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Ed Turner
Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1910
Experience:  Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
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I’m a digital artist and I want to use an image which

Customer Question

Hi I’m a digital artist and I want to use an image which appears to be in the public domain but I want to check can someone check this for me?is there anyone I can contact
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: United Kingdom
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I just have 2 images and they are for a big client and we would like to avoid any copyright issues
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 10 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Please continue search
Expert:  Ed Turner replied 9 days ago.

Hello.   I am Ed, a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession advising clients.

I specialise in Commercial Contracts, Business Transactions, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Road Traffic Law and shall be reviewing your legal problem today.

Regarding the site’s automatic offer of a Premium Service Phone Call, I shall be delighted to talk with you by phone to discuss your issue in greater detail if you accept the offer.

However, if you do not want a phone call, please cancel the offer for a Premium Service Phone Call and you will not be charged extra.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 9 days ago.

Copyright arises naturally as soon as someone commits text to paper or computer screen.   The copyright to the text of this conversation is owned by me!   However, it is a very weak right and the burden of proving copying and direct financial loss because of the alleged infringement is very high.

There is no copyright in ideas per se until they are written down on paper.

Works such as book and film plot lines are protected by copyright, but it is very difficult to win these types of copyright infringement cases as long as the copying creators change enough of the plot, characters and dialogue so as the general reader, listener or viewer will know that the copied work is not by the same authors and is not a sequel or “spin-off”.   There is a lucrative market in Direct-to-DVD “Mockbusters” which are clearly ripped-off from big budget Hollywood franchises: “Atlantic Rim” -v- “Pacific Rim” and “Transmorphers” -v- “Transformers” (!).   Many a pulp novel writer has made a career out of stealing better authors’ ideas without being successfully sued.  Dan Brown successfully defended a copyright claim by the authors of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, the pseudo-historical book on the alleged real-life and genealogy of Jesus upon which Brown based the plot of his smash hit thriller, “The Da Vinci Code”.

There is also the risk of a competitor suing you under the Tort of “Passing Off” if your respective works are sufficiently similar to create confusion in the minds of the public to the extent that you are exploiting the other business’s goodwill in a way that could injure it.

Registering a piece of Intellectual Property as a Patent, Trademark or Design Right means that it is automatically protected from all other similar designs and the Right Holder does not have to prove deliberate copying by the other party.

You should investigate your competitors’ designs and images carefully to check whether they are protected by UK or International Trademarks, Design Rights, Patents and Creative Commons Licences.   The creators’ own websites should assert what special IPRs protect their works and you can also search the following websites:

UK Intellectual Property Office:

World Intellectual Property Organisation:

EU Creative Commons:

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 9 days ago.

I hope this resolves your enquiry.   Please revert to me if you require any clarification of my answer to your question and I shall be delighted to assist.

Kind regards


Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Ed thank you for your thorough response. I’m actually currently abroad so it will be difficult to take your call until I’m back.My main issue is that I have found the image. It says public domain (in Morocco) where it was taken, however I need to ensure this. It is part of some work for a client so I need to be sure so they don’t risk it. It is an international brand that operates in several countries. How can I ensure the image is on be the public domain
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
It says it is on the website I found it but then when I did reverse search it was on a postcard somewhere
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Pls let me know if you can help regarding this
Expert:  Ed Turner replied 9 days ago.

Thank you for your further message.   However, I do not understand your concerns over the image.

This is a complicated matter which requires a detailed discussion where I can provide bespoke advice.   I suggest that we have a detailed telephone discussion.   Please accept the my offer of a Premium Service Phone Call.

I can review a brief amount of documentation from the customers (up to 20 pages or so).

The phone calls generally last around 20 – 30 minutes at most.   I will let you know if we are going around in circles and I am repeating myself.

You will not receive any additional documentation from me or Just Answer (apart from payment confirmation).

I will discuss my fees with my main virtual law firm on the call.   Under my Just Answer Expert Agreement, I cannot provide Customers any direct contact details or information about my law firm’s charges unless they accept a Premium Service Phone Call.

If you choose to instruct me directly through my law firm, this will be a different contract from yours with Just Answer.   I will open a new client-matter for you with my firm and send you retainer documentation in the form of a Client Care Letter and Terms of Engagement.