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Can I Sell Photo's With Casino Names And The Words/logo's From: Las Vegas!

Posted by: Rita H Ireland on 05/17/2013 - 2:29 AM

Hello I'm new here and have a question?. I photograph mostly images from Las Vegas. Can I be sued if my image shows Casino logo's, names and other?. I have seen many artist who are selling images of old Mc Donalds and other names like Coca Cola Please help!

warmly, Rita


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Bav Patel on 05/17/2013 - 5:08 AM

I'm not sure but alot of Artists do have brand names in their work, I do too. I know that cartoon characters are a no-no. Sorry I couldn't be of much help!


Posted by: Rita H Ireland on 05/17/2013 - 5:14 AM

Thank you! Anyone out there know???

very warmly, Rita


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/17/2013 - 8:09 AM

You may not post, distribute, or reproduce in any way any copyrighted material, trademarks, or other proprietary information without obtaining the prior written consent of the owner of such proprietary rights. It is the policy of to terminate membership privileges of any member who repeatedly infringes copyright upon prompt notification to by the copyright owner or the copyright owner's legal agent.

It is each artists responsibility to make sure they have the permission and rights for uploading work to the site.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/17/2013 - 8:20 AM

you can take a chance with it. i know on zazzle they are taken down in 3 seconds. if its a lesser known one, maybe not so much. it's all up to the casino's. if you have to guess, i would stay on the safe side and just not post it if you can help it.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Christina Rollo on 05/17/2013 - 9:16 AM

@ Abbie, I'm curious - I've seen photographs of signs such as coca cola show up in the sold list. Are those images actually printed or not?


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/17/2013 - 9:19 AM

I believe (I may be wrong as I am not legally trained and not on the printing team) that if the image is part of the print it is fine but, if the main subject, it is not.

We have had to remove several sign photographs when the company has demanded it


Posted by: Dave Gordon on 05/17/2013 - 9:19 AM

My understanding is that if you take a photo of a cityscape, for example, which happens to contain logos which are a small part of the overall scene, that is OK as opposed to taking a photo which mostly contains the logo or sign itself.


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/17/2013 - 10:37 AM

@ Rita - I would contact the establishment and see if you can find someone in management that can answer the question for the establishment in particular. They may like the publicity. Keep any correspondence you get from them as proof of permission.

I have things posted from the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, some of which contain trade names. It states directly on their web site that they believe all materials in the museum are old enough that trademark should not be an issue and you can use the photos any way you wish.

For what you're doing, I think it could be more of a gray area - you're (obviously) taking the photo from a public place, but as Abbie stated, some of the logos and signs are probably trademarked and you can't post them for sale.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/17/2013 - 10:41 AM

i had something, from i think 1850 something. i thought it was old enough, apparently the company is still alive, and while they don't use that logo any more, it's still their name. so it can get tricky. if i think it will be a problem, i'll try to edit out just a chunk of it. make it look worn, or rusted.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Louise Reeves on 05/17/2013 - 10:56 AM

I have personally gotten cease and desist letters from Harley Davidson for work that didn't even have their logos, just bikes, including a customized 1974 that I had digitally painted. Yet I see all kinds of Harley stuff here and I'm pretty sure none of those artists are licensed.
Ya take your chances....


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/17/2013 - 11:03 AM

more than typically if they find offense to it, they will either tell the provider, or send you an email. they don't want to go to court either. for fineart it may be ok, if someone wants to license it - think again unless you have permission, most contracts put the ball in your court if they get in trouble. oddly you will get zapped in zazzle or cafe, but on this site or redbubble, not so much, i guess it's an art thing. but they have to find it first, and well it's easy to find and they didn't say anything yet, so who knows.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Christina Rollo on 05/17/2013 - 11:13 AM

Thanks for the information! I know there are some variations about copyright when an image is used for art as opposed to using it for something else, say the cover of a magazine? I've never been sure what those differences are.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/17/2013 - 11:17 AM

there is an editorial clause that lets you post what you want, who you want as long as it's for editorial reasons or for reasons of education i think. but a magazine uses that cover to sell the magazine, so it become commercial. and then the lawyers get you and the magazine.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/17/2013 - 11:55 AM

There is a difference in licensing a piece for commercial use, that is printing it in 5,000 magazines, and selling it one-off for someone to hang in their home, but not always. There is some crossover from what I've read.


Posted by: Mark Tisdale on 05/17/2013 - 12:11 PM

The fun thing is there's not a concrete answer to Trademark Infringement. Even if you're absolutely in the right, it doesn't mean you won't have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself. It ultimately boils down to how risk adverse you are.

My personal (and very non-lawyer) rule of thumb with trademarks is whether or not an image would sell based on the rest of the elements of the image or if I'm simply trading on someone else's name. When I see images sell that are nothing but the logo of another brand, I feel pretty certain that the person who bought it did so because they like that brand not simply the art.

Will that person ever be sued or otherwise asked to take down their work? Hard to say. That brand may not spend a lot of time on every little use of their brand particularly ones that are in a positive light, but who do you think has more expensive lawyers, you or them?

FYI, you can search US Trademarks on TESS to see if the Trademark is registered or not. That at least tells you whether the brand is still registered and active or not. Won't help you with whether or not you can use it.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/17/2013 - 12:31 PM

Rita - how hard to email the Casino in question with a copy of the image attached - perhaps they will purchase a gross of cards - perhaps - they will tell you no. I just sort of doubt it. There are images of casino signs all over the place.


Posted by: A M Johnson on 05/17/2013 - 12:43 PM

In my experience here, the ability to use an image depends on if it is commercial or not.

For instance, a wedding planner (IIRC) used a picture of the fountains of Bellagio in their advertising. They got the hammer. :D Photographers and artists sell prints of trademarked casino scenes all the time and don't get hassled. One of my most popular is easily identifiable but I sell one a month (at First Friday).

However, just because this seems to be the norm, doesn't mean it fits FAA rules. You can contact a PR for clarification.

Note: I create derivitave works so maybe because the work is in that category the casinos and other entities know they have no standing.


Posted by: Gunter Nezhoda on 05/17/2013 - 1:04 PM

@Rita, you cannot unless it's editorial, which does not apply here.
Whatsoever, I'm from Vegas and know, the "Welcome Las Vegas Sign" is public domain, you can use that.


This discussion is closed.