What are the copyright laws regarding using one product to produce another product?

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What are the copyright laws regarding using one product to produce another product?

A friend and I are beginning a small business where we use one old bottles and reuse them to create candles. What are the restrictions to us being able to use the labels off of the bottles? Would we be in some copyright violations?

Asked on August 24, 2010 under Business Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are using someone else's copyrighted and/or trademarked property--and the labels could easily be, or at least incorporate, trademarked content--then you may be in violation of both copyright and trademark. Copyright gives someone the right to control (among other rights) the adaptation or inclusion of their material into some new product. Trademark gives the right to control usage or display of that trademark. While, as a practical matter, if you made a few bottles and sold them to friends at flea markets, it's very unlikely anyone would notice or care, if you plan on wider or internet distribution, there is a reasonable chance you would draw the attention of the IP holders, who could then demand, at a minimum, that you cease and desist doing so.


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