Possible copyright infringement

I want to use a photo on the cover of my print book as it's a biography.  If I use software to convert an existing photo to a drawing, is that still potentially a copyright infringement?

Granjon

Comments

  • If you change it enough so that it's not recognizable you should be fine. Add a different background, remove some hair, change colour of clothing, remove mustache, flip, make him/her thinner, change size of eyebrows. You could use it as a frame and create your own image. Give credit to original image creator.

     

    However, there might be a similar image as creative commons or public domain.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Thanks very much - very useful.

     

    But what does the final line mean?

     

    "However, there might be a similar image as creative commons or public domain."

     

    (I am very new at all this.)

  • If it's a biography of someone in the 18th century, say, they probably have paintings or images of him/her that are ok for people to use in a  creative way.

     

    Google public domain and your subject's name. Same search with Creative Commons.

     A citizen of the world.

  • There is site called http://www.publicdomainpictures.net where photographers give permission to use their photos. There is one woman there that takes photos from the library of congress and retouces them. I believe these might be usable to you as well. If you can find what you are looking for. 

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Em_Press wrote:

    If you change it enough so that it's not recognizable you should be fine. Add a different background, remove some hair, change colour of clothing, remove mustache, flip, make him/her thinner, change size of eyebrows. You could use it as a frame and create your own image. Give credit to original image creator.

     

    However, there might be a similar image as creative commons or public domain.


    If one did that then it would no longer be an image of the person the biography is about.  You could be right about finding the right image in PD, but very often one has to ask how they got in to it, who placed it as such, and if they had the right to.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Granjon wrote:

    I want to use a photo on the cover of my print book as it's a biography.  If I use software to convert an existing photo to a drawing, is that still potentially a copyright infringement?

    Granjon


    That is a very grey area because the net is often full of people's faces, unofficial or not. Some as photos and some as art. A rule of thumb is to always check if someone owns the copyright or not. Also never forget that the entire contents of most sites have a blanket copyright. Remarkably, some celebrities nowadays even have their faces copyrighted and can only be used with permission. Some massive Chinese company has just been sued for using someone's face in promotions without permission.

     

    PS: Public Domain means content on the net that is free of copyright. But always ensure that it really is, and some have a clause to stop them being used 'comercially', and a publication is.

     

    PPS: Who is it?

  • Am I right in thinking that the big thorn in the flesh is 'for commercial purposes'?;  if I wanted to copy a poster and put it on my wall, that's okay.  If I want to put it on a book cover and sell it, that's not okay.

    BTW, it's a photo of an ancient Roman person, from a museum in Rome.  I've discovered that there is no copyright on 'ancient works of art', of which this is presumably an example.  It's a photo of an ancient work of art that's the problem; copyright apparently belongs to whoever took the photo.  Maybe it means a trip to Rome!

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    The only correct answer - which you may not like - is that it is never OK to breach copyright. Copyright means I own the rights to this work and you many not use the work in any way at all unless I grant you permission to do so. Obviously, if you buy a book you may read it but you may not publish it with your name on the cover, you may not make a copy to give to a friend, etc, etc.

     

    Why not try using a stock photography company? You can get pictures for just a few dollars. They have millions of photographs you can search through. If you really need a picture of a specific statue then you might have to get on a plane but if you just need a picture of a statue, which you can use with a clear conscience, stock photography is your answer.

     

    If you are perfectly certain that copyright in a work has expired then it is OK to use it but I would always urge anyone to err on the side of caution. Pay a few dollars and never have to worry about anyone trying to sue you.

  • Granjon,

     

    I just took out War and Peace from the library. They have a painting on there from a French Museum. No copyright. Go ahead and use old paintings!

     A citizen of the world.

  • Also, I just found an insanely gorgeous painting from the 19th Century. Anonymous.

     

    Go look around and see what comes up.

     A citizen of the world.


  • Granjon wrote:

    Am I right in thinking that the big thorn in the flesh is 'for commercial purposes'?;  if I wanted to copy a poster and put it on my wall, that's okay.  If I want to put it on a book cover and sell it, that's not okay.

     

    No. There is no provision in copyright law that allows you to copy something if there is no profit involved. Copying is copying, period, and you cannot copy a copyrighted work for any reason. There are some exceptions allowed by the doctrine of Fair Use, but even this has some pretty definite restrictions.

     

    From the US Copyright Office fAQ: "Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances."

     

    BTW, it's a photo of an ancient Roman person, from a museum in Rome.  I've discovered that there is no copyright on 'ancient works of art', of which this is presumably an example.  It's a photo of an ancient work of art that's the problem; copyright apparently belongs to whoever took the photo.  Maybe it means a trip to Rome!

     

    Exactly. The original work might be in the public domain but a photo of it might not be.


     

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/

  • Granjon wrote:

    I want to use a photo on the cover of my print book as it's a biography.  If I use software to convert an existing photo to a drawing, is that still potentially a copyright infringement?

    Granjon


    Yes.

     

    According to the US Copyright Office: 

    How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else's work?

    Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. Accordingly, you cannot claim copyright to another's work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner's consent.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/

  • TheJesusNinja wrote:

    There is site called http://www.publicdomainpictures.net where photographers give permission to use their photos. There is one woman there that takes photos from the library of congress and retouces them. I believe these might be usable to you as well. If you can find what you are looking for. 


    In fact, do a search of the Library of Congress yourself. Most of the images it has available---and there are hundreds of thousands---are public domain, high resolution and free of charge. If an image still has a copyright attached, the LoC will have that indicated.

     

    http://www.loc.gov/pictures/

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Am I right in thinking that the big thorn in the flesh is 'for commercial purposes'?;  if I wanted to copy a poster and put it on my wall, that's okay.

     

    Only because the copyright 'police' do not have the staff to look at everyone's walls, but it is still an infringement.

     

     If I want to put it on a book cover and sell it, that's not okay.

     

    Indeed.

     

    BTW, it's a photo of an ancient Roman person, from a museum in Rome.

     

    * Some museums do frown on such things and even ban the use of cameras in their buildings, often because they prefer people to buy their postcards. 

     

     I've discovered that there is no copyright on 'ancient works of art', of which this is presumably an example.

     

    But having said what I said above *, they do own the contents of their buildings which possibly gives them copyrights to what is in them. The long dead subject cannot be asked, of course.

     

     It's a photo of an ancient work of art that's the problem; copyright apparently belongs to whoever took the photo.

     

    Yes, that too can be possible.

     

    Maybe it means a trip to Rome!

     

    Or a search around Facebook etc etc etc, for people who have been and have posted photos they may allow you to use.

     

    But I would bet the museum in question has a site you can look at, full of images. Look at their copyright clauses.

     

    http://tourvirtuale.museicapitolini.org/#en

     

    Not only that, depending on the fame of the late person, their face could have been reproduced a million times down to the point of a £10 plaster bust. Some things are impossible to copyright.

     

    So who is it then?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Em_Press wrote:

    Granjon,

     

    I just took out War and Peace from the library. They have a painting on there from a French Museum. No copyright. Go ahead and use old paintings!


    They may have asked permission, but then again it is very hard to take action against copyright infringment in places such as Russia.

     

    Возможно, они попросили разрешения, но опять же это очень трудно полиции нарушение авторского права в таких местах, как Россия.      Smiley Happy

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Ron Miller wrote:

    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    There is site called http://www.publicdomainpictures.net where photographers give permission to use their photos. There is one woman there that takes photos from the library of congress and retouces them. I believe these might be usable to you as well. If you can find what you are looking for. 


    In fact, do a search of the Library of Congress yourself. Most of the images it has available---and there are hundreds of thousands---are public domain, high resolution and free of charge. If an image still has a copyright attached, the LoC will have that indicated.

     

    http://www.loc.gov/pictures/


    One problem with that is that they are not exclusive (unless one pays for the image to be so) which means any one can use them for the same purpose when you are better using something unique.

     

    Such stock images are often used to fill up magazines and brochures. I am sure you have seen them. Some anonymous person sat at a desk, or enjoying a day on the beach just used to illustrate a subject matter. Althrough they have no doubt paid to use the image.

  • On the museum websites, there will be notices of copyright if the work is copyrighted, or under/on the picture.

     

    As for War and Peace, there was no copyright notice anywhere in the book. Just credit given. Huge publishing house.

     A citizen of the world.

  •  

    If you take the photo, then draw over the top of it, by hand, creating a new work of art that is just loosely based on the image, then you're probably OK. Using the photo itself, even if you run some digital wzardry on it, is a breach of copyright, because it is still the original image, just with colours or outlines rejigged a bit.

    I advise you to contact the person who took the photo and ask if you can use it, or, as others have said, try to find a picture of it where the photographer has made it available for anyone to use. There may be conditions in that case (ie that you credit the photographer.)


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Ron Miller wrote:

    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    There is site called http://www.publicdomainpictures.net where photographers give permission to use their photos. There is one woman there that takes photos from the library of congress and retouces them. I believe these might be usable to you as well. If you can find what you are looking for. 


    In fact, do a search of the Library of Congress yourself. Most of the images it has available---and there are hundreds of thousands---are public domain, high resolution and free of charge. If an image still has a copyright attached, the LoC will have that indicated.

     

    http://www.loc.gov/pictures/


    One problem with that is that they are not exclusive (unless one pays for the image to be so) which means any one can use them for the same purpose when you are better using something unique.

     

    Such stock images are often used to fill up magazines and brochures. I am sure you have seen them. Some anonymous person sat at a desk, or enjoying a day on the beach just used to illustrate a subject matter. Althrough they have no doubt paid to use the image.


    No, they are not exclusive...but the original question was about finding an image of an historic person. This is an imcomparable resource for such material.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Short answer: Yes.

     

    Best thing to do is to contact the copyright owner and ask for permission.


  • Archaeologist wrote:

     

    If you take the photo, then draw over the top of it, by hand, creating a new work of art that is just loosely based on the image, then you're probably OK. Using the photo itself, even if you run some digital wzardry on it, is a breach of copyright, because it is still the original image, just with colours or outlines rejigged a bit.

    I advise you to contact the person who took the photo and ask if you can use it, or, as others have said, try to find a picture of it where the photographer has made it available for anyone to use. There may be conditions in that case (ie that you credit the photographer.)



    Someone who wished to be technical could claim that it was a "derivitive work" -- that is, that your work would not have been possible without theirs. And they would be correct. And legally able to enforce copyright.

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