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Re: copyright for collage images

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  • Sarah Ovenall
    Hi Nita, I m not so sure that fair use applies to collage. Your comments sparked my interest, so I went to the Copyright Office website and looked up fair
    Message 1 of 22 , Mar 1, 1999
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      Hi Nita,

      I'm not so sure that "fair use" applies to collage. Your comments sparked
      my interest, so I went to the Copyright Office website and looked up fair
      use. They don't exactly define it, but the law says this:

      "The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in
      copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for
      purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including
      multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an
      infringement of copyright."

      Those examples don't seem to cover collage. I suppose that if the usage was
      ironic, you could make the case that it was a commentary on the original
      work. But to me that seems like a stretch & I wouldn't want to rely on that
      argument in court :)

      I wish the law were more specific! It doesn't provide much concrete
      information on what is fair use and what is not. There is a Copyright
      Office publication online that gives a few examples of fair use:

      "quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of
      illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or
      technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's
      observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied;
      summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report;
      reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a
      damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a
      work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or
      judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in
      a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being
      reported."

      Again, while they don't claim that this is a definitive list, none of the
      examples seem at all similar to collage. I would need to see something much
      more clear in the copyright law before I would consider collage covered by
      fair use.

      (The law is on this page, in case you're interested:
      <http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/title17/1-107.html>)

      (And the Copyright Office publication on fair use is here:
      <http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/fls/fl102.htm>)

      I do agree with your statement about "small fish in a big pond" at the end.
      The real issue for me is not so much what's strictly legal but what could
      get me into trouble :) For noncommercial collage purposes, it really
      doesn't matter much.

      Sarah



      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
      Sarah Ovenall mailto:sarah@...
      http://www.thefool.com
    • Nita Leland
      You re probably right on this. I apply fair use to quotes I use in my books, which would be an educational use, I believe, and wouldn t apply to use in art.
      Message 2 of 22 , Mar 1, 1999
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        You're probably right on this. I apply "fair use" to quotes I use in my
        books, which would be an educational use, I believe, and wouldn't apply to
        use in art.
        Nita
        Nita Leland Studio
        nleland@...
        Please visit my Exploring Color Web Site at http://www.nitaleland.com
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Sarah Ovenall <ovenall@...>
        To: collage@onelist.com <collage@onelist.com>
        Date: Monday, March 01, 1999 1:13 PM
        Subject: [collage] Re: copyright for collage images


        >From: "Sarah Ovenall" <ovenall@...>
        >
        >Hi Nita,
        >
        >I'm not so sure that "fair use" applies to collage. Your comments sparked
        >my interest, so I went to the Copyright Office website and looked up fair
        >use. They don't exactly define it, but the law says this:
        >
        >"The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in
        >copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for
        >purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including
        >multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an
        >infringement of copyright."
        >
        >Those examples don't seem to cover collage. I suppose that if the usage was
        >ironic, you could make the case that it was a commentary on the original
        >work. But to me that seems like a stretch & I wouldn't want to rely on that
        >argument in court :)
        >
        >I wish the law were more specific! It doesn't provide much concrete
        >information on what is fair use and what is not. There is a Copyright
        >Office publication online that gives a few examples of fair use:
        >
        >"quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of
        >illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or
        >technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's
        >observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied;
        >summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report;
        >reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a
        >damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a
        >work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or
        >judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in
        >a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being
        >reported."
        >
        >Again, while they don't claim that this is a definitive list, none of the
        >examples seem at all similar to collage. I would need to see something much
        >more clear in the copyright law before I would consider collage covered by
        >fair use.
        >
        >(The law is on this page, in case you're interested:
        ><http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/title17/1-107.html>)
        >
        >(And the Copyright Office publication on fair use is here:
        ><http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/fls/fl102.htm>)
        >
        >I do agree with your statement about "small fish in a big pond" at the end.
        >The real issue for me is not so much what's strictly legal but what could
        >get me into trouble :) For noncommercial collage purposes, it really
        >doesn't matter much.
        >
        >Sarah
        >
        >
        >
        >. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        >Sarah Ovenall mailto:sarah@...
        > http://www.thefool.com
        >
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >We are proud as punch of our new web site!
        >http://www.onelist.com
        >Onelist: The leading provider of free email community services
        >------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction
        >http://www.ipdg.org/museum/collage
        >is sponsored by the International Post-Dogmatist Group
        >http://www.ipdg.org/
        >
      • LaHra2000@xxx.xxx
        Thanks so much to all of you who have contributed to the discussion on collage and copyright laws. This has been an area that has puzzled me for some time,
        Message 3 of 22 , Mar 2, 1999
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          Thanks so much to all of you who have contributed to the discussion on collage
          and copyright laws. This has been an area that has puzzled me for some time,
          and I didn't know where to turn for information. I use mostly fabric in my
          collages,
          and I'm not worried for now, since my work is still in the experimental
          stages, but
          when I am ready to sell, I've often wondered if I use a bit of fabric where
          the design
          is clearly visible if I am breaking any laws. The solution for me would be to
          use
          tiny bits, where nothing is recognizable. Still, there are times when the
          design on
          the fabric seems perfect for an image and I want to use it whole.

          On the same topic, I remember going to an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine
          Arts about 3-4 years ago to see the collages of someone famous(whose name I
          have forgotten!) and his were these breathtaking detailed conglomerations of
          images
          which must have been taken from magazines, and I wondered how the law apllied.
          CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THE NAME OF THIS ARTIST?
        • Pollycrieff
          Ir s only a thought as I know very little about copyright, but, just in the same was as a colour is changed by its surroundings, could one argue that an image
          Message 4 of 22 , Mar 2, 1999
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            Ir's only a thought as I know very little about copyright, but, just in the
            same was as a colour is changed by its surroundings, could one argue that an
            image is also, to some extent, changed by its surroundings, or by the
            context it finds itself in? e.g. if a recognisable piece of wm, Morris
            fabric, is used as part of a garden collage,for instance, does it not cease
            to be what it was, and become just another part of the whole garden, not to
            mention the changes it undergoes by being influenced by the surrounding
            colours, textures, etc.

            No doubt I'm talking through my hat?
            BFN
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Corinne Robinson <vkcrin@...>
            To: collage@onelist.com <collage@onelist.com>
            Date: 02 March 1999 17:35
            Subject: [collage] Re: copyright for collage images


            >From: Corinne Robinson <vkcrin@...>
            >
            >Early Collage artists (help me with history - but wasn't it called
            >first and foremost "Crafts"? in New York///? (as late/early as the
            seventies?)
            >Also, "law breaking", i.e. "copyright" was approached by "our" predecessors
            >in an entirely different "light" - hence Dada - Hanna Hoch wrestled with
            images
            >(Marilyn Monroe mouth with Ethiopian arms - National Geographic to Life....
            >I can't image she thought to l. be a law abider or 2.not process societal
            >overextentions in
            >her statements as an artist.
            >LaHra2000@... wrote:
            >
            >> From: LaHra2000@...
            >>
            >> Thanks so much to all of you who have contributed to the discussion on
            collage
            >> and copyright laws. This has been an area that has puzzled me for some
            time,
            >> and I didn't know where to turn for information. I use mostly fabric in
            my
            >> collages,
            >> and I'm not worried for now, since my work is still in the experimental
            >> stages, but
            >> when I am ready to sell, I've often wondered if I use a bit of fabric
            where
            >> the design
            >> is clearly visible if I am breaking any laws. The solution for me would
            be to
            >> use
            >> tiny bits, where nothing is recognizable. Still, there are times when
            the
            >> design on
            >> the fabric seems perfect for an image and I want to use it whole.
            >>
            >> On the same topic, I remember going to an exhibit at the Boston Museum of
            Fine
            >> Arts about 3-4 years ago to see the collages of someone famous(whose name
            I
            >> have forgotten!) and his were these breathtaking detailed conglomerations
            of
            >> images
            >> which must have been taken from magazines, and I wondered how the law
            apllied.
            >> CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THE NAME OF THIS ARTIST?
            >>
            >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >> Have you visited our new web site?
            >> http://www.onelist.com
            >> Onelist: Helping to create Internet communities
            >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >> The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction
            >> http://www.ipdg.org/museum/collage
            >> is sponsored by the International Post-Dogmatist Group
            >> http://www.ipdg.org/
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >Have you visited our new web site?
            >http://www.onelist.com
            >Onelist: Helping to create Internet communities
            >------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction
            >http://www.ipdg.org/museum/collage
            >is sponsored by the International Post-Dogmatist Group
            >http://www.ipdg.org/
            >
          • Corinne Robinson
            Early Collage artists (help me with history - but wasn t it called first and foremost Crafts ? in New York///? (as late/early as the seventies?) Also, law
            Message 5 of 22 , Mar 2, 1999
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              Early Collage artists (help me with history - but wasn't it called
              first and foremost "Crafts"? in New York///? (as late/early as the seventies?)
              Also, "law breaking", i.e. "copyright" was approached by "our" predecessors
              in an entirely different "light" - hence Dada - Hanna Hoch wrestled with images
              (Marilyn Monroe mouth with Ethiopian arms - National Geographic to Life....
              I can't image she thought to l. be a law abider or 2.not process societal
              overextentions in
              her statements as an artist.
              LaHra2000@... wrote:

              > From: LaHra2000@...
              >
              > Thanks so much to all of you who have contributed to the discussion on collage
              > and copyright laws. This has been an area that has puzzled me for some time,
              > and I didn't know where to turn for information. I use mostly fabric in my
              > collages,
              > and I'm not worried for now, since my work is still in the experimental
              > stages, but
              > when I am ready to sell, I've often wondered if I use a bit of fabric where
              > the design
              > is clearly visible if I am breaking any laws. The solution for me would be to
              > use
              > tiny bits, where nothing is recognizable. Still, there are times when the
              > design on
              > the fabric seems perfect for an image and I want to use it whole.
              >
              > On the same topic, I remember going to an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine
              > Arts about 3-4 years ago to see the collages of someone famous(whose name I
              > have forgotten!) and his were these breathtaking detailed conglomerations of
              > images
              > which must have been taken from magazines, and I wondered how the law apllied.
              > CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THE NAME OF THIS ARTIST?
              >
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              > Have you visited our new web site?
              > http://www.onelist.com
              > Onelist: Helping to create Internet communities
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              > The International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction
              > http://www.ipdg.org/museum/collage
              > is sponsored by the International Post-Dogmatist Group
              > http://www.ipdg.org/
            • Corey Eiseman
              ... I totally agree! It s weird, just yesterday a discussion on a different mailing list led me to research fair use on my own at the Library of Congress web
              Message 6 of 22 , Mar 2, 1999
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                Sarah Ovenall wrote:

                > I wish the law were more specific! It doesn't provide much concrete
                > information on what is fair use and what is not.

                I totally agree! It's weird, just yesterday a discussion on a different
                mailing list led me to research fair use on my own at the Library of
                Congress web site, and then I get the digest for this list, (which I
                just signed up for,) and you did the same thing! Synchronicity! I was
                very surprised to see that the fair use doctrine as defined by the U.S.
                Copyright office never once mentioned collage art. I have heard some
                artists explain it to me as if fair use was written into the law
                specifically for the protection of collage appropriation. Clearly that
                is not the case at all. In reality I guess it is left up to the courts
                to decide on a case by case basis, with guidelines and precedents to
                help them make a decision.

                The problem is that, even though the law is in place to protect the
                rights of artists, it is still vague on the issue of fair use and does
                not specifically prevent some interpretations and applications of the
                law from adversely affecting collage artists. (just read about the audio
                collage artists Negativland and their fight against the Recording
                Industry Association of America.... http://www.negativland.com )
                Personally, I'm not really worried about getting sued at this point, but
                I think it would be nice if the law clearly stated that it was ok to
                appropriate material for use in collage.

                There was someone promoting a java applett for artist websites that
                would prevent a viewer from downloading the images. It surprised me how
                strongly I was opposed to the very concept of it. One of my chosen media
                is digital collage, and 100% of my "raw material" is taken from the net.
                The internet as it exists today is the ideal breeding ground for digital
                collage. In my opinion, endeavors like this java applett promote
                paranoia and exaggerates the "problem of image piracy." My opinion is if
                this kind of paranoia is fanned and spread, and large numbers of web
                sites start taking similar extreme security measures, it will have an
                incredibly adverse effect on the nature of the internet, especially for
                digital collage artists. Think about it, the equivalent would be
                something like putting a chemical in magazine paper and newsprint so
                that if people try to cut out a picture, it would disintegrate.

                The law may allow for image appropriation under common interpretation,
                but it does not specifically give us any rights to do so, and it does
                not give us any leverage to oppose extreme security measure meant to
                prevent us from using whatever we want.

                Anyway, I've learned a lot in the past day or two, it's all very
                interesting. One thing I've found is that there are several anti
                copyright or copyright reform web sites out there already, it's not a
                new issue by any means.

                I'm curious, does anyone know if other countries other than the U.S.
                have fair use doctrines written specifically into the copyright law? and
                do any of them specifically mention collage art?

                Thanks for reading my rant, this is a great list.

                sincerely,
                corey.eiseman
                ~ToeGristle studios

                feel free to steal any of my images at:
                http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/home.htm
              • Corey Eiseman
                ... I totally agree! It s weird, just yesterday a discussion on a different mailing list led me to research fair use on my own at the Library of Congress web
                Message 7 of 22 , Mar 2, 1999
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                  Sarah Ovenall wrote:

                  > I wish the law were more specific! It doesn't provide much concrete
                  > information on what is fair use and what is not.

                  I totally agree! It's weird, just yesterday a discussion on a different
                  mailing list led me to research fair use on my own at the Library of
                  Congress web site, and then I get the digest for this list, (which I
                  just signed up for,) and you did the same thing! Synchronicity! I was
                  very surprised to see that the fair use doctrine as defined by the U.S.
                  Copyright office never once mentioned collage art. I have heard some
                  artists explain it to me as if fair use was written into the law
                  specifically for the protection of collage appropriation. Clearly that
                  is not the case at all. In reality I guess it is left up to the courts
                  to decide on a case by case basis, with guidelines and precedents to
                  help them make a decision.

                  The problem is that, even though the law is in place to protect the
                  rights of artists, it is still vague on the issue of fair use and does
                  not specifically prevent some interpretations and applications of the
                  law from adversely affecting collage artists. (just read about the audio

                  collage artists Negativland and their fight against the Recording
                  Industry Association of America.... http://www.negativland.com )
                  Personally, I'm not really worried about getting sued at this point, but

                  I think it would be nice if the law clearly stated that it was ok to
                  appropriate material for use in collage.

                  There was someone promoting a java applett for artist websites that
                  would prevent a viewer from downloading the images. It surprised me how
                  strongly I was opposed to the very concept of it. One of my chosen media

                  is digital collage, and 100% of my "raw material" is taken from the net.

                  The internet as it exists today is the ideal breeding ground for digital

                  collage. In my opinion, endeavors like this java applett promote
                  paranoia and exaggerates the "problem of image piracy." My opinion is if

                  this kind of paranoia is fanned and spread, and large numbers of web
                  sites start taking similar extreme security measures, it will have an
                  incredibly adverse effect on the nature of the internet, especially for
                  digital collage artists. Think about it, the equivalent would be
                  something like putting a chemical in magazine paper and newsprint so
                  that if people try to cut out a picture, it would disintegrate.

                  The law may allow for image appropriation under common interpretation,
                  but it does not specifically give us any rights to do so, and it does
                  not give us any leverage to oppose extreme security measure meant to
                  prevent us from using whatever we want.

                  Anyway, I've learned a lot in the past day or two, it's all very
                  interesting. One thing I've found is that there are several anti
                  copyright or copyright reform web sites out there already, it's not a
                  new issue by any means.

                  I'm curious, does anyone know if other countries other than the U.S.
                  have fair use doctrines written specifically into the copyright law? and

                  do any of them specifically mention collage art?

                  Thanks for reading my rant, this is a great list.

                  sincerely,
                  corey.eiseman
                  ~ToeGristle studios

                  feel free to steal any of my images at:
                  http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/home.htm
                • Stephen123@xxx.xxx
                  I guess as a digital collage artist, I need to have an opinion on copyright. So here s my opinion... Fair use may protect the use of an image if the collage
                  Message 8 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                    I guess as a digital collage artist, I need to have an opinion on copyright.
                    So here's my opinion...

                    'Fair use' may protect the use of an image if the collage is a "comment" on
                    that image. Parody is protected because it's a form of political speech. To
                    me, that means that collage can also be protected as political speech. But if
                    you use a picture from a magazine or from the Web simply because you like it
                    visually, I don't think 'fair use' protects that. What you like is an artists
                    work and they have the right to control their work.

                    Some artist makes an image and puts it on the Web. Just because you like it,
                    doesn't give you the right to use it in a collage. It's often not hard to ask
                    permission. If you get permission from the artist, fine. If not, don't steal
                    their work.

                    For personal use, I just wouldn't worry about all this. But if you want to
                    sell something... If the artist is alive, why not ask permission before using
                    their work? Sometimes it's hard to know who the artist is. But often it's
                    not hard at all.

                    - Stephen
                  • LaHra2000@aol.com
                    In a message dated 99-03-02 13:17:43 EST, you write:
                    Message 9 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                      In a message dated 99-03-02 13:17:43 EST, you write:

                      << e.g. if a recognisable piece of wm, Morris
                      fabric, is used as part of a garden collage,for instance, does it not cease
                      to be what it was, and become just another part of the whole garden, not >>

                      Well, I was thinking, it must be different with fabric. Fabric is something
                      that is made with the intention of someone making something else out of
                      it----clothing,
                      quilts, etc. Certainly many of the art quilters use fabric and the design of
                      the fabric
                      is quite recognizable. So maybe I'm totally safe with fabric, because what's
                      the
                      difference if it's sewn into a quilt or glued to a canvas? On the other hand,
                      images
                      like the ones in magazines really aren't made with the intention that someone
                      is
                      going to cut them out and use them for anything else. Just my thoughts. This
                      is
                      all very interesting to me. LaHra
                    • Corey Eiseman
                      ... It doesn t, at least not specifically. The wording is very vague. Still, it only takes one court decision to set a precedent. If a collage artist is sued
                      Message 10 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                        Stephen wrote:

                        > But if you use a picture from a magazine or from
                        > the Web simply because you like it visually, I don't
                        > think 'fair use' protects that.

                        It doesn't, at least not specifically. The wording is very vague. Still,
                        it only takes one court decision to set a precedent. If a collage artist
                        is sued for copyright infringement, and they use 'fair use' as their
                        defense, it is possible that the court will agree with them. This would
                        be a step towards clarifying the law.

                        > What you like is an artists work and they have the
                        > right to control their work.

                        I think there are too many variables for it to be that simple. The
                        degree of manipulation should certainly be a big factor. If I combine
                        bits and pieces of someone else's photographs into a new work, and then
                        manipulate it completely beyond recognition, am I stealing? Is my end
                        product still considered the other artist's work, and do they have a
                        right to control it?

                        Most of the images that I "steal" from the internet are not what I would
                        consider "other artists work." I'm talking about media related images
                        from CNN and MSNBC, microscopic pictures from science sites, NASA
                        images, travel pictures, digital camera samples, pictures from eBay...
                        whatever I find and like, really, the list goes on and on. In many cases
                        copyrights do apply, and certainly the photographer is the "artist," but
                        it is a distinction that I personally make. As a rule I usually would
                        not go to any art portfolio site and grab other artist's work for the
                        purpose of collage material. I still, however, recognize that even THAT
                        should be allowed as long as the manipulation of the work is different
                        from the original. I would not put it past myself, for instance, to do a
                        digital collage series using only Rauschenberg's work as raw material. I
                        think it would be interesting.

                        > It's often not hard to ask permission. If you get
                        > permission from the artist, fine. If not, don't steal
                        > their work.

                        It would be ridiculous for me to try and get permission for every little
                        tiny bit of imagery I use in my collage, just because of the sheer
                        volume involved. I would spend all my time writing correspondence and
                        wouldn't have any time to make the art.

                        I'm not really worried about being sued anyway, I'm pretty secure in
                        that most of my end products turn out abstract and unrecognizable from
                        the source. Still, I'd like to think that what I am doing now and any
                        future efforts are protected from lawsuit in any extreme circumstances.
                        I think for one it's a matter of changing people's attitudes about it.
                        An environment with an implied freedom of use, like I think the internet
                        has in a way, is almost as good as having it written into the law. One
                        small way I plan to attempt that is by adding to the copyright notice on
                        my own web site, explaining my views on the matter and giving permission
                        to anyone who wants to use my imagery for their own manipulation. Teach
                        by example, practice what I rant. ;-)

                        Sincerely,
                        corey.eiseman
                        http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/bomb1.htm
                        http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/collab.htm

                        YOUR MIND IS A WEAPON! USE IT!
                      • Cecil Touchon
                        Question: Do you think copyright issues apply if you don t copy the image but use it as it was found (in a magazine or whatever)? Isn t copyright about copying
                        Message 11 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                          Question:
                          Do you think copyright issues apply if you don't copy the image but use
                          it as it was found (in a magazine or whatever)? Isn't copyright about
                          copying the image? If you are not copying it then where is the problem?
                          Also aren't there some art lawyers on line that we could contact and ask
                          for a proffessional opinion?
                          Cecil

                          Corey Eiseman wrote:
                          >
                          > From: Corey Eiseman <rkce@...>
                          >
                          > Stephen wrote:
                          >
                          > > But if you use a picture from a magazine or from
                          > > the Web simply because you like it visually, I don't
                          > > think 'fair use' protects that.
                          >
                          > It doesn't, at least not specifically. The wording is very vague. Still,
                          > it only takes one court decision to set a precedent. If a collage artist
                          > is sued for copyright infringement, and they use 'fair use' as their
                          > defense, it is possible that the court will agree with them. This would
                          > be a step towards clarifying the law.
                          >
                          > > What you like is an artists work and they have the
                          > > right to control their work.
                          >
                          > I think there are too many variables for it to be that simple. The
                          > degree of manipulation should certainly be a big factor. If I combine
                          > bits and pieces of someone else's photographs into a new work, and then
                          > manipulate it completely beyond recognition, am I stealing? Is my end
                          > product still considered the other artist's work, and do they have a
                          > right to control it?
                          >
                          > Most of the images that I "steal" from the internet are not what I would
                          > consider "other artists work." I'm talking about media related images
                          > from CNN and MSNBC, microscopic pictures from science sites, NASA
                          > images, travel pictures, digital camera samples, pictures from eBay...
                          > whatever I find and like, really, the list goes on and on. In many cases
                          > copyrights do apply, and certainly the photographer is the "artist," but
                          > it is a distinction that I personally make. As a rule I usually would
                          > not go to any art portfolio site and grab other artist's work for the
                          > purpose of collage material. I still, however, recognize that even THAT
                          > should be allowed as long as the manipulation of the work is different
                          > from the original. I would not put it past myself, for instance, to do a
                          > digital collage series using only Rauschenberg's work as raw material. I
                          > think it would be interesting.
                          >
                          > > It's often not hard to ask permission. If you get
                          > > permission from the artist, fine. If not, don't steal
                          > > their work.
                          >
                          > It would be ridiculous for me to try and get permission for every little
                          > tiny bit of imagery I use in my collage, just because of the sheer
                          > volume involved. I would spend all my time writing correspondence and
                          > wouldn't have any time to make the art.
                          >
                          > I'm not really worried about being sued anyway, I'm pretty secure in
                          > that most of my end products turn out abstract and unrecognizable from
                          > the source. Still, I'd like to think that what I am doing now and any
                          > future efforts are protected from lawsuit in any extreme circumstances.
                          > I think for one it's a matter of changing people's attitudes about it.
                          > An environment with an implied freedom of use, like I think the internet
                          > has in a way, is almost as good as having it written into the law. One
                          > small way I plan to attempt that is by adding to the copyright notice on
                          > my own web site, explaining my views on the matter and giving permission
                          > to anyone who wants to use my imagery for their own manipulation. Teach
                          > by example, practice what I rant. ;-)
                          >
                          > Sincerely,
                          > corey.eiseman
                          > http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/bomb1.htm
                          > http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/collab.htm
                          >
                          > YOUR MIND IS A WEAPON! USE IT!
                          >
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                        • Corey Eiseman
                          ... I just found this little anecdote about a lawsuit against Robert Rauchenberg from The Copyright Website ( http://www.benedict.com/ ) One particular work
                          Message 12 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                            Cecil Touchon wrote:

                            > Do you think copyright issues apply if you don't copy the image but use
                            > it as it was found (in a magazine or whatever)?

                            I just found this little anecdote about a lawsuit against Robert Rauchenberg
                            from "The Copyright Website" ( http://www.benedict.com/ )

                            "One particular work includes a page torn from an old issue of Time
                            magazine. The page in question contains an ad for an automobile, which
                            is principally comprised of a photograph, and which photograph was taken
                            by a commercial photographer. The photographer, Pete Turner,
                            successfully sued Rauschenberg for unauthorized use of the photograph."

                            keep in mind, this was an incidental element to the collage and, as the
                            authors of the website pointed out, could have been replaced with any magazine
                            ad for the same effect, but still the lawsuit was successful.

                            the more I research this the more worried I get...

                            viva la revolucion,
                            corey.eiseman
                            http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/collab.htm
                            http://members.tripod.com/~ToeGristle/bomb1.htm

                            all rights reversed.
                          • Sarah Ovenall
                            Hi Corey and Cecil, Thanks for addressing this very interesting question that I have often wondered about myself -- does it matter whether the copyrighted work
                            Message 13 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                              Hi Corey and Cecil,

                              Thanks for addressing this very interesting question that I have often
                              wondered about myself -- does it matter whether the copyrighted work is
                              duplicated. I think the reference to the lawsuit against Rauchenberg
                              answers the question pretty well (it worries me too! I had been looking to
                              him as an example of how much can be gotten away with).

                              As for the advice of an intellectual property lawyer, I'm sure there are
                              plenty who would be glad to answer our questions for a fee :)

                              Actually there is a lawyer named Jodi Sax who has a bulletin board on her
                              website where she answers questions about intellectual property. Collage
                              isn't her specialty so I don't know if you would get definitive answers to
                              your questions. The one time I asked her a question, I got a pretty generic
                              answer that didn't help me all that much. But it was a very specialized
                              question. You might do better with a more general question on the lines
                              we've been discussing. Her website is: <http://www.lawgirl.com>

                              Sarah


                              . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                              Sarah Ovenall mailto:sarah@...
                              http://www.thefool.com
                            • Stephen123@aol.com
                              Another place to get professional opinions would be: news:misc.int-property That s the Usenet Newsgroup for intellectual property issues. My impression is that
                              Message 14 of 22 , Mar 3, 1999
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                                Another place to get professional opinions would be:
                                news:misc.int-property
                                That's the Usenet Newsgroup for intellectual property issues.

                                My impression is that 'manipulated completely beyond recognition' is a
                                reasonable defense. If no one can see their work in your work, you're not
                                really appropriating their creative authorship.

                                NASA and other government photos are a different case. NASA asks that credit
                                be given, but US government work is all copyright free. Pictures from a
                                digital camera review article are also an interesting case since they are
                                trying NOT to put originality into the photos. It seems to me sampling from
                                someone who samples without permission doesn't require permission, unless you
                                get a chunk of someone else's work in that work.

                                - Stephen
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