Tuesday, January 04, 2005

typoGenerate This! (But am I infringing a copyright?)

Introducing typoGenerator!
typoGenerator is a random generator for 'typoPosters'. a typoPoster is a poster, created from images and letters/text that doesn´t have any sense, just to look good.

the user types some text; typoGenerator searches images.google for the text and creates a background from the found images, using randomly chosen effects. then it places the text, using random effects too.
I know I'll spend hours (or at least many, many minutes) playing around with this thing at a later time.

In the FAQ, here's the response to "may i use generated images on my website?"
you may use images generated by typoGenerator on private websites, but NOT for any commercial applications. the images used for generating may be subject to copyright.
Interesting question/issue. Since typoGenerator admittedly searches images.google and uses what it finds to create the resulting.. image, does this impinge or otherwise implicate the original author's copyright in and to the original work?

My gut reaction is a resounding "no." Fair use would seem to protect the resulting work, notwithstanding its basis on a preexisting one. An example of this sort of protection might be the sampling cases, wherein a rap artist "sampled" a preexisting musical work and used very small portions in the new song. Here, the program takes content available by images.google and uses it to create a wholly new work. Granted fair use is never that cut and dry and also granted I'll be taking Copyright next semester. Maybe the class will shed some clearer light on this particular example.

Thanks go to The Hot Librarian for introducing me to the generator!