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Old 10-15-2007, 10:33 AM
AKady AKady is offline
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ownership issues

So I was wondering what kind of issues there are with art and copyrights. Like if I take a picture of a sculpture is that picture mine? can I claim creative rights over the picture? What about painting can I paint a sculpture and claim creative rights? But I cant sculpt a sculpture and claim rights?

With music and literature it is very strait forward because you can look letter by letter and note by note to see if they copied it.

How does this take place in the current sculpture market?
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:16 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Location: New Orleans, LA
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Re: ownership issues

I'll post a fairly general reply, as this has gotten quite a bit of attention before. Here in the U. S., a copyright only protects you if you have a large wallet and good lawyer. That is, nobody will protect you from infringement except yourself.

In France, and maybe elsewhere under European Union rules (to the extent they exist, as the Union may be collapsing), an artist may produce up to (x number) of original reproductions of a work, more or less at a common value. Beyond that number, any additional copies are valued less.

I think Araich has said that Australian and other Commonwealth rules lie somewhere between Ė the government will protect you, but limitations arenít as strict as Europe. Itís all very complex. (And I may be misremembering some of the posts.)
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:54 PM
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Blacksun Blacksun is offline
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Re: ownership issues

The easiest way to avoid ownership / copyright issues is to do your own original work. You want to "copy" something that you did not create, then you probably are running up against some form of "copy"right problem.
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:18 AM
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Julianna Julianna is offline
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Re: ownership issues

You're delving in some very grey areas, and before I start I'll prefix this by saying that I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice, and my comments are based on US/Canadian copyright laws

if I take a picture of a sculpture is that picture mine?
The picture is yours, but the ownership of the portion of the sculpture in the picture is up for grabs. My understanding is that it depends mainly on whether the sculpture is the focus of the picture or part of the landscape, and whether you intend to use the picture for commercial purposes. For example, if you take a picture of a plaza and a sculpture happens to be part of the picture, AND you are only using the picture for private purposes (e.g. to show your friends and family what you saw on your vacation), you're most likely in the clear. However, if you're taking a photo of the sculpture only, and planning on using the photo in a commercial setting (reselling it as a poster/t-shirt/etc, or including it as the focus of a derivative work), you're stepping on the sculptor's copyright. Note that fair use of others' work in your own work is a highly contested area, and if that is the type of work you're doing, it is best to study some of the case law in your country to see what the courts have decided in the past.

What about painting can I paint a sculpture and claim creative rights?
This, again, is a touchy area. Canada and the US use different aspects of the derivative work to determine whether it violates copyright. I don't remember which, but one of them factors the artistic merit/change of the derivative work and the other doesn't. You'll, again, want to check this. In general, reproductive rights belong to the sculptor unless they have waived or sold them. If they have waived the rights, anyone can reproduce the work; however, if they have sold the rights, you would need to track down someone else to get those rights.

But I cant sculpt a sculpture and claim rights?
This is probably the least grey area, and that is certainly a violation of copyright. Many artists have gone after companies who buy sculptures and reproduce them for their own profit (Wal Mart being one of those companies).

Of course, for all of this, you would have to look at the copyright status of the sculpture and whether what you plan to do falls into fair use (the definition of which varies depending on where you live). For example, students creating reproductions of Michelangelo's David are not in violation of copyright because the sculpture is in the public domain and they are creating the reproduction for educational purposes.
Julianna Yau Yorgan
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:59 AM
mollycarpenter mollycarpenter is offline
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Re: ownership issues

Excellent info- thanks!
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