Welcome to the CafePress Content Usage Policy. This Content Usage Policy sets forth the guidelines for use of content through the CafePress Service. Users of the CafePress Service are responsible for making sure their content complies with this Content Usage Policy. If you believe a user is infringing upon your intellectual property rights please use the process set forth in our Intellectual Property Rights Policy. If you would like to report something that you believe does not comply with this Content Usage Policy, please email email@example.com.
All content being used in connection with the CafePress Service will be graded using a White - Gray - Black scale. Content that is clearly acceptable to use will fall within the White Zone. Content that is strictly prohibited will fall within the Black Zone. Content that is questionable will fall within the Gray Zone. Content that is deemed to be in the Gray Zone but closer to White Zone may have a higher probability of not being removed from a user's shop, while content that is deemed to be in the Gray Zone but closer to the Black Zone may have a higher probability of being removed.
Below are some general types of content that are prohibited on CafePress. CafePress will determine, in its sole and absolute discretion, whether your content is in compliance with this Content Usage Policy (CUP). Any content that is determined to be in the Gray Zone may be subject to removal in accordance with the CafePress Terms of Service and Content Owner Agreement.
General Guidelines for Prohibited Content
The list outlined above should NOT be construed as an exhaustive list of offensive material but rather as a general guideline for you to follow.
PLEASE NOTE: CafePress has millions of users from varied backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures, who differ in their views about what is considered offensive and acceptable. We recognize that with such global diversity there will be differences about what is considered offensive and that someone somewhere in the world may be offended by the opinions, perspectives and creative expressions of some of our users. We ask that all users respect each others' right to express themselves in a manner consistent with this Content Usage Policy.
ou may not use any software to advertise, market or promote your CafePress products and shops if the software does any of the following:
Any commercial email you send to market and promote your CafePress shops or products, or related to your use of the CafePress Service must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 as amended and any other applicable laws governing email communications, including without limitation, the following:
For more information on compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 please visit the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/spam/
URLs, Keywords, Search Terms, and other Identifiers
You may not use in your domain name or URL, nor may you purchase or register in any search, referral, or advertising service (such as Google's AdWords program) any of the following terms:
CafePress Branding Bar
You may not remove or alter the CafePress branding on your storefront and store pages.
False or Misleading Marketing Material
You may not use false or misleading content to market and promote your shops and products. Some examples of false and misleading information are:
All images created for the below products must comply with the following rules. Please note that the rules may be more restrictive than the CafePress Content Usage Policy, however you must adhere to the following brand guidelines and requirements. We reserve the right to remove any products from the site that violate these terms at any time without notice and without incurring any liability to you or any third party.
GAIAM MERCHANDISE RULES
SIGG MERCHANDISE RULES
THERMOS MERCHANDISE RULES
This Intellectual Property information is provided to help you better understand Intellectual Property laws as they relate to your use of content through CafePress. The information contained on this page is for informative purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For specific advice regarding your use of content through CafePress, please consult an attorney.
What is a Copyright?
Copyright protects original works of authorship, such as a picture, drawing, graphics, software program, written work, sculpture, song, or photograph. A copyright is created as soon as a work is fixed in a tangible medium (e.g., on paper, on video, on canvas, etc.). A copyright is a bundle of rights, including the exclusive right to distribute, sell, duplicate, publicly perform, and create derivative works from the original work. Copyright law prevents you from copying, distributing, selling, or publicly performing another's original work without permission. Copyright law also prevents you from creating derivative works based upon or derived from another's original work without permission. Copyright protects original expressions of ideas not the ideas themselves.
How long does copyright protection last?
As a general rule, for works created after Jan. 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works created prior to 1978, the term of a copyright depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. In general works created before 1922 are in the public domain. However, if a change has been made to a work taken from the public domain, the new work may be copyrightable and protected. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code).
What material is in the public domain?
A work of authorship is in the "public domain" if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner. You should NOT presume that material is in the public domain without verifying it with an attorney or other reputable source. You should also NOT presume that material publicly available on private or commercial websites is not protected by copyright.
What is fair use?
"Fair use" is a principle of copyright law allows for the unauthorized use of another's original copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. In determining whether a given use is "fair," courts look at four primary factors:
Fair use is a difficult and murky concept, even for experts, so you should consult with an attorney before using copyrighted material in connection with the CafePress Service, even if you think that such use is "fair." One way to evaluate whether a use is "fair" is to consider your own reaction if someone used your work without permission.
For more information on copyright visit the United States Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov and the federal law on copyrights (U.S.C. Title 17) http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/uscmain.html.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a word, name, symbol or other device that identifies the goods or services of a given person or company and distinguishes them from the goods or services of other persons or companies. Trademark law prevents you from using another's trademark (such as the name of a musical group or artist) on your merchandise, because such use will cause consumers to believe that the trademark owner has made, approved of, or endorsed your merchandise. In short, a trademark is someone's name/brand. For example, CafePress.com® is a registered trademark.
What is a Service Mark?
Any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof adopted and used by a merchant to identify and distinguish their services from those provided by others and to indicate the source of the services. For instance, "What's your passion" is a Service Mark of CafePress.
What can be trademarked?
Word(s), word(s) plus design, trade dress, packaging, sounds, slogans, smells, service marks, geographic marks, collective marks, certification marks, and family marks.
What is Trade Dress?
Trade dress can function as a trademark and is used to identify the goods of a party in the marketplace. For instance, trade dress can be the shape of a Coca Cola bottle or the shape of a classic Volkswagen Beetle car.
What are Trademark Rights?
An owner of a trademark/service mark has the right to use that trademark/service mark and to prevent others from benefiting from the trademark/service mark's good reputation and recognition in the marketplace.
What is the difference between a Trademark and a Registered Trademark?
The ® symbol represents that a trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The ® symbol may only be used in association with a trademark that is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If the trademark/service mark is followed by a TM or SM symbol the goods/services provider is using the mark as a trademark, although the mark may not be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
For more information on Trademarks visit United States Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov and the federal law on trademarks (U.S.C. Title 15) http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/uscmain.html.
Right of Publicity
What is Right of Publicity?
The "right of publicity" makes it unlawful to use another's identity for commercial advantage without permission. A person's "identity" includes, for example, his look, voice, name, nickname, professional name, and other distinctive characteristics. For example, the Right of Publicity prohibits you using the picture of a celebrity without authorization on your merchandise.
Right of Privacy
What is the Right of Privacy?
Generally, individuals have a "right of privacy." An invasion of this right can occur in four ways:
What is defamation?
Defamation occurs when:
A false and damaging statement of fact; concerning an individual or entity; is communicated to a person or persons other than the individual or entity whom the false or damaging fact is about (i.e., published); and the person publishing such information knew or should have known it to be false.
In this circumstance, "published" means that such statement was written or verbally communicated to another. Written defamation is also known as "libel." Verbal defamation is also known as "slander."
Examples of Prohibited Content
In accordance with intellectual property laws, CafePress has certain rules regarding the types of merchandise that you can make and sell through its service. For example:
Does CafePress own the rights to my content?
No, you retain all rights to your content, but grant a non-exclusive license to CafePress to allow CafePress to print and ship your products to your customers. For more information on the license you grant to CafePress please review the Terms of Service and Content Owner Agreement.
If it does not have a copyright notice, is it ok to use?
Almost all works are protected by copyright, even if they do not have a copyright notice. Therefore, you should assume that you need to obtain permission to use any material that you did not create.
If I do not mark up the selling price of my products, is it still infringement?
If a product is not marked up from its base price, that sale can still be considered an infringement, even if you are buying the product yourself. Merely posting an image in your shop, whether or not it is on products, may be considered an infringing use of the image.
Is it ok to use an image I found on the Internet?
Simply because an image is found on the Internet does not mean that it is in the public domain or available for commercial use on merchandise. You should assume that you cannot use the work unless the author of the work has explicitly granted you a license to use the work or it is in the public domain. Further, a person who posts an image on the Internet and claims that you are free to use it may not have had the right to post the image in the first place. Thus, your use of the image may violate the rights of the actual copyright owner.
Is it Fair Use?
Usually not, fair use of a work for merchandise is treated very differently than for use for informative purposes or for commentary. In general, a claim of fair use of a work when it is used on merchandise may not hold up in court, especially if the merchandise is sold for profit.
If I took a photograph of a celebrity or a company logo can I use it to make merchandise?
Probably not, simply taking a photo of a person, company, brand, or logo does not afford you the right to sell merchandise featuring that photograph. There are two distinct intellectual property rights in a photograph: (1) the rights in the photograph itself and (2) the rights in the subject of the photograph, such as the product or person shown in it. For example, if you take a photograph of a Madonna, you only own the rights to the photograph, but not the right to use the photo to create and sell Madonna merchandise. In order to sell merchandise with the photograph, you will need to obtain explicit permission from the celebrity.
Do I have to obtain a copyright registration for my creative work?
No, but there are advantages to registering your copyrights. Current copyright law does not require you to register a creative work in order to hold a valid copyright for that work. However, a registration maybe required before you can file a lawsuit for copyright infringement. In addition, if you register your work within 5 years after the initial release of the work, you will have stronger evidence of the validity of the copyright. Essentially, that means that it will be easier to prove that you own the copyright in the work.
I based my artwork on the artwork of a third party, is that ok?
It depends. Artwork derived from the previous work of another may violate the rights of the owner of the previous work. If you are creating a design that is based on the work of someone else, you may need to obtain permission from the original creator prior to creating your own work. You should consult with an attorney before using works based on the work of another through the CafePress Service.
It's parody, is it ok?
Parody is one form of fair use (please see "What is Fair Use"). Parody may qualify as fair use only if it draws upon the original composition to make humorous or ironic commentary about that same composition. Whether something falls within the fair use parody exception depends on whether the parody reasonably could be perceived as commenting on the original or criticizing it, to some degree. Generally parody, like fair use, is a difficult and murky concept, even for experts, and you should consult with an attorney before using copyrighted or trademark material in connection with the CafePress Service.
I am using Clip Art, is it ok?
Most clip art, photo collections, or graphic programs contain a license agreement. The license agreement sets forth the specific permissible uses for the clip art. In most instances the license does not grant you the right to use the clip art for the sale of merchandise. You should consult the license agreement and your attorney to determine whether you can use the clip art images on CafePress.
The First Amendment protects my freedom of speech, so I can use whatever images I want.
Freedom of speech is a constitutional protection that guarantees that the government will not oppress your right to self-expression.
Do Political Figures have a Right of Publicity?
While the right of publicity law varies state to state, generally, political figures, like any other person, have the right to control the commercial use of their name, image, likeness or any other distinctive characteristic. However, certain uses of political figures may raise to the level of protected speech given the fundamental First Amendment principles of unfettered debate and discussion on public issues and governmental affairs.
Do I need a lawyer to register a copyright?
Not really, to register the copyright for a work, you may file an application with the United States Copyright Office. The application must include copies of the work and the appropriate filing fee. For more information, you can access the Copyright Office website at http://www.copyright.gov.