Staples would not make a print of a child's drawing

KublaiKhan

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May 24, 2015
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I think this falls under fair use, that this particular manager is off his meds—but maybe I'm wrong. You tell me:

I teach elementary art. I volunteer several hours a week to operate an art club after school. Done this for fifteen years. And I teach fourth and fifth graders how to draw nearly photo-realistic portraits. I wish I could show you their work, so you would see how serious this ends up being.

The kids draw TV and movie stars, singers, superheroes, or important historic figures. When the school year is over, the kids take their work home, of course. I photograph it and make a copy to hang on the wall at school. I've done this since I started, so I've a lot of prints of student work.

I've always had my prints made at Staples. It's affordable and convenient, even if the quality is less than I'd prefer. I've never had an issue until today, when the kid at the copy center refused to print one of my student's drawings (Black Panther from the recent movie). The manager backed that decision, saying the company has been sued for copyright violations, and that Disney is especially litigious.

I believe that my teaching a child to draw a picture of a character from a movie falls under the category of fair use for educational purposes, and that the single print I make and maintain as an example of artwork done in my program also falls under the same fair use for education exception.

Maybe I am wrong, and children are never to draw a picture of Spider-man, let alone make a copy for Grandma, but, that just seems a bit much. These kids aren't touring Comic-Con or C2E2 and selling prints of their works. This is one print hanging in a school to inspire and educate other kids.

Even if I'm wrong, I'll never do business at Staples again. They can play copyright lawyer with someone else.

My perspective may be completely biased and unreasonable, so I'm curious as to what others think, especially if they have some background with copyright law.

Thank you!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Try a different Staples or OfficeMax?
Often, the "manager" has a stick up his butt, and wants to demonstrate his "power".

Or maybe, corporate has brought down the hammer, and he is taking that definition to a new level.
 

KublaiKhan

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May 24, 2015
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I was able to go to another shop down the road, and they knew what I was doing and there was no issue there.

Staples had maintained a Reddit page where this topic was en vogue, and I was given the distinct impression that some of their employees simply enjoy the "power" of playing cop with customers.
 
Oct 8, 2018
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The problem is not making the copies per se, the problem is Staples SELLING the copies to you. That means Staples is making money off the likeness of Black Panther, which is clearly copyrighted, trademarked, and signed and sealed. That is the issue of why THEY can't make the copies for you. There is nothing stopping you from going into your library and making those copies or prints because there is no sales transaction involved.

The general rule is, you can make copies and prints that don't belong to you. You just can't SELL those prints and copies that don't belong to you. You can't make money off of someone else's protected property.

Hope this helps.
 

KublaiKhan

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No, it does not.

I'm not selling anything. I am teaching kids how to draw. Their drawings and use of those images fall under the fair use exception in the law. The single copy I make of their drawing to further teach my techniques also falls under the fair use exemption in the law.

The problem is that the kind of people Staples hires can't tell the difference between a child's drawing and an image off the Internet. They don't understand fair use.

Your argument makes as much sense as the Walmart photo department refusing to sell a print of your kid because he's wearing a Nike shirt and the Nike symbol is "copyrighted."
 

Gam3r01

Titan
Moderator


You, as the end user, are not the issue in this case.
Staples cannot legally sell you a copy of the copywritten image.
If you make a copy, using your own materials, and never sell or otherwise distribute them, totally legal.
Staples cant. They would have sold them. Dosent matter a kid drew it, or that you arent going to sell them. Staples was in the legal right here. Money would have exchanged hands over a copywritten image.
Plain and simple.
 

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