View Full Version : Ref. Library Usage

11-06-2011, 06:39 PM
Hello. Has anyone ever used material from the WC ref library for contests and/or for sale? The reason I ask is because i had done a couple of flower studies from the library just for fun but my sister in laws friend wants to buy them but Im a bit weary about selling drawings, paintings, studies what have you, of ref pics that I came by from this site from our wonderful contributors.

I really dont know what to do. If someone could give some advice on how to handle this i would appreciate it :)


Barbara WC
11-06-2011, 07:04 PM
From WetCanvas member agreement I found the following:

b. With respect to Content you submit to the Reference Image Library, you grant to all other users of the web site a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, world-wide, irrevocable right and license to use your uploaded images as reference images in the creation of new artwork in a different medium (such as painting, sculpture, and so on), and to sell the artwork they create pursuant to this license to use the image. You do not grant other users the right to digitally alter the image or to otherwise use or sell the image in its unaltered state. You retain the copyright to the original image.


My understanding is you can use the reference images for creating new artwork, even for sale, as long as you do not sell the photograph itself.

There are a couple of photos I've been wanting to use to create paintings to enter into local juried art exhibits, but my fear is always that someone else will enter a painting using the same reference image! But I would certainly have no hesitation to sell them to someone outside of a juried exhibit, as in your case.

Congratulations on the pending sale! :clap:

11-06-2011, 07:13 PM
but my fear is always that someone else will enter a painting using the same reference image

Ah! I have that same fear! And thank you for looking up the agreement, i guess i was to wrapped up in the possible repercussions of using someone elses material that It just didnt occur to me...........sad tho, makes me worry about my ability to rationalize lol.

Thanks again for the congrats :). She really wants them and since they are just studies which i will not reproduce for any reason because i like how they turned out in their simplicity, i will go ahead and sell them to her.


11-06-2011, 07:25 PM
Check the rules on any contests or juried shows you're getting into. There's a big difference between "must not use any reference photos you didn't take" and "must have copyright use of the reference photos." Rules vary for every contest and situation that has rules.

If it doesn't explicitly say that your photos must only be the ones you take, or no photo references allowed at all, go for it with the RIL.

As for selling the art, it's your art. The agreement for the RIL lets you create derivative works and there are no restrictions on that use, such as "do not sell derivative works." There are on some creative commons usages, but not the RIL. The best thing is to look at the actual fine print for the actual limits.

If you feel you owe something for the use of the reference photos, add to the library! You can still use your photos yourself in contests that require you to use your own, but sharing them helps to continue this great tradition. I love the RIL, it's one of the things I love about WC. I can find anything I need in it.

11-09-2011, 04:57 PM
Robert has it right. Always check the rules for the competition, they are often completely different than you expect.