We all know it is ilegal to take photographs of people without permission and, we have discussed that before now. What about drawings photographs or drawing pictures by hand of famous people, public figiures, or not famous people? What about drawings of ordinary people on the street? What about drawing a picture of a building or public place ? Maybe you see some kind of concept car at a park and no one is around, can you still draw it legally?
I had the same question. I've noticed a lot of portraits of famous people that are selling on FAA. It was my understanding that you were not supposed to draw and sell a portrait of ANYONE without their permission. What's the legal rule?
it's not illigal to take people's picture without permission. you can shoot anyone that is not famous, if they are in public and sell them. but you can't use them for advertising without a release. you also shouldn't sell them if you put them in a bad light. a famous face you can't use because they have the rights to sell their own image. creating art of famous people would be the same thing - unless you have their permission, you can't make a portrait of them. a non famous person would be covered under the in public rule.
you can photograph or create art of any building without permissions because a building design cannot be copyrighted. it has something to do with no two being exact or something. though places have tried to enforce such a rule, you really can't. but that's american law, i don't know of others. a car however is copyrighted or trademarked, so you can't do stuff with that.
basically anything that is a trademark should not be made as art for resale, any famous person as well. anything else in public is ok. but each case will vary and it depends how recognizable it is. and if you are making a sketch it has to be from your own photo and not someone else's work. that Obama HOPE case was about that i think. he took someone's picture that was not public domain and made art from it. he did get in trouble.
as far as selling here - for some reason you can sell famous people and trademarks here and it will only be taken down if the company or person complains. however it's a slippery slope because you can still be sued either way. posting it here as art from my understanding is ok because it's a non-useful item. but once you start selling things like shirts, stickers and mugs, then you can't sell it because it's a useful item? something like that.
We DO NOT all know that it is illegal to take pictures of people without permission! Where does this misinformation come from?. In fact the OPPOSITE is true. Under certain circumstances a model release is required to use the picture commercially, but the general rule is that you can take any picture of a person or building from a public space that has no expectation of privacy (ie. you can't take pictures in a bathroom where there is an expectation of privacy).
Here is a great site that explains what you can or cannot do with photography
Pictures or drawings of buildings are fair game under FEDERAL LAW, however use of certain images may be restricted if the building is also a TRADEMARK
Title 17, Chapter 1, § 120 of the United States Code:
§ 120. Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works
(a) Pictorial Representations Permitted. — The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.
Commercial use of a picture or drawing of a concept car may run afoul of trademark protection, however editorial use (ie. book, magazine or newspaper) may still be permitted.
Consult with an attorney if you need legal advice but what I am saying is that it is not as simple as people think
also keep in mind commercial means the selling of items as advertisement. many confuse commercial with commercial site or making money and this is not the same thing. selling it as a tshirt is ok as a pod type thing. selling it to walmart where it's mass produced, that's a no unless you have permission. selling it as a poster is ok here, but not if it's used to sell a movie or whatever. however if someone buys your image with that in mind, your still in the clear because your intention was to sell it as art.
but used commercially, your using the image to endorse something else. where your house may be used to describe a bankruptcy, your face may be used for anything else. there was a case a while ago about a mother who saw her face on a billboard, and i think her kids as well - she did sign a release for the images. someone bought those images and used it as a billboard for something poor and money related. but everyone knew who she was and thought she was really poor when she wasn't, welfare i think it was. and that was with a release. imagine without one.
So I guess the artist selling nudes with the heads of famous people (Princess Diana, The First Lady, The President, Prince Harry and Katherine, etc) is taking a huge risk? And if so, where does FAA stand on this and would they be liable as well. Just curious, I'm not famous but I certainly wouldn't want my face stuck on a nude painting and put up for sale.
if the person is famous, it's a different rule. in the case sharon mentioned, i would have to ask where those faces of famous people came from first - my guess it they downloaded them from google. as for the nude, that's also questionable. mix them together and they are putting them in a bad light - and in the case of art, you can't do that. that's being set up for lawsuits. however that person can be reported and maybe have their stuff removed. i'm not sure which person your talking about though.
Thanks for the reply, Dan. I was a bit confused by Mike's statement..."it's not illigal to take people's picture without permission. you can shoot anyone that is not famous, if they are in public and sell them."
if a person is in a public location, you have the rights to photograph and sell that person as art.
a famous person has the rights to publicity, they use their face to sell their image, it's like a copyright.
this is how i understand the law, people are still free to sue. as long as you don't put them in a harmful light - say, put their head on a nude body. or use one of those Xray cameras and put you up online - then it would be bad.
if your in a location that is private, or where they say photography is not allowed, then your not allowed to do the above.
if the person is in public and you shoot them, then sell them as advertisement - that you can't do.
Mike, I can't remember who it was but the piece with the First Lady's face being painted on a bare-breasted woman caused an uproar. Apparently the originally painting was of a slave girl and her head was replaced. I'm assuming her face was painted, didn't look that closely, so it may have been photoshopped. Personally, I think her art is questionable and if it had been me, I would have inquired about the legalities of it.
Sooooo, I have a photo of President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson taken at a reception. I also have the Psalm typeset by hand for the Houston Post. I can draw them and post them on FAA to sell without any repercussions? I can scan in the Psalm and sell it (The Houston Post is defunked) but if I did a search for them on Google I couldn't use the photo. Am I understanding this right? It's all very confusing, but there must be a leeway somewhere with as many portraits of famoudefunks people that are selling on FAA.
I have photos that I have taken myself at concerts where photography was allowed...I would love to create paintings from some of those photos, and post them for sale here. If I do this, am I violating the singer/bands' trademarks or copyrights since it is their image? (Like so many paintings that sell here) Personally I feel like it would be infringeing on their rights and that is why I haven't done it...but if it is ok I would love to do it.
And what about the photos themselves...are those ok to sell, when it is clearly a photo of someone recognizable (at least to fans of those bands, etc) ?
it can be confusing. if the photo of the president is yours, etc - you can post and sell them - because i don't think the president has the famous face clause. i'm not sure what the other thing you did was, but if it was for a certain paper - then they own it, and you could get in trouble with them. if they aren't around, people might have bought them and you still could get in trouble.
i think only if your questioned can you get in trouble on this site. i don't know if there is leeway or not, or if they just haven't been caught or not. but i don't want to take chances and start posting things from disney movies and startrek. people like that will shoot first and see you in court sucka, before a takedown is sent.
when in doubt don't do it. the president stuff should be fine as long as it's your image.
i will say yes you could get in trouble with the singer and it's best to ask permission first. some concerts will allow photography as long as it's not an SLR. assuming you can't really sell that stuff. however since it's art, it should be ok unless the band is really famous, then you could get in trouble on other sites. for famous stuff it's really hard to say. the best thing you can do in that case is ask permission to use and sell the images. they may say it's ok but not done in a commercial way. it does advertise them to a certain point. it's really hard to say what to tell you - it's why there are so many lawyers. and different kinds of lawyers.
Thanks Mike - that's pretty much the rule I've been using - these are all where photography has been allowed, I don't take photos when they are not - and - if I'm at these concerts it is because I am a fan and love these artists - I don't feel right selling their image without their permission.
Copyright and the public domain is also not that simple. You may have the right to reprint pictures or writings from your collection since different laws applied at different times. Here is a general guide but only a lawyer can advise your specific situation:
Unrelated to art - I have a collection of maps and documents that were originally published by a defunct transit company between 1913 and 1939. The company sold its railroad assets in 1940 and fully liquidated and formally filed for dissolution in 1943. Anything they published before 1923 entered into the public domain by definition. The other items entered into the public domain because they did not publish a copyright notice, or register or renew copyright as required by the law at the time. Partly to share my collection with others with similar interests and partly to compensate myself for the cost of acquiring and maintaining it, I published a book containing images of the maps and related documents. Just to be sure on some of the documents, including a book published by the CEO of the company I searched the Library of Congress (LOC) records and have a letter from the LOC attesting that there was no copyright registration or renewal
So you might be able to use that Psalm but a lot more research than a simple Google search is needed. A lot also depends on what the law was at the time the items were first published. There may also be successors as Mike mentioned
also keep in mind commercial means the selling of items as advertisement. many confuse commercial with commercial site or making money and this is not the same thing. selling it as a tshirt is ok as a pod type thing. selling it to walmart where it's mass produced, that's a no unless you have permission. selling it as a poster is ok here, but not if it's used to sell a movie or whatever. however if someone buys your image with that in mind, your still in the clear because your intention was to sell it as art.'
I am trying to follow. but how is a poster ok here? or a T shirt. Does Mikes analysis make sense or does it embody just what you want to hear?Research the facts for yourself. sounds like crap to me.
Rose A poster is art for these purposes. News is safe too. A T-shirt is questionable. Anything advertising something else is illegal without permission. The celebrity right to prohibit you from marketing their face is iffy, but I wouldn't do it. They have deep litigious pockets. Jim's link is pretty accurate and it applies to painters, drawers and digital artists too. -----Caveat. Be careful outside the U.S. as European and Canadian and other countries have much stiffer privacy laws than the U.S.
You're probably right Trever. LOL If you look at the recent sales EVERY day there are numerous portraits of actors, including the President, selling. For me.....I guess it's better to not take the chance. Thanks.
Did some more searching on the subject. I found this info on Yahoo! Answers website.
The question was: Is it legal to paint/draw pictures of famous people and sell them on eBay? I was thinking of putting my artistic talent to use and make some money by making original portraits of famous people and then selling them online. I just thought it would be a good idea to find out if this was legal before I started making them. Does anyone know? Thanks for answering!
- Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Beware, If the portraits you draw are copies of pictures from magazines and other copyrighted sources, you can't call it original and you are breaking copyright laws. You have to ask permission from the copyright holders. You are not breaching though if you use them as inspirations or references.
- Other Answers (1)
If the picture was taken by someone else, then it could be filed as copyright if you were to take it and sell it to people. If you draw your own, then you stand as the copyright holder and definitely won't be charged with anything illegal and what not. So feel free to put your artistic skills to the test. I hope this helps! :)
that answer is still partial though - you would need the permission of the photographer - yes. but also of the subject. and just because you got the permission of the photographer, it doesn't mean they were the original photographer.
people sell stuff here because they:
1. don't know it's illegal (wrong word but i can't think of a better).
2. don't think they will be caught (whether found with google, the orig photographer can see it, or the actor will see it).
3. don't know they can be sued by anyone - many are under the impression that they will be asked to have it removed, but some people will go right to suing you, or doing so anyway.
4. they think it's easy money and they would be correct. it's much easier to sell things people know about already.
The subject was asked about hand drawn work. You know you draw a subject with pencils, colored pencils, or markers. You folks answered the question about photographs, I ask about drawings by hand. That is the original question. I have seen hand drawings of famous people for sale, I am willing to bet they never got permission from long dead movie stars and other famous people before they drew their portraits. I am afraid everyone got off subject here. It was meant for asking about hand-drawn subjects.
Carl, Your first line was: "We all know it is ilegal [sic] to take photographs of people without permission"
That is a false statement and what I was responding to.
Your second sentence:
"What about drawings photographs or drawing pictures by hand of famous people, public figiures, or not famous people?"
Again you mention the word "photographs" so of course we think you are including photography in the discussion
Generally the same rules that apply to photography also apply to drawings. The one thing that you cannot do for sure is draw a picture (celebrity or otherwise) based upon a photograph that is still under copyright protection. So one factor to consider is how you are drawing that picture and what your source is.
With respect to what is called the "right to publicity" - it is keeping lawyers very busy these days
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed holding that "as a general rule, a person's image or likeness cannot function as a trademark." The Court found that the painting was more than a mere literal likeness of Woods; the work contained a creative component that originated with Rush and was unique to his talent. In other words, Woods' image was merely the raw material for Rush's original artistic expression. As such, Rush's First Amendment right to artistic freedom outweighed Woods' property rights in the profits generated by his image.
You need to do some research of your own or consult an attorney for these matters. The answers you find here are not always the definitive ones
but the answer is the same. the law doesn't change because you did something by hand. it was never off subject, it's the same subject. photograph, sculpt, sketch, draw, paint, etc - all need permissions from the source to sell commercially. you can still sell here as art - but only if you get the source yourself and not from someone else's image. like if you found a celebrity image online, you can't take that image and draw from it unless it's very different than the original.
Carl: Lots of artists sell hand drawn pictures of celebrities and lots of people pirate music. Whether the celebreties face itself is a no-no is questionable. Copying a copyrighted photo of a celeb without permission is with very few exceptions not. Most of the paintings and drawings of celebs on this site are probably copyright violations. Do you remember the hopla over an Obama image three years ago? That would be the problem.
------- The point is the copyright laws prohibit reproduction without permission. The medium you use to make the reproduction does not change the result. Photograph a copyrighted painting and you are in violation. Paint or draw a copyrighted photo and you are in violation.