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  #26  
Old 08-12-2005, 01:22 PM
Jamo Jamo is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

No you have me totally misunderstood. I think I did a poor job of explaining my point. I never said that I thought a photographer had no rights to photgraphing the image under any circumstances. what I meant was in a purely commercial fasion for commercial gain. Using it as a promotional tool or in conjuntion with a product. Or purely selling the image.
this was my original question.
Hey guys I have a question about copyright boundries regarding artwork specifically sculpture. I was wondering if you produce an original piece and you own the copyright are other people open to making any commercial gain on that piece at all. for example selling photos of it?
Of course I believe it can be photographed to the end of time by anyone who choses to do so. and they can take their pictures and hang them on their wall and they can show those pictures in a public setting, Newspapers books magazines it is fair game. But what i'm saying is when they take the image itself and try to sell that for commercial gain seperate from any public discourse. I guess the point that i'm trying to make is what james was saying
I have a question. What if someone takes a photograph of your (displayed in public) sculpture and then uses that photograph (as a Logo, or Banner, or even a Cover of a book, etc...) to, let's say, enhance the product (sell the book, or for a web site that sells sculpting supplies, or books on sculpture, or maybe something not even related to sculpture). Isn't this using your sculpture, and not the actual photograph, for commercial gain? I am sure I read somewhere that using it this way is concidered as a "value added" (I believe that's the term) use of the "subject in the photograph" and not the actual photograph. So in reality, the medium (photo, drawing, painting, graphic, etc...) is not at issue. The "sculpture" is being used, without permission, for commercial purposes. Yes? No?
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  #27  
Old 08-12-2005, 10:08 PM
GaryR52 GaryR52 is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Well, Oddist, first of all, let me clarify that I am in no way saying artists don't have any rights. I am saying artists have no rights to the work of other artists. Every artist has the rights to his own work and he may control, to an extent, what happens to his work. However, no one has the right to determine what someone else can do with his own creations.

Having said that, Jamo, I reiterate, you have no say in what a photographer does with any image he has made, even if the subject of the image is your sculpture. The only way you have any say about it is the case in which you've commissioned the photographer to shoot pictures of your sculpture. Then, and only then do you have the right to tell the photographer he may not sell the images. The only exception to this would be when he has photographed your sculpture without your authorization, but, even then, your right to tell him what he may or may not do with his own creation are limited. Now, don't make me repeat myself yet again, okay?

Oddist, I tend to agree with the idea the author is presenting, but not with his tone or manner of presentation. He is right to challenge Anish Kapoor's restrictions on photography, as the work is clearly in the public domain. As such, it is perfectly legal, by all internationally recognized copyright laws, for anyone to photograph it for any purpose. Mr. Kapoor is simply wrong in thinking he has any right to tell people they can't do so and I'm very surprised that the city of Chicago isn't aware of this. Are there no copyright attorneys in Chicago? I'd like to see Kapoor try to sue someone for photographing this piece. The resulting circus would be quite entertaining. By the way, your statement, "The writer of this article may not like the idea but an artist has rights!" shows that, like Jamo, you don't understand that the copyright laws protect all means of expression, including photography. While Kapoor's sculpture would no doubt be photographed by many professionals (and the published images would advertise Kapoor's work for free, enhancing his reputation), the vast majority of photos would be snapped by tourists visiting Chicago; i.e., people who have no intention of publishing their pictures. In any case, none of you, Kapoor included, understands that a public sculpture is not protected by copyright law. You also don't seem to grasp that, as an artist, you have the freedom to not do public sculptures if you don't like giving up all rights to your work. No one held a gun to Kapoor's head and made him do a monumental piece for the city of Chicago, you know. I'm not telling you artists have no rights, I'm just telling you what rights artists do have and I'm only reiterating what is contained in the international copyright laws. If you don't like the law, petition the U.S. Copyright Office to change it.

NYC, I wondered the same thing, myself. I think there is a tendency to look beyond one's own area for a sculptor (or an architect, for that matter, which is common in that field) because of the "exotic" aspect perceived about someone from another place. I wondered about this, years ago, when a new mall opened here and the large non-objective sculpture in front of it was commissioned from a Chicago artist. Then again, had they got an Oklahoma artist (other than me), it would have probably wound up having a cowboy on a horse in front of it, instead.

Gary
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  #28  
Old 08-13-2005, 03:31 AM
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Araich Araich is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Gary, with all respect, I believe that you are wrong.

Your use of the phrase 'public domain' is incorrect. Public domain refers to creations which have never had copyright (pre-date the laws) or have ceased to have copyright (authors rights have expired). As far as I know, the placement of an artwork in the 'public' has no bearing on a works copyright status.

A photographer can equally take an image of your work on your frontyard (private property) or on the back of your truck (public property) - it makes no difference to either the photographer or the artist's copyrights.

The real issue is 'fair use'. If the image is part of a photographers portfolio then he has rights to reproduce it in that context. If he instead wanted to use it to sell toothpaste or even sell a book about sculpture - then he must seek your permission.
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  #29  
Old 08-13-2005, 03:50 AM
Jamo Jamo is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

I think this pertains to what we are discussing
A. Copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in tangible form. This includes photographs, literary works including non-fiction and fiction, letters, music as well as accompanying lyrics, sound recordings, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures, audiovisual works, computer software, and architectural works. Even such ordinary things such as simple letters, catalog descriptions and doodles are protected by copyright. The only essential condition that the law requires is that the work is original.

For example, if a photographer were to make an exact copy of the Mona Lisa, the resulting image would not be protected by copyright because an exact copy does not constitute an original work. However, if the same photographer were to photograph several people standing in front of the Mona Lisa, that picture could be copyrighted because there is some element of originality in the image. The law does not require much originality, but there has to be some. Also, only those parts of a work that are original can be copyrighted. Therefore, the copyright would not extend to any part of the Mona Lisa that might appear in the photograph.

No one can acquire rights to works that are not their own or that are no longer protected by copyright. However, if an artist interprets a public domain artwork such as the Mona Lisa by painting it in a style completely different from Leonardoís, the derivative work -- that is, the work derived from the original -- may have enough originality to be protected by copyright.

This means a photograph of a painting without any original elements added is not protected under copyright. This would also mean the corollary if it is not original then it is a copy,if it is a copy it is infringing on the orignal work.
This also means that a photo of a sculpture without any original elements added is also an infringement. I think Gary is getting confused with the fact that a photograph can be orignal and it can be lacking originality. Of course photos of artwork with original content are protected but not photos of artwork without any new original content added. A shot of a sculpture without any original content added would be a clear cut infringement of copyright. This being said I am excluding what is reffered to as "fair use". Newspapers,magazines, educational institutions where it is perfectly fine to photograph the work. I would also like to clarify the use of the term, public domain. when I use that I mean in the public arena and able to be seen by the public for display. The legal term public domain would mean that I have signed away my rights to the work. Just as Mzarts work is in the public domain because he has been dead for quite some time now. I talked to a lawyer about this he was very clear.
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  #30  
Old 08-13-2005, 01:30 PM
GaryR52 GaryR52 is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Quote:
Originally Posted by Araich
Gary, with all respect, I believe that you are wrong.

Your use of the phrase 'public domain' is incorrect. Public domain refers to creations which have never had copyright (pre-date the laws) or have ceased to have copyright (authors rights have expired). As far as I know, the placement of an artwork in the 'public' has no bearing on a works copyright status.

A photographer can equally take an image of your work on your frontyard (private property) or on the back of your truck (public property) - it makes no difference to either the photographer or the artist's copyrights.

The real issue is 'fair use'. If the image is part of a photographers portfolio then he has rights to reproduce it in that context. If he instead wanted to use it to sell toothpaste or even sell a book about sculpture - then he must seek your permission.
Okay, Jamo, Araich, given that I cannot find anything on the U.S. Copyright Office website (http://www.copyright.gov/) that says anything about public domain and public works, one way or the other, I will concede I may be wrong about the status of a work which is considered "public" art. If this is, indeed, the case, then Kapoor's work would be legally covered, especially if he registered it with the copyright office. Nevertheless, I still believe he's being foolish in prohibiting all photography of his sculpture, as it only serves to keep his work out of the broader public's eye. It will never be viewed by anyone who doesn't come to Chicago. But, I guess that's his prerogative.

Yes, if I'm wrong about the public domain issue, then "fair use" would govern the use of any photos of your hypothetical public sculpture and you would have the legal right to do as Kapoor has done and keep the world from seeing your work by any other means except physically travelling to its location. Why any artist would want that is beyond me, since most of us want more people to be aware of our work, not fewer. Even if my sculpture wound up in an ad for perfume or underwear, I'd run with it and enjoy the added exposure. This "well, if everyone isn't going to play by my rules, I'm taking my ball and going home" attitude is just stupid, in my opinion.

P.S.: I've just emailed the Copyright Office about this, so we should get an answer, from the people who would know best, soon.

Gary

Last edited by GaryR52 : 08-13-2005 at 01:42 PM.
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  #31  
Old 08-13-2005, 05:32 PM
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Araich Araich is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Gary I also agree that prohibiting photographic reproduction would be foolish from a career perspective. I have had some experience in the area of image licensing and can suggest a much greater value to those copyright protections.

The value to us is not really in stopping reproduction but in controlling it's nature. For instance copyright laws requires that you be credited as the maker - now it's hard to argue against the value of this. If you agree to the use of your artwork commercially then you can control a few important things, such as requiring the artwork be shown in full (half an image is common and effectively destroys your artwork), or that it remain unaltered (recolouring and digital effects are also now common in magazines).

From my perspective, a sunset clause is also important. We may love the idea of $1000 for a toothpaste ad now, but after you're in the Tate and MoMA you might feel differently.

Bear in mind that when you sell a sculpture, you retain copyright, unless you assign those rights specifically. You have continued legal and moral rights over that artwork. Of course in the real world it can be hard to exercise these in some circumstances.

Also commissioning can potentially alter or destroy these rights.

In all of this the photographer (or his employer) still owns the actual photo and copyright over it's use, but the use is controlled (to an extent) by your rights as the creator.

And rightfully so.
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  #32  
Old 08-13-2005, 05:48 PM
GaryR52 GaryR52 is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Right. Well, I certainly wasn't arguing against an artist receiving proper credit for his work.

The "moral rights" issue is one that is still not universally accepted. I don't know about Australia, but, in the U.S., the concept has only been codified by a few states, so far. Here is what I found on the subject at the U.S. Copyright Office's site: http://www.copyright.gov/reports/exsum.html. Note, particularly, the fourth paragraph.

P.S.: In the United States, where we have a long standing tradition of private property, the "moral rights" concept runs fundamentally counter to the concept of private property, hence it's unpopularity here. It seems to imply that one who buys an artwork doesn't really own his copy of that artwork, or the original, if it is an original one-off piece. It suggests that the owner of the piece is reduced to being a licensee, not an owner. It is also an unpopular idea because it purports to tell the owner where and how he may display his own property. Americans are used to the idea that, if they paid for an object - any object - it is theirs to do with as they please. The idea that an artist can exercise legal control over how and where they display it is analogous to Mitsubishi telling me I can't make alterations to my car without their permission, or any other manufacturer telling me I can't use what I've bought from them in any way I choose. The idea is unpopular here because our concept of human rights is that no "right" may infringe upon another right. This is why we're in a current uproar over the use of "immanent domain" by private developers who seek to destroy people's homes for their own private business interests. It is a case of one party claiming their rights are superior to the rights of homeowners to own property. One thing I'd add, as a libertarian, is that the true test of ownership lies in one's ability to control or dispose of one's property as one sees fit. If you don't have that control, in what sense do you really have ownership? Sure, it's only right that an artist have control over the reproduction of his works, even after they are sold. But, I believe it crosses the line to then tell the buyer what he can or can't do with what he's paid good money for. I predict that if the concept of moral rights becomes universal, we'll see a dramatic decline in the sales of artworks, as no buyer wants the artist telling him how and where he may display the artwork. Frankly, as an artist, myself, I don't give a rat's ass how or where the buyer displays my work, as long as he doesn't make unauthorized copies of it. Other than that, I don't see where I have any right to tell the buyers of my art what they can or can't do with it once they've bought it. I certainly wouldn't buy art if I knew in advance that I was going to be subjected to such totalitarian control over my ownership of it.

Gary

Last edited by GaryR52 : 08-13-2005 at 06:11 PM.
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  #33  
Old 10-08-2005, 08:09 AM
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realsculpt realsculpt is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

i will be honest, i did not read all of this, but i beleive from reading a book on copyright for artist, it IS illeagle for a photographer to sell photos of someone elses work unless they are working for the newspapers (fair use law). There are alot of great books in the Art section of the books stores on contracts and copyright for artist. the one book talked of a case in shich a sculptor did a sculpture based on a photo, or vice versa and got sued and lost because of copyright. It was a photo and sculpture aof a guy on a bench with wiener dogs (i know strange, but cool looking)

look at it this way, if you take a photo of someone holding a can of Coke, if they are in the background and the can of coke is not 100% recognizable or not the focus of any thing just in the background you are ok, but if you photo a can of coke in the foreground as the focus you are in violation. notice on tv shows they blur teeshirt logos, you will see that on shows like "real world" or "cops"

In movies they have to block out the letters on products, because without permission you cant show the words COke on the cans label without permission.

now if there is your sculpture is on someones property and then photographed the owner of the property may have a claim , maybe you i dont know.

anyway check out some of the books out there, Oh also if you photo your work and put it on a website, or even print out the photo you may own rights to the 2-D image as well, not sure.

oh, most states offer very cheap legal advice, for about 50$ or less, call the local bar association and see if they offer legal conultations from the local Bar association, I have gotten a 1/2 hour for 50$ in FL this way, and in Philly it used to be free.
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  #34  
Old 10-08-2005, 04:40 PM
GaryR52 GaryR52 is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Well, since this thread has risen from the dead, I just want to say something about Randall's last post, which I somehow missed until now (sorry about that, Randall).

I noted that one of the six rights an artist has when he creates a new work is the right of display. The page doesn't elaborate further on that, however, so I want to make it clear that the right of display refers to the act of showing a work publicly, usually for financial gain, but not always. It actually refers to any unauthorized dislay.

In other words, if I display a photographer's work publicly and charge admission for viewing it (or not), I can be sued by the photographer if the exhibition wasn't authorized by him. Similarly, the works of any artist, filmaker, author, etc. are covered in this manner.

What this does not cover, however, is how a work of art is displayed. The "moral rights" laws, enacted in a few locales, governing this specific aspect of display does, but only in the areas in which the law has any legal jurisdiction. In other words, if I buy a sculpture and decide to paint it in garish colors, I can be sued by the artist for this, but only in places (such as California) where the law says the artist has the legal right to sue me for defacing his work, even though I own my copy of it. Conversely, if I live outside the area in which "moral rights" laws govern the display of an artist's work, I can do anything I want to with my copy of the sculpture. Not that I would, of course.

Gary
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  #35  
Old 10-08-2005, 08:13 PM
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JAZ JAZ is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

My vote goes with Araich's clear explanation. I believe he is exaclty correct.
JAZ
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  #36  
Old 10-09-2005, 01:29 PM
GaryR52 GaryR52 is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Indeed, Araich's contribution is acurate and, in fact, lead me to revise my previous opinion on the matter, somewhat.

Gary
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  #37  
Old 12-18-2005, 07:02 PM
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Blacksun Blacksun is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

My understranding is that under US copyright law, any "reproduction" of a copyrighted artistic work is a violation of the artist's copyright. It is not required that it be a sculpture of a sculpture, or a painting of a painting. If you "copy" my work without my permission (a license), then we are going to have some problems. Of course, if you're a tourist, or a little kid, or a news organization, and what you are intending to do with the copy (a photograph in this case) is for your personal use or within "fair use" guidelines, or just plain amusing, then I'm more than likely going to be pleased that you noticed and not concerned. But an artist photographer that shoots my work and then attempts to profit from that "copy" he has just made of my intellectual property (as this is the kernel of copyright....it protects not only the concrete expression of an idea, but the original idea itself...), well he has violated my right to control copies made of my work, and he should not be surprised to get a cease and desist order slapped on him, along with a demand for a certified independent accounting of any proceeds from his use of the image.

Now having taken that hardline approach in this discussion, I am usually very happy to give permission for anyone to make a 2-dimensional representation of my work...and usually work out something simple and agreeable to both parties. I've only been forced to the hardline 3 times.... a company that had purchased one of my pieces for their lobby started using a photo of it as a logo in their print and internet advertising. I explained the problem and they got hard-nosed with the basic mis-conception that they "owned" the work and could do anything they wished with it.....wrong.... A quick letter from my attorney pointing out the error in their thinking and they agreed to an easy uncomplicated license agreement and were able to continue using the image. Another case was a large monumental piece, all the initial design work was finished, and the client had approved the maquette, then demanded that I sign over all rights (including copyright) to the work before they would finalize our contract...wrong.... Several weeks later, when no meeting of the minds had occurred, I took my design and went home. The monument is now under construction funded by a different group and my copyright rests safely with me.

The 3rd and last copyright run-in I had was with a client that commissioned a portrait bust, then got a little confused about her rights to the work....she insisted that it was a "work-for-hire" and as such she owned the copyright. I explained in detail with annotations that the work-for-hire provisions had no applicability to this commission. She insisted it did. Her basic problem was an attempt to control my right to reproduce the piece in the future without paying a license fee to accomplish that control. After a few weeks of emails, I again took my artwork and went home, promptly found another buyer for the sculpture at twice what I had quoted her.

And now for an example of how easy it is to work within the bounds of polite mannered conversation..... I was commissioned to create a public monument for a city park on the other side of the country. The project was very successful. A few years down the road, the piece had reached such a level of popularity with the citizens, they wanted to use a photo image of the piece in a city auto decal required on all private vehicles parked in the town.... They asked, I said sure. Cost me nothing and was a hoot seeing a parking lot full of cars and trucks with a 3" high photo copy of my sculpture on each and every windshield...
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  #38  
Old 12-31-2005, 11:46 AM
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Re: Copyright Law

Hi there,

I'm new to posting to this site but have been learning a lot from you all. Thanks! Hopefully I can add something positive to this site as well.

The question that I have concerns doing a sculpture in the likeness of a painting. I love to get ideas from painting for my figures and sometimes they look just like the painting or drawing. Is this a copyright infringement?

I'm looking a getting in a gallery that sells paintings of kids/women with very large eyes. So I was thinking of sculpting some busts with large eyes to fit in to the overall theme. The large eyes style is quite unique and is originated by the painter. Am I stepping on any laws to sculpt the same style? Do I need permission of the painter? (Not that I would do so without permission just because of the moral law of being courteous since the painter is a friend of mine.)

Thanks for any imput.
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  #39  
Old 01-04-2006, 09:45 AM
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Smile Re: Copyright Law

Tamara,
I'm not a lawyer but my two cents are: If the other artist is relatively successful and you copy the work in 3d it would be infringement and they could take action. If however you are inspired by the large eyes and don't exactly duplicate her forms 2d or not it would not be infringement. If I copied a LLadro (sp) it would be infringement, if I did cute kids in ceramic it would not. An easier way would be to ask permission to interpret her/his work in 3d and give credit to that. Save a lot of grief. PS Saw your work and like it alot. Also got turned on to artspan and like that too. Thanks. www.patharrisart.com
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  #40  
Old 01-16-2006, 11:02 PM
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Re: Copyright Law

I would like to come to this discussion to possibly bring a different light on the subject/ see what you think. I'm not a sculpter and don't necessarily consider myself an artist, but am in the design field (landscape architecture) and many can argue its value as art. I also come as a hobby photographer and eventually a colleague and I are looking to launch a website that provides images to architects/ landscape arch./ planners in a subscription type format(much like a stock photo, but subscription and not individual licensing.) We consider what we are doing as documenting space, not trying to copy it. I could give more detail, but would hate to bore you.

We currently view any photo taken within the public realm as being 'fair game' to a certain extent. By no means do/ will we condone the blatant copying of items within our photographs that are protected by copyright, but don't consider the act of photographing a sculpture in the public domain as infringing. make a copy of a sculpture and in my opinion, that's infringing. Of course this is my opinion only. We've consulted attorneys/ the web/ stumbled on forums such as this, and all we can determine so far is it's very grey.

Hopefully I haven't lost you if you're reading this, but my point is where do you draw the line as to what is art, especially in the public domain? If sculpture/ public art is protected, why then is architecture not protected? Based on copyright law for architecture, any structure visible from public access/ right-of-way is considered in the public domain? What makes art stand out as being protected? Aren't many buildings considered works of art (think Gehry, Calatrava)? And if that's the case, where do you draw the line? Am I infringing on the BMW copyright because one of their cars were parked on a street that I was taking a photo of, regardless of whether it was the center of the composition or not when I'm trying to show what the space is like? What about Harley Davidson, now that they're motorcycles have reached icon status and even a spot at the Guggenheim, I believe? In this day and age of everything in the consumer world being 'designed' to some extent, where to draw the line is a bigger issue than just art.

Sorry if I've rambled on too long. I'm curious as to your take on these points. Look forward to hearing your responses and can give further information regarding what I'm planning if you'd like.

cdub
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  #41  
Old 01-17-2006, 09:28 AM
GaryR52 GaryR52 is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Welcome, Cdub. I'm in a similar field (architectural CAD technician), so I'm familiar with copyright as it applies to architecture. Basically, the plans are copyrighted, but so is the expression of the design; i.e., the completed building. Where many go wrong, though, is in assuming that any form of imagery of the building is a copyright infringement. It is not. What is protected by copyright is the rights to the design inherent in the building. In other words, if you construct a building that looks like another building, you can be sued by the architect of the building you've copied. This protection does not extend to photographs of a building, though. However, even though copyright may not extend to the photos, there are laws that govern the photographing of buildings and building owners may sue under these laws for unauthorized publication of images of their building. This is a privacy law, however, and has nothing to do with copyright. It also varies by jurisdiction and usually, there is no protection for public buildings. Coverage of commercial real estate may tend to vary, but private residences are usually subject to this law, as privacy becomes more of an issue in the case of someone's home.

As an amateur photographer, I've run into situations in which I quickly discovered my limits. I was once shooting inside a shopping mall and had no one interfere - until I stepped inside one of the shops and began shooting there. I was focusing when a burly hand grasped the lense and I was told to leave.

My advice is to get permission from the building owner. To do this, just get them to sign a model release, or in this case, I think it's called a "property release." Check with a photographers professional society, as they usually have such forms.
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  #42  
Old 01-17-2006, 05:02 PM
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Re: Copyright Law

I completely understand the fact of copyright pertaining to architectural plans and we make every effort to keep in the public realm, though some public/ semi-public areas aren't clearly defined (plazas, outdoor malls). I also understand an owner's protection of a property/ building, but only if an image of that were to be used for marketing/ advertising and not by a photographer marketing/ selling images they have taken. Does that make sense?

My main questions lies in what separates art from architecture? You said that in architecture the copyright protects the plans and and the design inherent in the building. As long as someone doesn't go to another location and build that exact structure from the photographs, they aren't infringing. So why then do artists get to enjoy the protection that their art can't be duplicated in photography? It's the same as architecture, unless you build a copy of a building or a sculpture you aren't infringing.

A photograph is a 2D representation created by a photographer. Photography is also an art form that relies on other subject matter, whether it be nature, art, architecture, people, whatever, much like most sculpture/ art has something inspired it's creation.

I'm curious as to some reasons artists feel entitled to compensation from a photographer taking images of their pieces. Do most artists sell their own images of the sculptures for additional income? Or is it to protect the design from being copied thinking someone will run off and make a duplicate of a bronze sculpture from a photo?

I hope I don't come off as argumentative in any way, just trying to understand a little more from the artist's view point.
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  #43  
Old 01-17-2006, 10:57 PM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

The carved marble life sized reclining lions in front of the NY Public Library on 5th ave were carved and installed in 1911, they are these days protected by their being a trademark used by the library on their logo etc. The lions are a very well known recognizable entity:

"Edward Clark Potter obtained the commission for the lions on the recommendation of August Saint-Gaudens, one of America's foremost sculptors. Potter was paid $8,000 for the modelling, and Piccirilli Brothers executed the carving for $5,000, using pink Tennessee marble.
As a tribute to the Lions' popularity and all that they stand for, the Library adopted these figures as its mascots. They are trademarked by the Library, represented in its logo, and featured at major occasions. "
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Old 01-18-2006, 04:08 AM
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Araich Araich is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

cdub, you make an interesting point, but one that I suspect you will not find an exact answer to.
In reality most human pursuits blur at the edges and art and architecture is as good an example as any. This is part of what makes law such a confusing area.
The point that should be made is that copyright is law and that moral arguments are another thing altogether. The Act that I'm most familiar with grants an exception to buildings - that being that you can photograph, paint and even make a model of a building with impunity.
In practice I can imagine that a court might find against you, especially if logos or artworks or trademarks etc are contained in the photographs.

On the moral point, I think that you may have pointed out a failing in the law.
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  #45  
Old 01-18-2006, 08:50 AM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Probably one interesting thing is I submitted a copyright application and fee etc 18 MONTHS ago, was told all was well and waited.
after a year went by I emailed and asked what was happening, they said I would receive the certificate in the mail. Wait some more, emailed and was told the same thing, here we are a year and a half and I wrote asking if it normally takes a year and half just to rubber stamp an application and send out a certificate which is nothing more than a copy of the application basically. I received this:

"No it does not normally take this long to process a registration. In fact your workwas cleared for registration in June 2005 and a certificate should have been issued by now. We will once again forrward this information to the appropriate section with the notation that this is your second inquiry and a reply should be expedited. sw
**********************************
Copyright Office
Library of Congress"
======

Actually this was my 4th inquiry.
Interestingly enough trademarks etc are said to take 2-3 YEARS to process and I think the fee is $250 or something like that. Also the policy is that once you send your fee for copyright in, if they don't approve the application for any reason- they get to KEEP the money, nice huh?
Pretty typical Govt bureaucracy.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:35 PM
cdub cdub is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Araich, I'm trying to get a feel for where you stand on the copyright issue. After hearing my points, are you thinking public art should be free from copyright issues as long as they are in the public realm and free from trademark issues? This is how I view the issues with architecture and curious as to your take.

There have been some decisions in the court regarding trademark, most specifically the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If I'm not mistaken, the photographer was not in the wrong for taking and selling pictures of the building. The court ruled that every angle of the building could not be trademarked and if they wanted to protect their trademark, they needed to select a few shots and have those specifically trademarked. I think the issue was the HofF was selling similar images in their gift shop and felt this photographer was taking away from their income. I'll see if I can find a link to this and post in the future.

Should this same scenario apply to art or do people still consider that a photograph is an exact duplicate of a sculpture/ art piece and therefore a copyright infringement?
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:37 PM
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sculptor sculptor is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

Please see this link:

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#wci

highlights:
Copyright Secured Automatically upon Creation
The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. (See following Note.) There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration. See "Copyright Registration."

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. "Copies" are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm. "Phonorecords" are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LPs. Thus, for example, a song (the "work") can be fixed in sheet music (" copies") or in phonograph disks (" phonorecords"), or both.

If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.
..............................
and:

HOW LONG COPYRIGHT PROTECTION ENDURES
Works Originally Created on or after January 1, 1978
A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire," the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

..............
and:
NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT
is no longer required under U.S. law

etcetc
you really should read the entire site yourselves

hope this helps
sculptor
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:55 PM
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Re: Copyright Law

Quote:
and:
NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT
is no longer required under U.S. law
etcetc
you really should read the entire site yourselves
I have read the site long ago, my issue is my reproductions are self modified anonymous works, and I have had a couple of idiots selling knockoffs of two of my pieces on Ebay, so while automatic copyright sounds nice, when it comes down to the wire places like Ebay and courts require PROOF of infringement to do anything.

One seller on Ebay had my lion block bookend, I showed him this was in my 1986 catalogue and said if he didn't immediately cease selling these
I would have my attorney shut him down. He first claimed he buys and resells and that I needed to contact his "supplier"- he sold a pair of them sprayed with gold paint, for less than $2 on Ebay!!!
and I said, do you think I fell off the turnip truck yesterday? you buy these from someone else and resell the one pair I saw, with no reserve on Ebay for $2?
Then he changed his story to oh yes, he DOES produce them himself after all.
My pair in hydrocal weighs 28 pounds, there's no way anyone could make, sell wholesale, and someone else sell them for $2

Lucky for me he backed down and discontinued selling them, but here I am 18 months later and I STILL don't have an official certificate YET should this come up again.
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:25 PM
cdub cdub is offline
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Re: Copyright Law

I guess a lot of this talk brings me back to my initial question - what gives art in the public domain special protection from infringement than architecture?

I'm not arguing that architecture be restricted, rather advocating that if art is in the public domain and photographed than that photographer should be able to sell his/ her image. I don't think the photographs should be used for advertising purposes to market a certain brand without permission from the artist, but simply selling fine art photographs should be fine.

In the website a partner and I are developing, we are taking photos of the built environment and distributing them to architects/landscape architects/planners to provide tools to promote good design. In our profession, our clients many times can't visualize an aspect of a development and we feel there is the need for photographs for that specific purpose.

Currently we have +/- 8000 photos and growing from our personal travels. Of that, we have roughly 300 or so photos of public art in the public domain. Does that mean I have to go and get permission from 300 artists to show their work, when (just like architecture) it is viewable from public right of way?

Here are a couple of interesting links to a couple of articles we've found. Mostly make the gray grayer, but give valid points for each side.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0330/p15s01-usju.html

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...28/ai_75562384
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  #50  
Old 06-06-2006, 10:52 PM
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Re: Copyright Law

From another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Araich
Clearly this is an important issue, but I would add that from my experience (I have licensed reproduction rights before) this contract is not really all that binding. Copyright law is very specific and a license must meet certain criteria before it becomes binding. For example, your signature.

I would be interested if anyone can cite a case where clicking a few website buttons has produced a binding copyright license.
I wonder too, because when you sign up on a web forum there is no realistic way to verify your name, address or other information you provide, thus, anyone can register as anyone else, post their stolen photos and other material and then leave.
It could get sticky legally speaking, and then too how would the REAL image owner prove THEY were not the one who posted them there?

There is such a thing as an electronic signature, but there again- there is no verification of identity, no credit card validation for example to prove who is "signing"
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