Re: Copyright - Use of Images To Create Artwork
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Posted by M. Arthur Auslander on February 01, 2000 at 06:05:16:
In Reply to: Copyright - Use of Images To Create Artwork posted by John F. Humen on January 31, 2000 at 22:55:30:
: I hope it's all right if I contact you directly with some questions
: about copyright law. You seem to be knowledgeable in this area judging
: from your responses on the "intelpro.com" list server.
: If you do not want to provide any insight please don't bother.
: Question #1. Among other things I create original artwork in various
: media. Mostly I work with pencil, charcoal and watercolor. Over time I
: have developed a working method that includes the use of copyrighted
: photographs as more or less a "base" to work from. I certainly am not in
: the business of COPYING anything, but will use the material as a basic
: reference point and then add my own artistic value and interpretation.
: What I come up with can, at times, be recognizable if compared to the
: original copyrighted work.
: The question is, am I infringing on anyone's copyright in this area? I
: was always under the impression that if Andy Warhol or Leroy Neiman can
: do it, so can I. It's just that lately I've sold a bunch of stuff and
: stand to sell a lot more and more as time goes on.
: Question #2. Suppose the same artist (me!) decided to create a series of
: originals based on celebrity images. Some really popular names out
: there: Elvis! Princess Diana! You get the picture. I understand that
: ripping off patented "characters" such as Barney or a Disney character
: is off limits, as well it should be; but I'm just talking celebrities.
: The question then becomes, am I free to make and sell an original work
: of art depicting the image of a celebrity?
: Thanks for your help in advance.
There is limit as between feiendly answers and just dispensing legal advice from which I make a living.
Basically Trademarks sucn as Campbells are not coved by copyright. Warhol did not infringe the trademark. I don't know the work of Neimam
M. Arthur Auslander
ELAINE's Workshop (sm)
E arly L egal A dvice I s N ot E xpensive
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
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