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ClockHand
08-29-2012, 12:29 AM
Taking the discussions made on this thread:

http://www.mangatutorials.com/forum/showthread.php?2542-PUBLIC-SERVICE-ANNOUNCEMENT!

I want to ask: what do you guys think about copyrights on art and when are these crossed?

SmartrykFoster
08-29-2012, 02:57 AM
Different countries have different rules about how much a piece of artwork must be changed before it classed as a 'derivative work.'

That being said, if it's a character or some other uniquely-identifiable thing, especially if it's used for commercial purposes, it could fall under the copyright law of a character, or trademark law.

'Copyright' is the right to copy something. If you draw an original picture of your favourite anime character, the picture itself would be copyright to you, but the character in that picture would be copyright to its copyright holders. Whether that is a perfect copy or a hand-drawn copy, it's still a copy of that character.

So technically, drawing a picture of your favourite anime character, unless you own the copyright of that character, is a violation of the copyright of the character's creator.

As far as copying things like an apple from a photo, copyright laws in some countries state that the photographer holds the copyright of his/her photos, and copyright law is intended to protect the copyright of the photograph, not the rights of the subject of the photograph.

So if you copy a photograph in a way that's identifiable as a copy of the photograph, then you could be breaking copyright law. It depends on whether your 'copy' is different enough to be considered a derivative work. If you only copy part of the photograph, then your copy could come under 'fair use' law.

Many countries have signed a treaty that protects the copyrights of their citizens in all the countries who have signed that teaty. I believe it's the URAA:

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

But the intent of copyright is so that people can have control, for a finite period of time, over the works that they create so that they can copy those works for commercial purposes.

Copyright law is not the same in every country, but copyright law is a legal mechanism. So the answer to 'What is protected by copyright?' is not clear-cut.

TheVermillionFox
08-29-2012, 02:02 PM
^ If media companies start seriously cracking down on fanart, then a lot people would be seriously pissed.

Demonfyre
08-29-2012, 02:45 PM
All I know is that original ideas as soon as they are drawn on paper ot whichever medium are copyrighted to the artist, as long as they don't infringe on someone else's copyright contract however :l

toast
08-29-2012, 04:27 PM
If you copypaste the image onto a shirt and try to make a profit off of it, then that is against copyright and you should be punched. If you trace the image, that is against copyright. Both also mean that you are untalented, but that's beside the point.

If you use a small element from the image, then it's not copyright. I'll use my own art as an example. If someone took, say, the swirly eyes element from this drawing:
http://greensubmarine.deviantart.com/art/Paranoia-194516474
It wouldn't matter. They're not taking the actual drawing and trying to take credit for my hardwork.

Also I think if you copy a photograph, it's fine as long as you state you did, and you're not selling the piece.

SmartrykFoster
08-29-2012, 05:25 PM
^ If media companies start seriously cracking down on fanart, then a lot people would be seriously pissed.

That's why they don't do it. That's also the reason why comic book companies don't complain when the comic book artists draw commissions at conventions, even though the artists are infringing the companies' copyright. It would be seriously bad PR.

That's also why the law states that a copyright holder has to police their own copyrighted works -it's basically impossible for a government to police everyone's copyright, because it would be too much work. But that also gives copyright holders the ability to 'let things slide' when it comes to copyright infringement, like fanart. Companies, which usually want to make money, would rather go after someone who is infringing the company's copyright to make a profit than go after enthusiastic fans. Fanart could be considered a form of word-of-mouth advertising by a company, after all.


Also I think if you copy a photograph, it's fine as long as you state you did, and you're not selling the piece.

Not in Canada and the U.S. According to copyright rules in both the U.S. and Canada, a photograph is copyrighted to the photographer. If you copy a photograph, unless the content is changed enough so that it can be considered to be a derivative work, you're infringing the copyright of the photographer whether or not you sell the copy or give credit to the original.

At least, Canada or the U.S. The law of another country might state something different.

toast
08-29-2012, 05:37 PM
Idunno, I guess I'm just thinking of it as say you're doing a study and really the art isn't for anyone else's benefit.
something like this for example
http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/22/400x598_5581_Photo_Study_2d_portrait_girl_woman_pi cture_image_digital_art.jpg

Demonfyre
08-29-2012, 05:38 PM
If you copypaste the image onto a shirt and try to make a profit off of it, then that is against copyright and you should be punched

I agree with the punching in the face bit :)

SmartrykFoster
08-29-2012, 06:37 PM
Idunno, I guess I'm just thinking of it as say you're doing a study and really the art isn't for anyone else's benefit.
something like this for example
http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/22/400x598_5581_Photo_Study_2d_portrait_girl_woman_pi cture_image_digital_art.jpg

If you make a copy for yourself, to simply practice your art, chances are that the copyright holder will not care about you copying the photograph. And there may be a law that allows a person to make a copy of something that is available to the public if that copy is only used for their own personal use.

Recording a program from TV, or making a back-up of a commercial DVD that you own, comes to mind. (Though I remember a debate about that in Canada a few years ago... something about that being illegal, even though VCRs have a 'record' button.)

And when you view a website, your browser probably stores a copy of the pages and images in a cache for faster page loading times if you view the site again in the near future. So technically, you may be copying an image simply by viewing it on a website.

If you're going to use a copy of an image (even a copy that you painted by using the original as a reference) in a professional portfolio, that might be considered 'intended for professional use.' If the copyright holder finds out, he/she may tell you to remove the image.

So in general, giving credit or a link to the photo that you're referencing may be enough, but it depends.

eltoroguaco
08-29-2012, 10:38 PM
there are some rules on certain sites aswell. Regarding of your country. Deviantart is one of them. The deviantart rule says that every art posted on the forum is copyrighted by the uploader unless anything else is said and of course if it's not stolen from anyone else. If someone take that art and upload it as his, or photomanipulate/pixelate it, it's stolen and the user will be warned and in worst case banned from the site. Think there might be more sites with such rules.

SmartrykFoster
08-30-2012, 12:08 AM
That makes sense. According to U.S. law, any moment something is uploaded to a website, it is published. If the website records who the thing was uploaded by, and the date that it was uploaded, it can be used as evidence of copyright to the person/company who uploaded it (whether it's strong evidence or weak evidence is another question). DeviantArt is a U.S. company, based in Hollywood, California.