Can I print an image at Kinko's that has the copyright symbol, but also says "free for personal use"?
December 22, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Can I print an image at Kinko's that has the copyright symbol, but also says "free for personal use"?

This year, instead of taking the time to draw some myself, I decided to rely on the internet to help me make some sweet gift tags. So, I loaded up a few different gift tags onto a CD, brought them into a Kinko's and asked to have a bunch printed.

The fellow behind the counter politely told me that he wouldn't be able to print some of my files because of their copyright. He pointed to the bottom of one of the documents and showed me the copyright symbol. I asked if it was OK since it said "free for personal use" and he told me that didn't matter because Kinko's is a business. He said it would be different if I printed them from a home printer.

Is this accurate or was he being a little too careful? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
posted by smirkyfodder to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Quick check of the website seems to mean that the designer is making it plain that the designs are free for you to use for the purpose intended. What she's not wanting to have happen is for you to crib them and sell them yourself, at least without contacting her and giving credit.

So you're right and Kinko's dude is wrong, but I don't know what will change his mind. Print the website text where she seems to make this abundantly clear, and see if he'll read it?
posted by randomkeystrike at 9:51 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dude works at Kinkos. Find a local print shop with someone who knows their trade.
posted by cmoj at 9:59 AM on December 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Everything is copyrighted by default. The copyright symbol absolutely does not mean "you can not photocopy this." Go somewhere else and hope the clerks are better informed.
posted by 256 at 10:07 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Since it's clear that she's fine with your proposed use, and the issue is with the Kinkos guy seing the copyright symbol, I'd probably open the PDF and obscure the copyright before bringing it to Kinkos.
posted by chazlarson at 10:07 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah they're going to be overly cautious at FedEx Office (formerly known as Kinko's) because they're minimum wage employees working for a huge corporation who told them "no copyrighted material." It''s pretty clear that those are the super-common "free printables" you see online everywhere today, but you're probably not going to get through to that type of employee. You *might* have better luck asking the manager. I bet you'd be fine going to your local independent copy shop.
posted by radioamy at 10:28 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Are these PDFs 8.5x11? If so, put them on a USB stick and use the Kinko's self-service machines (you use either a credit card or a Kinko's loaded-up card.) You can print them in color using self-service, at least at all three of the Kinko's near my house, and the one closest to my mom's house.

Alternatively, send it through the online printing system. It's pretty freaking simple. You can call FedEx (type "0" after the thing asks what you want to do) and they'll walk you through the online printing process.

And, you can have them call the store and tell them they were wrong.
posted by SMPA at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2012

And, you can have them call the store and tell them they were wrong.

Don't do this. I can guarantee you that the hapless clerk has exactly zero leeway for personal discretion on this overly rigorous company policy.
posted by Aquaman at 1:52 PM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Go somewhere besides kinkos. There is some history that makes them especially paranoid.
posted by jewzilla at 2:08 PM on December 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for your help. I actually didn't have a difficult time figuring out the workaround, but I appreciate the responses about whether this fellow was accurate.
posted by smirkyfodder at 5:31 AM on December 23, 2012

« Older windows 7 from Dell not genuine after nearly 3...   |   Warm jacket suggestions Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.