Re: Celebrity Portraites Question
I think this depends on whether you have a direct copy of a photograph or not.
So if you take a photo, and reproduce it in a drawing, that's illegal. However if you use several photos as "inspiration" and borrow from each one to get a likeness for the person without breaking the law.
So say you want to draw Paris Hilton. You can take one photo, copy it, and hide it forever because it's as illegal as marijuana. Or you can take several, and start from scratch, borrowing an outfit from one, a pose from another, the face from another, hair from another. Bam, new work, no infringement at all.
Back in the day when painters would make portraits of important figures they would have a stand in for the body, then they would get the important person(like Napoleon or somesuch), to sit for a short time to just do the face. Essentially you're using this type of practice, using reference photos.