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Topic: Card designs used in illustrations in a magic book
Message: Posted by: chappy (Jul 4, 2014 06:13AM)
I am interested in whether there are any potential legal consequences of using either photographs or illustrations of specific brand cards e.g. USPCC Bicycle's, to illustrate effects in a magic book? Specifically photos or images that clearly show the backs or face designs either partially or in their entirety.

Is there any difference (legally?) between the two? Illustrations and photographs?

Can any authors who have used either in a magic book provide their knowledge or advice here? Did you (or do you need to) contact the manufacturer for permission to use photos or illustrations of their product designs?

Any information advice appreciated

Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Sep 7, 2014 06:12PM)
Hi Greg,

I've published [url=http://www.barnowskymagic.com]four magic books [/url]and all have photos of USPCC cards including the backs. This fall under the Fair Use part of The Copyright Act and common sense. It would be a violation if the USPCC Joker was used on the front cover of your book. However if there are photos of cards being used in a magic effect for instructional purposes, you are not in violation. Think about it. In a photo in one of my books there is a Tag Heurer watch visible. I don't have to get permission to have it in the photo unless maybe I am selling watches. It's being used, not promoted. I think you are on safe ground to use these cards in photos showing magic techniques, provided you are not using their design or logo in a way that takes advantage of its popularity to sell a different product. The same I believe is true in film. If every object on the screen had to be approved by the copyright holder, it would be impractical to make a film: every soda can, automobile, pair of jeans, sneakers etc. A lawyer can tell you their opinion but until it goes to court you'll never be sure.
Larry :readingbook:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 21, 2014 10:24AM)
One thing you alsocan do (I am a graphic designer by trade) is to not use their design at all. Use a custom look and card series that is created for you or that is readily accessible. In this way you do not run into any infringment and can use the designs for any prupose. Contact me as I have a series already set up that I used for a similar project where I needed cards to showcase effects.

Message: Posted by: chappy (Nov 29, 2014 03:09PM)
Thanks Larry and Kyle

Your helpful replies had not gone unnoticed. Sorry I did not reply sooner.

I thought that since I had asked, I should return with the solution I decided upon. One of my main concerns was around the legalities of altering the back designs of Bicycle cards for example during the illustration process. I didn't make that part of my concern clear enough in my initial post.

Either way, I ended up designing my own back and faces. It was not the fastest solution, but I am really pleased that I decided to do this, as the end result is something unique. That not only puts aside any legal concerns, but is also pretty satisfying on a personal project level.

Those interested how the illustrations turned out can see a few of them here: http://www.thedevilsstaircase.com/#!books/cnec

Although this was only my first book, I now consider myself somewhat experienced in the magic book illustration process (at least the process used for my illustrations for card magic), and if anyone ever has any questions about illustrating for a card magic book, I feel I could offer a few pieces of useful advice, and I'd be happy to help answer any specific questions if I can.

Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Dec 2, 2014 12:11PM)

The illustrations look great. Best of luck with the new book.

Larry :readingbook:
Message: Posted by: chappy (Dec 3, 2014 12:13PM)
Thanks Larry

Your name is in the acknowledgements for all of the helpful information you generously shared regarding handling the printing.

Message: Posted by: chappy (Oct 24, 2017 05:31AM)
It's been a while, but perhaps someone here may be interested in this video which shows a basic process for creating illustrations from reference photographs.