Thursday, February 2, 2017

Copyright infringement

Now here is a subject that isn't much fun to talk about, Copyright infringement, it never makes anyone feel good. Most people are not sure what was is and isn't acceptable, basically it simply means that you can not profit from another persons, intellectual property.
I know some people will get really upset when talking about this, but this is basic copyright law and these are the facts, you can check with any seasoned professional artist, organization or attorney. If you plan to "sell or show" your work it needs to be entirely your own concept, reference material and creation,
It's okay to look in magazines, or websites etc but don't copy them (that goes for picture or paintings), when you have an idea, change the elements and turn them into your own.
If taking workshops or online courses, when specific lessons are given, the copyright is still the intellectual property of the instructor, not the student.
Lessons are meant only as learning tools to help you understand the thinking process behind the painting, and as you learn how to gather your own reference materials you will then be able to interpret them into your own paintings.
For painting competitions, it must be entirely your own creation, in the show prospectus you will see that the organization will not accept work that is done in a workshop, online course, under any supervision, or someone else's reference material, it must be entirely your own.
As artists we all learn from imitation, and for those workshop paintings, you can give them to friends and family but don't profit from them, (basic copyright law). If you want to donate it ask the instructor and then credit them and the workshop.
Instructors spend many years perfecting their art and lesson plans, so if you decide to take your art to the next level, do it with your own creation just like they did.

If your intention is to sell paintings and you like someones else's photo ask them for permission to use it or license it for a fee, and always get it in writing. As far as competitions go, most organizations will say they in their show prosecutes that they want everything to be your own creation, from concept, reference photo, to painting.

For more information visit https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/index.html

2 comments:

  1. Mind if I borrow this? I promise to credit you when I share. This reminder, your wise and tactfully stated write up about copyright rules. And with such good reason. There IS a community of followers who rely on the instructor's class or magazine lovers who then display their works in competitions. Mmmmmmm. Let's make it our own, folks. Thank you.

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    1. That would be great, and thank you for the credit :)

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