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Author Topic: Can I paint a picture of a Printed Circuit Board?  (Read 1058 times)


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Can I paint a picture of a Printed Circuit Board?
« on: 04-23-17 at 03:41 pm »

Is it possible to make original artwork based on Printed Circuit Motherboards of some famous computers from the past. For example if I painted a picture of an Apple I motherboard and tried to sell it, would Apple come for me and my children?


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Re: Can I paint a picture of a Printed Circuit Board?
« Reply #1 on: 04-25-17 at 11:20 pm »

Depends on whether you have children or not.

Also depends on what you mean by "original artwork".  If you are just painting an Impressionist interpretation of some old motherboard ("and this blob is the CPU"), no one is going to be able to reproduce the original from that, so you would likely be ok -- Apple isn't Disney, after all.  A true "painting" is going to be at least reasonably transformative.

If you draw every circuit in photorealistic detail at a precise 4X size in black-and-white with all annotations, you might start to worry Apple.  Slavish copying, especially in a way that could be used to generate a real mask, would most likely be a violation of copyright.
« Last Edit: 04-25-17 at 11:22 pm by MYK »
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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Re: Can I paint a picture of a Printed Circuit Board?
« Reply #2 on: 07-10-17 at 07:06 pm »

10 July 2017

Hi Adam --

It has been about three months since you posted your question RE: paining an art piece which represents a typical computer "mother board".  Well how's it going at this juncture?  As you know the U.S. Copyright laws protect the person or entities that created the original work from replication by a third person after the fact.

As an artist in your own right, I have to believe that you either presently possess or are in the process of developing the know how, skill and spark of creativity to visually evaluate the used and abandoned "Mother Board" (M.B.) and them decide how best to CREATE your own visual representation that embodies your visual artistic talents.  After all, the discarded M.B. is just a model of one among many examples that you would see if you were to visit a computer / electronics reclamation center in your local community.

I encourage you to get creative and not copy verbatim what you see in the Apple M.B.  You are either already on your journey now or getting ready to commence your journey; either way it is YOUR journey, so go for it and enjoy the ride.  By doing so, the copyright infringement question goes away and now the question becomes how do I copyright my painting that I've named simply "Mother Board".

If my suggestion and encouragement meets with your acceptance, please get back in touch and I will be pleased to guide you through the then answer of "how do I copyright my new ORIGINAL painting named "Mother Board".

Best regards,




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