Copyright on each card?

Ironwing

Looking at a few decks:
Tarot of the Animal Lords (Lo Scarabeo):
No copyright notices on the cards. Only the Fool card is signed.

Celtic Wisdom (Inner Traditions/Destiny Books):
No copyright notices or signatures.

Chinese Tarot (US Games): Tiny "Copyright U.S. Games" notice on the front of every card.

Motherpeace Tarot (US Games edition - the first edition was self-published): "Copyright by Motherpeace" on the front of every card.

A notice on the front of every card seems excessive (and intrusive) - you don't see a notice on ever page of a book! But I can see why it's done, especially with widely-distributed decks. A lot of copyright violation is done by well-meaning people who don't know that there is a problem with copying a card or two for a magazine or book...just as there are people who don't see anything wrong with creating collage cards using images "found" on websites.


My preference (and the way I'll go with my deck) is for a copyright notice and signature on the title card, and no text at all on the cards themselves.

Lorena
 

baba-prague

Ironwing said:
just as there are people who don't see anything wrong with creating collage cards using images "found" on websites.

I have no problem really with people taking some images for their websites as long as they leave them intact and say where they are from. It's in fact nice to see the images being used and enjoyed. But I do agree, that people who take images as a quick and easy way of making "their own" collages is a real copyright violation. I also agree with you that many people still don't realise this.
(Some time I will tell the story here of the Bulgarian publishers who came to see us - they do an Egyptian deck which to me is far far too similar to the Nefartari - in my books it's a bootleg and I don't like the ethics of this, and told them so. But I honestly don't know if they understood why I was so offended - or so reluctant to sell them a ToP!)

I don't want to put copyright notices on every card. You know that everything you do automatically has copyright anyway, so the notice is really just about saying "you've been warned" - and I don't want to have this on every card. It IS intrusive. I love the idea of a tiny signature though, that's much nicer, though I'm fairly sure legally it doesn't make the image any more copyright than it is anyway.
 

M-Press

Like a sponge, I'm taking it all in... thank you...

I agree that many people DON'T realise what copyright violation really means, and even in AT I hear many times about "photocopying a favorita card", enlarge it and make it the cover of a tarot journal...

but what can you do? This is really harmless, and even though we don't have to see it as "flattery" only, it really doesn't do any bad, maybe even advertise a bit...

I also hate that little copy in every card...will look in a monogram at least, something that gives each card "origin of birth"...

I must say that I really get much insight with this discussion, and I can see my own issues with it, and inspite the struggle, it IS enlightening to take a moment (well...more than that...), and look how you feel about your art being out in the world, and what that means to you, on every aspect...
 

baba-prague

M-Press said:
Like a sponge, I'm taking it all in... thank you...

I agree that many people DON'T realise what copyright violation really means, and even in AT I hear many times about "photocopying a favorita card", enlarge it and make it the cover of a tarot journal...

but what can you do? This is really harmless, and even though we don't have to see it as "flattery" only, it really doesn't do any bad, maybe even advertise a bit...


Oh, I would never worry about that sort of thing - in fact it's great. I'm currently hoping to send someone a small piece of the antique Japanese silk we used for The Emperor card (BBCT) so that she can co-ordinate some of the pieces she is doing - for her own pleasure or VERY small scale commerce. It's fantastic to me that anyone would even want to do this - really nice.
I'm not even sure this kind of thing does contravene copyright anyway if it's for study purposes LOL!

It's the real copyright violation for commercial gain (or to pass something off as yours that isn't - similar thing) that worries me. As we discovered, the people who do this for a living won't be detered by a copyright notice anyway. They have ways around that, and that's what's more worrying in the end.
 

HudsonGray

Well, the copyright is done as a unit on the entire deck, so the act of copyrighting is only needed on the set. But you do have the choice of putting the words 'copyright' on each and every card if you want (even though they haven't had to be filed with the Copyright office as separate cards). Asthetically, it's only needed on one card and on the little white booklet. Choosing to stamp each card with the words would be a personal choice. However, if the individual cards were done up as prints, then each copy of the print would need a copyright symbol/notice on it, as it's a unit of one at that point.

I think, personally, that sticking the notice one each card in the deck would be too distracting.
 

Hykaiaxgun

Copyright belongs to you upon creation, notice or not. Of course, if you suspect infringement, you will need to prove you created the art and the best way to do that is by registering your copyright. You can register the deck as a whole with images of each card submitted to the Copyright office. I would also suggest taking pictures of the creation process as well as keeping all sketches and thumbnails. It shouldn't be hard to prove if you have this. If someone is considering stealing your image, they either are knowledgable about copyrights or they are not. If they are, they know that just because an image does not have a copyright notice on it, DOES NOT mean it is not copyrighted. If they are ignorant of copyright law, a notice might not make a difference anyway.
 

full deck

Infringement?

There are issues of "fair use" or the fair use of copyrighted material for ones own use, for example, if one scanned a copyrighted image and made a Tarot journal cover out of it, that *might* be considered fair usage of the image if the cover was for personal usage only, however, if one used the same image to produce something for sale, that would be clear violation of copyright. Most deck creators will never need to worry about such, still the fact that US Games uses this mark on every card is why I do not own any of their decks and it does speak volumes about the company as well since it is not really needed on every card to enforce copyright infringement laws so long as the entire collection is duly registered.

(I asked a lawyer too)
 

Astra

Actually, it IS needed by a company like US Games. Think about all the times you've seen someone use one or two Tarot cards in a photo or other graphic - or on something that's not at all Tarot related. We generally think in terms of working with a full deck, but when you're likely to have one or two cards pulled out of context, you want to make sure that the copyright shows on any card that's used.

Just because they have (rightly) paranoid lawyers doesn't mean their decks aren't worth buying.
 

rota

For what it's worth, I've addressed this problem both ways.
One deck has a microscopically tiny © notice on each card. I was told at the time by a legal authority I trust that it was "a good idea" to do so. I dislike it, because it somehow becomes a part of the image, an *unnecessary* part, in my opinion. It's not pretty.
Another deck has no © on the card, but only on the box and LWB. I figured I could live without the ironclad assurance of a copyright notice on individual images that time around, and simply deal with any issues of future image appropriation if they occurred.
The copyright protection is the same in either case.
Many people have asked to use card images for one thing or another, with links and attribution, and I was happy to give permission. I see it as a sort of advertising, and take it as a compliment that they're interested. I don't think I'd see a problem unless someone took an idea for moneymaking purposes.
Can anyone here tell us how long copyright protection lasts?
 

M-Press

according to the Chicago Manual of Style (paragraph 4.22)...

copyright length for creators: "Life plus seventy"
meaning, the life of the author plus seventy years. if join authors, then the 70 is added after the death of the last to go.

WORKS MADE FOR HIRE-if you illustrate something for a publisher, and get an one-time fee, which makes THE PUBLISHER the owner of the copyright): 95 years from date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.

there is TONS of significantly important material there, i reccomend this book to anyone who wishes to self-publish, or ever do work for hire...