Using a painting as a cover for book and ebook

Hi folks

 

I am thinking of using a painting as the cover for an upcoming book/ebook.  What are the rules regarding this? (I dont want to get in trouble).  can i use any painting or whats the story?  Do they have to be older paintings or can i use new ones?

 

 

Comments

  • It depends on the painting. If it's an older work and in the public domain, it can be used. There are a number of websites that you can reference; there was one in particular that I liked, but the name escapes me.  I used an 18th century Fragonard for my book cover (I had to crop the image to achieve the look I wanted, unfortunately), as it visually represented both the title and plot of the play.  I made sure to put the painting title and artist's name on the back cover, just as a traditionally printed book would do. If it's a newer work, you would have to get permission from the artist. 

     

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  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor

    JackRErnest wrote:

    Hi folks

     

    I am thinking of using a painting as the cover for an upcoming book/ebook.  What are the rules regarding this? (I dont want to get in trouble).  can i use any painting or whats the story?  Do they have to be older paintings or can i use new ones?

     

     


    You need to be very careful. A painting can be copyrighted just like a book. You would need to get explicit permission from the artist before using it. If it's a new painting it is probably under copyright and you will have to get the artist's OK. 

     

    You even need to be careful about using art that would be old enough to fall into the public domain because a photo of a painting can itself be copyrighted. This is why, for instance, you need to get permission from many museums before using photos of anything from their collection. The painting may be in the public domain but the photo may not be. 

     

    Just be very, very careful about where you get your art and  you should be OK. Remember that just because you may have found a picture on the web and there is no copyright notification doesn't mean it is there legitimately. Make sure the picture is from an absolutely reputable source. If you want to use an older painting, Wiki Commons is a good source: it takes special care to make sure the images in its collection are public domain.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • cheers.  thanks for the replies.  i will have to be careful.  might even try and create my own picture or something, just to be carefull

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