buy patents that aren't being enforced at low cost, and then sue companies that they feel are infringing on their patents.

The whole U.S Patent system needs a thorough overhaul, as does copyright.

Is the trinity logo copyrighted? If not you should just use that! ^^

Probably counts as copyrighted.


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