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Copyright and Image use
Old 08-27-2007, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Not sure if this is the correct place for this question, if not, Admin please move to proper location ...

Can anyone direct me to information concerning use of a portion of somebody else's copyrighted material to create another piece of "new" artwork? I don't know if this is allowed at all, but I "heard" that if only a portion of the original work is used, it may be allowed - sort of like music sampling where a portion of someone else's music may be lifted and incorporated into another's work.

Just a question for discussion.

Thanks.
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Re: Copyright and Image use
Old 08-27-2007, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Roux View Post
Can anyone direct me to information concerning use of a portion of somebody else's copyrighted material to create another piece of "new" artwork?
It is not a nice tidy question. You are referring to derivative works. As with many legal issues, it comes down to the specifics of the case. How much are you trying to use? How much will it be of your final work? What is the purpose? Satire? Parody? You will need to discuss the specifics with an attorney who is well versed in copyright issues (not just any old attorney will do).

Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Roux View Post
I don't know if this is allowed at all, but I "heard" that if only a portion of the original work is used, it may be allowed - sort of like music sampling where a portion of someone else's music may be lifted and incorporated into another's work.
Bad example. Many hours were spent in courtrooms over this issue and much of the sampling that you hear on the radio is actually licensed.
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Re: Copyright and Image use
Old 08-27-2007, 10:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Roux View Post
...Can anyone direct me to information concerning use of a portion of somebody else's copyrighted material to create another piece of "new" artwork? I don't know if this is allowed at all, but I "heard" that if only a portion of the original work is used, it may be allowed...
What you're asking about has been the subject of many discussion and a few lawsuits in the art world over the last couple of decades. There existed a movement, generally made up (IMHO) by slackers who couldn't come up with their own original expression, who thought that it was "OK" to steal from someone else, as long as they weren't stealing much, to use to create a "new" work. Of course, at that point, they felt that they had created something new and original and wanted it protected by copyright.

If I remember correctly, the courts have pretty well confirmed that copyright gives the owner the right to control derivative works - works based upon the original. Under the Fair Use provisions, there is some usage that doesn't require permission from the owner (parody, comment, criticism, scholarship, educational, and news reporting) but even then, you have to not materially alter the work OR remove any copyright notations.

There are several places to go to find out about copyright - www.loc.gov is the Library of Congress, the agency that oversees copyright in the US. There are several books on copyright in the art world - I would imagine a search on Amazon would produce a couple of them for you to look at.

Bottom line.... do your own creating, don't steal anything (except ideas) from someone else.
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Re: Copyright and Image use
Old 08-28-2007, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, the offical source is here - http://www.copyright.gov/. But from what I have read (I've wondered the same thing before, while "fair use" may apply to some degree, it is always a good idea to get a copyright release from the copyright holder.
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Re: Copyright and Image use
Old 08-28-2007, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. gus
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