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  • Someone basing their paintings on a photographer's photos - your thoughts?

    This is something new that I've never given any thought to before!

    Eleven Shadows Travels: Death Valley 2009-2010

    A friend of a friend sent the above link, my photos of Death Valley, around to friends. One of her friends is a painter, and was interested in painting several paintings of them.

    Now, I don't know whether she is a commercial painter or what she is going to do with them or whether she is simply going to paint them for her own enjoyment.

    Assuming that she is a commercial painter or is using this in a commercial manner, what are some points to consider? Are there articles or anything on this sort of thing? What should I consider? This is a totally new area that I've never once encountered. Your thoughtful responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    P.S. And just to be clear, I'm not looking at anything other than something that is fairly typical and FAIR for everyone, and am not looking to soak someone for money.
    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

  • #2
    It's a bit of a gray area, but I think this is going to fall under fair use, pretty much. That said, I do believe we have some pretty knowledgeable IP types, including at least one attorney, here as semi-regulars in Craig's forum.

    It's actually not uncommon.

    One of my friends is a mostly self-taught artist and most of her stuff is derived from photos:

    www.kristinkaplowitz.com

    (In fact, I see that the name of her current show is I Swear They're Not Photos... )


    music and social stuff | The Forgotify Files | A Year of Songs | mutant pop on facebook | roots acoustic on facebook


    The chorus seems a little weak... I think it needs more lasers.

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    • #3
      My wife is an artist. She says that if an artist creates work based on someone else's photos, they need to give credit to the source. She did a painting of Tori Amos from a photo by Robert Maxwell and had to give him credit for the original photo to avoid any legal ramifications. If you give your photos to this artist, that is what is required on her part.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;We are all exiles from the past&quot;</div>

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      • #4
        <div class="signaturecontainer">War is over if you want it.<br />
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        • #5
          Don't have a good answer. A weak analogy: would it be like making a movie based on a book? Try asking your question at the photo site I gave you earlier.... there is a "business of photography" forum there. If you don't get a good answer at the photo site, e-mail me....I'll give you another photo site to ask. They don't have a "business" forum per se, but do have a couple of pros who have turned out a great body of work and can probably direct you or help answer your questions. As an aside, you took really good pics, I can see why she would want to make some paintings (and of course, making paintings from photos is a time honored tradition!!)

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          • #6
            Don't have a good answer. A weak analogy: would it be like making a movie based on a book? Try asking your question at the photo site I gave you earlier.... there is a "business of photography" forum there. If you don't get a good answer at the photo site, e-mail me....I'll give you another photo site to ask. They don't have a "business" forum per se, but do have a couple of pros who have turned out a great body of work and can probably direct you or help answer your questions. As an aside, you took really good pics, I can see why she would want to make some paintings (and of course, making paintings from photos is a time honored tradition!!)


            Thanks! I asked at The Photo Forum and got some pretty good discussion going, although I didn't ask in the specific business of photography forum.

            Additionally, my friend sent me this, which she found elsewhere, I know not where:

            "In general, if done as part of an art class for instruction and critique, students can usually paint a copy of a photo or other image, provided it is done for the class, and kept as a single copy for personal use only, and not re-sold, or have any other copies made. That's a provision of Fair Use.

            I get asked this question quite frequently. If someone wants to do a painting of my photo, and it is not for a class, I tell them that they require a derivative use license. (Just putting the image into a different medium has no effect on making something "not a derivative".) Derivative means derived from... photo to painting, photo to sculpture, photo to jello & whipped cream collage, it doesn't matter. If someone can tell that image A was derived in any recognizable form from image B, then that is a derivative use.

            I'll ask a person what their plans are, is it for personal use, or do they plan on making multiple copies or selling the painting. Also, Ill ask if the image will ever be displayed at a place where the public is required to pay admission to view the artwork. Those are variables that are taken into account when determining the commercial value of a derivative use license. If it's for personal use only, I may charge a basic research / personal use license fee of $50.00 and offer to send them a full screen watermarked scan to help them paint. If they plan on selling the work, I may charge a few hundred dollars, plus charge a royalty percentage on each print sold, determined by the number to be produced, and how much they'll be sold for."
            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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            • #7
              hmmm, I listen to alot of music and get influenced by it so nothing I write is original. Am I going to start writing song titles and then right after include "inspired by U2s with or without you"?

              I don`t think so. Your friends friend would be doing the "right thing" by saying something like, "Inspired by Kens photos entitled -------"

              Its a nice gesture. But I wouldn`t hold my breathe.

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              • #8
                have her made the painting first, then decide if you want be credited; nothing worst then being credited on lousy art

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                • #9
                  hmmm, I listen to alot of music and get influenced by it so nothing I write is original. Am I going to start writing song titles and then right after include "inspired by U2s with or without you"?

                  I don`t think so. Your friends friend would be doing the "right thing" by saying something like, "Inspired by Kens photos entitled -------"

                  Its a nice gesture. But I wouldn`t hold my breathe.


                  I think that's a different situation. If I read "War and Peace" and decide to write my own novel about the invasion of Russia, that's one thing (influence.) If I decide to do a "version" of "War and Peace" (say as a comedy, or a psychological study, or a politically correct version) that's something else (copying.) IMHO influence is ubiquitous and does not require credits/money etc. Copying does not seem pervasive and I think there are rights to the original artist. If I were guessing though, I would think there are many, many shots of Death Valley on the net (and elsewhere....heck, I just watched a special about Death Valley on TV.) It could be very hard to prove she based her work on one particular photo.

                  I guess a related musical question.... did Weird Al have to compensate MJ, Madonna etc. for making humorous versions of their music??

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                  • #10
                    i think we need an example to further discuss this credit and copyright issue


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                    • #11
                      I think we are talking about Publishing Rights.
                      you posted your Death Valley pictures on a public internet site and did not specify if you had copyrights and or publishing rights to your photos.
                      (the situation here is the same as posting songs by yourself or others.)
                      once you posted the pictures sans copyright mark, they were out there for anyone to use.
                      I doubt, now, you could capture any monies if you learned that someone put your photo on a calendar and sold it. that's unfortunate.
                      I am a visual and performing artist. I have learned the hard way.
                      now I try to pay attention to these things.
                      there is definitive information out there on the internet.
                      I am still learning.

                      BTW. cool photos. you have captured the open vastness of the place.
                      that's hard.

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                      • #12
                        I think we are talking about Publishing Rights.
                        you posted your Death Valley pictures on a public internet site and did not specify if you had copyrights and or publishing rights to your photos.

                        (the situation here is the same as posting songs by yourself or others.)
                        once you posted the pictures sans copyright mark, they were out there for anyone to use.


                        When you take a photo, you automatically retain the copyright as per U.S. law. You have an automatic copyright upon creation.
                        http://www.photosecrets.com/tips.copyright.html

                        Also, when you have written a song, you automatically retain the copyright for that song. Obviously, in all these cases, you'd have to PROVE that you own the copyright.

                        In the case of my photos, that's insanely easy because I own the high-resolution original which is time-stamped, and my photos on the website have a www.elevenshadows.com "watermark", so proving it is easy. Catching people? Well, obviously, that's a little more challenging. I mean, if some jackass in Bulgaria wants to download my low-res photo, erase my watermark in PhotoShop, and display my 117k photo in an art gallery, I'm probably not going to find out.



                        I doubt, now, you could capture any monies if you learned that someone put your photo on a calendar and sold it. that's unfortunate.


                        Well, here's my thoughts:

                        1. I have the copyright of the photos, as described above
                        2. I have a "watermark" (www.elevenshadows.com) on each of the photos, also indicating that I am the owner
                        3. I have the original photos, which are time-stamped and give specific information
                        4. The photos on my website are low-resolution .jpgs that would look ****************ty on a calendar or just about any other printed material, so it's highly unlikely that someone would steal a low-res .jpg with www.elevenshadows.com written on it and use it for a calendar.

                        So while the above may not be foolproof, this may help a bit. I have, btw, recovered money in the past when someone used two of my photos in a book.

                        BTW. cool photos. you have captured the open vastness of the place.
                        that's hard.


                        Thank you very much. I was deeply inspired by the beauty and quiet and vastness of Death Valley, and I am happy that you get something out of it too. I am amazed at how many people have written to me or commented saying something to the effect of, "Hey, I never new Death Valley was that beautiful. I thought it was just desert wasteland. But now I really want to go there." Those are beautiful comments and mean a lot to me.
                        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                        • #13
                          i think we need an example to further discuss this credit and copyright issue




                          This is hilarious!!!!!
                          Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                          • #14
                            hmmm, I listen to alot of music and get influenced by it so nothing I write is original. Am I going to start writing song titles and then right after include "inspired by U2s with or without you"?


                            Ernest, I believe you are confusing "inspiration" with "replication."
                            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                            • #15
                              I think you should be happy to have inspired another artist - namely Rudolf von Hagenwil
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