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Author Topic: Artist inspirational material  (Read 816 times)

Martin1974

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Artist inspirational material
« on: 04-30-17 at 12:36 pm »

Hi

I would like to create mugs inspired by famous long dead artists like Henry Matisse, Picasso etc. i will only use isolated elements found in their works, draw them myself (not copy the exact thing) and print them on the mugs. My question is can i market the products such as " ...this collection is inspired from the work of Henry Matisse" etc.. in the products webpage or in print? the brand will not be related to the artists' name, just in the description and i will not use exact copies from photos, i will re-draw myself similar forms.

Thank you
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artchain

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Re: Artist inspirational material
« Reply #1 on: 04-30-17 at 02:32 pm »

There are several things to consider here.

(1)  Many works by Matisse, Picasso, and other artists of the period are now in the public domain because their copyright protection has expired.  Those works can be reproduced or used as source material for commercial products such as your mugs.  Here is a good guide to the terms of copyright in the United States:

http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

However, note that this applies (mostly) to works published in the United States.  I am not familiar with European copyright laws, but international treaties allow countries to enforce copyright claims in other countries.

(2)  For works that are still protected, even a hand-drawn copy of a potion of the work can still be a copyright violation.  For example, using even a few notes from a musical work can constitute infringement if those notes are clearly a recognizable signature element...  and it doesn't matter if you play the notes yourself at a different tempo on a different instrument.  I assume that you would want to use recognizable, key features from the works in question, and that's problematic. 

This is, of course, a gray area, because artists often use stylistic elements from other artists, and there isn't a clear line to delineate inspiration from infringement.

(3)  A statement that your collection is "inspired by" an artist would not in itself be an issue.  Artists are frequently inspired by other artists, and cite that fact.  However, when you combine that statement with the use of elements from copyrighted works for commercial purposes, I think it would bolster the argument that you are infringing.

(4)  Despite the fact that the artists are dead, their rights have passed to their estates.  For many artists, including Matisse and Picasso, the heirs have set up licensing companies to manage the rights. These licensing companies exist both to protect the reputation and integrity of the artists' works, and to extract as much money as possible from licensing.  As such, they tend to be quick to litigate.

The above information is intended as general background.  I would advise you to consult an intellectual property attorney for legal advice on the specifics of what you have planned.



Martin1974

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Re: Artist inspirational material
« Reply #2 on: 04-30-17 at 03:16 pm »

Thank you very much for the input. i will do a research on the public domain.
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MYK

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Re: Artist inspirational material
« Reply #3 on: 04-30-17 at 06:19 pm »

Artchain, are there any issues with right-of-publicity or European-style moral rights?

Also, Martin, are you in the U.S., and do you plan to market anywhere outside the U.S.?
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

Martin1974

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Re: Artist inspirational material
« Reply #4 on: 04-30-17 at 06:59 pm »

Hi MYK, i'm in europe and would probably market online first
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flashbazbo

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Re: Artist inspirational material
« Reply #5 on: 07-03-17 at 07:04 pm »

testing
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