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QLD Obtaining Copyright Permission Under Intellectual Property Law?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Elise, 8 April 2016.

  1. Elise

    Elise Active Member

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    Hi,

    I have a passion for Cross Stitching and I am wanting to do a cross stitch of Marilyn Monroe (pics which are not legally bound to Copyright due to her death being before a policy and law was in place. Also passed by courts that her pics are not copyrighted).

    However, I want to do one of Audrey Hepburn with the possibility of making a profit later. I obviously want to do this the right way and obtain permission under Intellectual Property Law to use a picture for this. It will be a one off of her and willing to pay for pic if I have too but I have no idea where to find contact information to apply for permission. Where do I start?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    What are you actually using the photograph for? Is it just to copy to create a design in the cross stitch? If so, (I would invite other comments on this...) I would tend to think that you would not necessarily require permission to use a photograph for this purpose.

    On one hand, if you base your painting on generic subject matter, i.e. images that have been taken by numerous photographers over the years then you probably are not violating copyright laws. But if a particular photograph is unique and portrays a certain image which you copy exactly and is readily identifiable then you may be liable for infringement.
     
  3. Elise

    Elise Active Member

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    I would use a pic from Google images and a program turns the pic into a cross stitch pattern then create cross stitch based from pattern. If that makes sense lol.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Wow, apps for everything now!

    There is a fair bit of information available on how copyright law views paintings of photographs covered by copyright. The general feeling is that when an artist uses a photograph as their reference piece, the artwork they create is called a derivative work. The artist maintains some ownership over this work but they do require permission from the photographer to use the photo.

    There are however provisions in copyright law that allow for "compilations", and for existing works to be used freely if used in part, or if the original work has been modified to an extent that it is not recognisable as a reference.

    Ultimately if you were to be sued for copyright infringement by the photographer, it would be up to the court to determine on a case by case basis whether your work is sufficiently dissimilar to the original.

    I would recommend you somehow make changes to the colours or somehow make it more generic so it can't be pinned down to one photograph that it is clearly a copy of. Don't know how possible that is with crossstitch though seeing you need a pattern.
     
  5. Elise

    Elise Active Member

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    Yes, that's very true, hahahaha.

    Do you have any idea how I can find a contact for gaining permission to use a photograph? I've tried googling all types of different options for this but it hasn't helped me at all.

    It's getting very frustrating lol
     
  6. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    You have probably already done this but I would find the site that is publishing the photo and find any contact details that you can on the website and ask either for their permission to use the picture or ask where they got permission to use the picture.
     
  7. Elise

    Elise Active Member

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    Yeah, I will keep trying, thanks very much for your assistance. I really appreciate it
     
  8. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Firstly, good for you for respecting copyright in the first place.

    Copyright in pictures of a public figure can vest either in the person themselves, or
    their employer/ hirer/ client (eg a movie studio or a production company), or
    in the person who took the picture (that is, the actual photographer - such as paparazzi).

    It can also vest in a third party, such as a photographer's employer.
    As an example, consider the production stills from "Breakfast at Tiffany's".
    They would have been taken ("created") by an employed 'tog,
    so copyright in those vests in the employer.

    In the end, for every image, there will be a copyright holder, somewhere.
    Just because an image is "in the wild" on the internet doesn't always and automatically extinguish copyright.

    So, to your idea of using a picture of Audrey Hepburn, and making a pattern from it....
    The question is, will you be making infringing copies by creating a pattern?
    Short answer is yes.
    Especially if you are doing so in an organised way, on a commercial scale, and with a view to profit.

    People can negotiate with a copyright holder to use an image.
    In lawyer speak, this is called "licensing an image". There is almost always a fee payable to the copyright holder.
    For information about what you have in mind - why not go straight to the source.?
     
    Sophea likes this.
  9. Elise

    Elise Active Member

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    Thank you very much Tim, greatly appreciated and informative. I will definitely make use of that site.
     

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