Copywrite Question

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CharmedGifts wrote
on Dec 19, 2014 8:35 AM

I'm wondering if it is legal to use an online image/photograph to create a peyote stitch beading pattern.  In creating the pattern, one would be altering the image, but it is such a confusing area of ethics for me.  I've read articles where an artist takes someone else's actual photographs, alters the photo by tearing it or painting directly on it, applies it to their own work, and it is legal.  I've also read articles where an artists creates a piece of art based on another artists work and it isn't legal.  Any thoughts on this matter?

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D.M.Z wrote
on Dec 19, 2014 2:59 PM

Charmed, always always ask if you can locate the name of the is the safest way and avoids all the agony. I did that on one of my wall hangings, the artist let me use her photo for free if I sent her a final picture of the work.

If you are just "taking" the picture with no attempt to contact the artist, the key to using it will be "SUBSTANTIAL" changes. It is all subjective, what you think of as substantial is not what the original artist (who may rely on his/her art for a living) thinks of as substantial. Also, just so you know what the law sez, do a google on copyright law for printed or online work...............  Truthfully to make a real decision you need a lawyer, so asking permission is by far the best solution. Most often the artist is flattered and agrees as long as you don't plan on making a gazillion dollars by selling their art while the artist starves. I've worked on this before I retired and have seen it from both sides...........

So it IS an ethical issue. If you want a one off bracelet for yourself that is far different than making a pattern and selling it. And if you think the artist won't hear about it (in the case of sales) don't believe it, there have been many cases of it even on this forum where an artist has discovered their work being used and not even attributed to them. DMZ

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HomeStrung wrote
on Jan 15, 2015 8:52 PM

This is a really tough question with no easy answers. It's one thing to be inspired by something you see, I once saw a pattern in some wallpaper that inspired me to create a jewelry piece. Something like this would probably not fall into copywrite infringment.  But if I were to try to reproduce someones artwork in one of my beaded purse designs I would only feel comfortable if I could get the artists permission. Reproduction is not necessarily always copywrite infringement. If the artist could recognize it as hers, you could have a problem. On the other hand I have seen many simple beaded type designs done completely seperate with the artists being totally unaware of each other and yet the designs can be close enough others would question if one had copied the other. This probably isn't helping much, but it shouldn't hurt to bounce it off of a few other people when you question it.


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on Jan 22, 2015 12:59 AM

I do photography...I allow use of my photos if asked for paintings and ask for a print of the finished product if not already offered. (most offer to send one)  I do not charge for non-profit organizations to use images or for them in a small club brochure.

I would be upset if photos are used without my permission photos and do have a clause that a fee applies to images used.  That way if I see someone selling cards or something with my images (photos-not painted copies) I can charge them or take them to small claims court. 

So far most have asked and never charged even when pix were published. 


Jewelry photo gallery with supply list & instruction info:

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