said 9 months, 1 week ago:
@richardmclaughlin Hello Mac! It’s a bit more complicated then her just owning the copyright… in fact it’s a real mess from my limited understanding! I know I’m operating blind, but on the hypothetical that Ann built a piece of sculpture or other physical art work for sale/commercial purposes – or was acting as the agent of someone who did that, making a copy of that unique work, and copyrighting it yourself, is actually illegal. Sources:
Those are two good, easy to read sources. It is very complicated however. Ann’s place of business does count as a “public place.” At the same time, any original work that Ann made is copyright protected. That protection gives her the right to determine what reproductions are made of her work.
Direct Quote from Copyright Law:
“Those familiar with fair use know that it is always up to a court of law to determine its applicability in any one situation. As such if you need reassurance or are in doubt, it is always best to obtain permission. There are a few circumstances when you do not need permission. If the image you are using is in the public domain, a U.S. federal government image (though not all government works are in the public domain), or the copyright owner has clearly (and reliably) stated that you may freely use the image without obtaining permission.“
In this case the copyright owner is Ann, as she owns the copyright to whatever physical work she made. As I said, it gets murky.
I’m approaching it this way: I go to an artists show at a gallery. The gallery is a public place. The artist has painted a number of beautiful pieces and is putting them on display for a few weeks. I take a few pictures, being in a public place. I then say “Oh hey, I own these pictures.” So I print a bunch of the pictures up into posters and tshirts. I then stand outside of his gallery and sell them for $5.00 a pop. Is this wrong or right? In a sense, this is what the blogger is doing to Ann, though she hasn’t reached the “selling” point.
Ann could think about treating this as a press application (which is what I would do in this situation). And treat the blogger as a reporter talking about a news event. However, reaching out to clarify that the images are to be used for reporting purposes only would probably be smart.
Our copyright laws are a mess, and this is a murky situation with little detail, and Ann has pointed out that her stuff has been used many times without her permission. That’s a problem. She’s putting a lot of work into her crafts, and now people are taking advantage of that.
An even better source:
This gets into the real nitty gritty and shows that Ann’s physical works are as protected by copyright law as the photographers digital works. However, since the photographers digital work is being made using Ann’s work, something only Ann has the right to do, the photographer is infringing and should be asking for permission.
From section 1.5:
“As indicated earlier, photographing a copyright work is considered a way of reproducing the work, and this is an act which the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do. This is why you may need to get prior permission to include a copyright work in your shot.
Some other activities that only the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do (and for which you may need permission) are:
- Making prints of a work, scanning it into digital form, photocopying it, copying digital works, etc.;”
Now there are exceptions, and as long as the photographer doesn’t try to profit she might be safe under:“Taking photos to accompany a review or critique
In most countries, copyright material may be used for criticism or review. For example, if you are taking photos of cartoons for a book which reviews, critiques or analyses the works. Just like for the exception of news reporting, you will usually be required to identify the copyright work and the name of the artist.”
As long as Ann is properly mentioned and cited, and that citation is included in all copies of the photograph, she is safe. However, if the photographer tries to sell that photo, distribute it for commercial purposes, or take any other action not directly associated with the safe harbor the photographer is in, then the law is broken.
P.S. This is fun!