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Old 02-04-2020, 03:43 PM
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SarahJane0203 SarahJane0203 is offline
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Hi I have a question about copyright regarding Pixabay

Hi all,

I would like your imput regarding copyright with reference photos. I use photos from Pixabay alot as they specify that they are free to use anywhere. However I have found an art competition online and I am thinking of entering. It says to ensure that you have full ownership of all artwork. Would art produced from photos from Pixabay still count as being your own work or should I make sure I only ener work produced from my own reference photos? Thanks in advance. SJ
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:51 PM
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Jeffro Jones Jeffro Jones is offline
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Re: Hi I have a question about copyright regarding Pixabay

Originally Posted by SarahJane0203
Would art produced from photos from Pixabay still count as being your own work
Yes. Pixabay allows free use.
The only proviso I see is that they do not allow unaltered re-sale of one of their images.
As you (presumably) will "alter" the work, no matter how slightly, by interpreting it in paint, this will not apply to you either

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Old 02-06-2020, 09:13 PM
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vmrs vmrs is offline
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Re: Hi I have a question about copyright regarding Pixabay

It's probably best to ask the people who own the competition. Most competitions don't allow for entrants to use the photos of others as reference even if the photographer gives them permission to.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:04 PM
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Cindy Schnackel Cindy Schnackel is offline
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Re: Hi I have a question about copyright regarding Pixabay

As vmrs said, find out from the competition organizers what they mean about the rules. I've seen similar Terms that were designed to keep out exact copies (people simply translating a photo into a painting). There is no formula in the law for how much you can change something and be safe; if it's recognizable, there is risk. (At least in US law!)

Also, pixabay and others may not vet every member uploading images there, so do some homework to find the real owner, and get their permission. It's too easy for infringers to upload images they take from the internet to sites offering "free images." Then whoever uses them, however well intended or innocently, can get in trouble for infringing along with the person who wrongly put the photo on the site. Check the terms of the photographer, too, because some allow free use, but not commercial use, and selling a painting is commercial. Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:45 PM
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~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
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Re: Hi I have a question about copyright regarding Pixabay

Try a reverse image search of images , to verify if you can, for legal and competition uses..

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Old 03-02-2020, 01:59 AM
contumacious contumacious is online now
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Re: Hi I have a question about copyright regarding Pixabay

As mentioned already, some venues are very specific, stating that unless you personally took the photo you can't use it for a painting, others require ownership or some form of copyright permission. I would say that you cannot have "full ownership" as you have stated of an image simply downloaded from Pixabay. If someone who actually owns the copyright of an image signed over full ownership to you, then that should fulfill the requirement, but be aware that many of the images on pixabay are not owned by the person posting them.

I have found several images on Pixabay that were not actually in the public domain as noted above, so do some research before you invest time into a painting. You might want to ask the people running the event specifically if a public domain image constitutes "full ownership".

I have come to the conclusion over the years that unless there is some very compelling reason to use someone else's photograph, it is best to only use your own photos as reference images for anything you might want to enter into a competition or sell.

Last edited by contumacious : 03-02-2020 at 02:09 AM.
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