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Olympic Google Doodles  (View post)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, February 18, 2006
16 years ago

I suppose these doodles are copyrighted so anyone should ask for permission before publishing them. Nathan did, Philipp almost did it (partially). Have you, guys, asked Google if you can put the doodles (or a part of them) on the website?

Or maybe derivative works are ok?

Tsu [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Wouldn't this fall under fair use?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

I've taken a small portion of the logo, which is possibly fair use, and heavily reworked it, which is possibly a derivative work of this fair use. Does that make it OK in terms of copyright law? I don't know, but copyright law is in a big big mess in 2006. I'm currently reading Lawrence Lessig's excellent "Free Culture" – http://www.authorama.com/free-culture-1.html – to explore some of these questions.

Getting an official permission to use this logos, by the way, is non-trivial. I've asked Google to use a collection of the logo doodles in my book, 55 Ways to Have Fun With Google, in November 2005. Though there were emails back and forth I am *still* waiting for an answer. Or rather, I am not waiting anymore as I will publish the book without this logo gallery. This is from a company which on their server republishes a thumbnail of practically every image from my site, and which republishes a full-text copy of every page on my site, without having asked me. Another book, The Google Story, also used a logo gallery. I'm sure they have experts doing nothing else but clearing rights. In other words, it costs money to get a permission, even if eventually it might be granted.

Take a look at this case of someone actually trying to find out if something's fair use – for which we don't need a permission after all (at least in US copyright law):
http://www.authorama.com/free-culture-11.html

Take a look at the time and money someone invests trying to clear the rights to a CD-Rom:
http://www.authorama.com/free-culture-12.html

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