What is Copyright? (Journal Entry #1)

Copyright symbol


So far, the design work I have completed for my internship hasn’t required me to source images, but I have used the company’s logo. Since the logo is the company’s property, I have had to abide by certain visual standards that come with the logo. This relates to the ethical guidelines discussed in the AIGA guide. According to the AIGA Business’ Guide to Copyright, “Style is not copyrightable, but specific designs created as the expression of a style is copyrightable.” Since the logo incorporates a unique icon, it is thus copyrightable. Now, for instance, I am someone that loves using color. When I showed my work for the first assignment to my supervisor, she asked me to limit it to black and white. That suggestion is thus a part of the company’s identity and any misrepresentation or improper use could possibly result in a lawsuit. This also reminded me of an article I read regarding the Hope Dealing Litigation case by William Fisher. In the case, an artist named Shepard Fairey used an image without proper consent from the image’s owner (the Associated Press). When Manny Garcia, the photographer, took this image, he specified that it was not for political gain. Though the artist had good intentions, he violated the owner’s desires and possibly gained profits from another person’s work.

Furthermore, before starting my internship, the company asked me to sign a Non- Disclosure agreement. Similar to the example of the NDA agreement on Scribd, the agreement specified that I was not allowed to discuss any information, such as “business records/plans, technical information, products, inventions, product design information and other proprietary information”, for a five-year period. That is why I tend to give an overall subject matter when discussing my progress in my internship journal. For instance, this week’s assignment asked me to describe what I have done so far and instead of describing detail by detail, I just wrote that I worked on a social media related project.