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(Message started by: neteagle on Mar 19th, 2006, 6:59am)

Title: oil paintings reproduction
Post by neteagle on Mar 19th, 2006, 6:59am
Does anyone have knowledge on the laws around selling oil painting reproductions of famous artists? I am looking to start my own website selling art reproductions but i'm confused about the legality surrounding such images.

I have found many suppliers in China and the UK that produce repros of Picasso, Dali and others whose works are not yet in the public domain. I've also seen many listings on eBay for similar pieces.

Can anyone really clarify if it's legal or not?

As an alternative can you slightly alter the reproduction so it is not an exact replica?

thanks

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by CriterionD on Mar 20th, 2006, 4:31pm
If a painting is in the public domain, there shouldn't be any issues.  If paintings are not in the public domain, it may be possible in some cases to obtain a license to reproduce them.  Or there may be cases where history suggests that certain copyright holders are unlikely to enforce their rights - I certainly can't help you here and obviously you would be wise to use caution here.  

Your second question is a slight bit more complicated.   But many reproductions of copyrighted works would likely be considered as "derivative" works regardless of whether they were exact.  
   

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by neteagle on Mar 20th, 2006, 7:29pm
Thanks CrterionD
How do I find out whether a painting is in public domain?
Or the basic rule for this is that the artist must have been dead for at least seventy years?

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by CriterionD on Mar 21st, 2006, 10:26am

on 03/20/06 at 19:29:02, neteagle wrote:
How do I find out whether a painting is in public domain?


The following link does a good job of providing guidelines -

http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/Hirtle_Public_Domain.htm

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by CriterionD on Mar 21st, 2006, 11:05am
Of course the link above applies mainly to US copyright law,

while protection of older works may differ from country to country, life+70 would be a decent rule of thumb to be safe

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by Isaac on Mar 21st, 2006, 12:30pm
Picasso's life spans a number of significant changes to the duration of copyright protection. Life plus 70 years would be a grossly inaccurate estimate for the duration of copyright for Picasso. A large portion of his work is in the public domain in the US.

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by Brandon on Dec 28th, 2006, 3:21pm
Was there any final answer to this?

Title: Re: oil paintings reproduction
Post by pg1067 on Jan 2nd, 2007, 8:45am
Actually, Picasso's life spanned but a single change to the length of copyright protection (at least in the U.S.).  He died in 1973.  Thus, the only change in that regard was the 1909 Copyright Act.

Under U.S. law, nothing created before 1922 is protected by copyright.

Beyond that, it's impossible to provide a general answer.

Under the 1909 Act, works were protected only if they were registered for copyright prior to or concurrently with their first publication.  Copyright protection existed for 28 years and could be renewed for another 28 years.  During the decade-plus leading up to the enacting of the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress gave several single-year extensions to works that otherwise would have fallen into the public domain during that time.

For Picasso's works created between 1/1/1923 and his death, one would have to research them on a case-by-case basis to determine if copyright protection applies.

With respect to the question about slight alterations, one of the exclusive rights of copyright is the right to create derivative works.  Obviously, the line between infringing derivative and non-infringing work will be blurry.



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