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Re: Collaged Covers and copyright

Interesting points raised here. I agree copyright ownership doesnt
change and copying the artwork onto a tshirt involves copying the image.
In collage you are not copying the original but reselling it along with
others. If you buy artwork and then resell it making a profit that has
no effect on the original purchase. There are other areas where this
would apply too like in the case of altered books.

Or maybe if you are worried ask permission of the copyright holder, in
many cases it is given.


Pamela Rups wrote:
> Nicholette Hart wrote:
> > What I got taught in one workshop, which legally I dont know how
> > accurate it is but the logic sounded good. Copyright laws apply to
> > copying something. If you arent copying but using the original clippings
> > then it is not an issue. Its like anything that you make that you buy
> > the supplies for, when the magazine is bought copyright/licence fees etc
> > are covered for that copy of the image, so as long as you dont copy it
> > again but use the one from the magazine you are OK.
> This, too, is not correct.  You do *not* buy the copyright/license fees when you
> buy a magazine.  A person can only get permission to use someone else's work
> through a contractual transfer of those rights.  When you, as an artist, create a
> work and sell it, unless specified in the bill of sale, the person who purchases
> your work does not own the copyright.  You, the artist, retain copyright of your
> work until you sign a contract to transfer that right to someone else.  This
> protects you.  If the new owner of your artwork takes that artwork and puts it on
> a t-shirt without obtaining legal ownership of the copyright from you, and makes
> millions of dollars (this is only an example, not necessarily realistic), he has
> committed copyright infringement and you can sue him for the profits of which you
> were deprived.
> The grey area with collages is that the collage artist is using someone else's
> work to create another piece of artwork which the collage artist will sell for his
> own gain.  In other words, the collage artist is making a profit off of someone
> else's work without having obtained permission to use that work, in theory
> depriving the original creator of his rightful profits and possibly using that
> work in a manner which the original creator finds objectionable.  This is
> happening now with sound sampling, for which there have been a rash of lawsuits,
> and collages seem very similar in principal.
> To answer another reply directed at me, I do not necessarily approve of or endorse
> the way the laws have been enforced or interpreted up to now.  That is another
> issue and I am dealing only with the direction given by court decisions on this
> matter up to this point.  This is a double-edged sword--it keeps people from
> depriving you of money made from your work, but then it can also seem to inhibit
> creativity, such as in the collage issue.
> This is a difficult issue, and court decisions can contradict each other, making
> it even more difficult for people to know what to do.  Often there are no absolute
> answers.  I have even heard a lawyer say one can be guided by what one thinks he
> can get away with--how big is the audience; is what you have used easily
> recognizable, or is it such a small protion that it could be almost anything; what
> are the chances of your being caught?
> My advice would be, if you are worried, consult a lawyer.
> Pamela Rups
> Computer Multimedia Specialist
> University Computing Services
> Western Michigan University
> Kalamazoo, MI  49008
> (616) 387-5016
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