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Old 01-02-2020, 01:57 PM
john Stenger john Stenger is offline
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Legal Question with Collage Work

Since this is a Mixed Media forum, I'm sure some of you members must be experienced Collage artists! I myself have no experience in Mixed Media or Collage work! What I am wondering about, are there any legal risks to including postcards, magazine pages or whatever may be considered permission required materials. My reason for asking is over the years I have seen many well known artists works, that contain all sorts of images that I would consider very risky! a few of them have even used photographs of famous fashion models like Kate Moss, so I'm wondering just where the line is drawn?
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:40 AM
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Cyndi L Cyndi L is offline
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Re: Legal Question with Collage Work

Welcome to the wonderful addictive world of collage!! And to the MM forum!

You will receive as many answers to this question as there are people who answer it. Yes, using recognizable images in your work that belong to other people is risky and can get you sued. How some people "get away with it" is not covered in copyright law You are always going to be safest if you use your own images or use copyright free images (but use them in the way the copyright actually specifies). The ONLY authoritative source of information on this subject in the US is https://www.copyright.gov/

Please do not believe what some people will tell you about having to change the image X% and stuff like that. Anything you use that is recognizable to the person who made it opens you up to potential trouble. Once you're a famous artist, people may actually love to have you use their images, but only with permission
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:24 PM
john Stenger john Stenger is offline
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Re: Legal Question with Collage Work

Thank you for your honest reply! I had a feeling that was the situation! because anything that people create, is usually copyrighted just by use of it! even seemingly harmless text from a newspaper is written and owned by someone!
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:02 AM
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Cyndi L Cyndi L is offline
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Re: Legal Question with Collage Work

True! And while I've never heard of someone getting in trouble for using a newspaper headline or text, it's just good to be aware of the issues surrounding copyright. These are the basics that I know:
1. Once I create it, it is mine, whether or not I register it, and I have the right to determine who else can use my image and for what purposes.
BUT...
2. Unless I register it, I cannot sue someone else for damages, though I may be able to enforce a cease and desist.
3. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it!

Anything published before 1923 is in the public domain, so I look for books and images prior to that to use to supplement the photos I take myself. Many many people here use small snippets of modern magazine and other images/text. A single eye is not highly likely to be really recognizable and to get one in trouble. But I just prefer not to do it. Personal choice, not a morality lecture
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:57 PM
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Re: Legal Question with Collage Work

Great tips!
I do a lot of MM collage and torn paper collage using magazine ads and articles. The excerpts are not recognizable in the finished product that I created. Downside is that most shows will not allow any paper additions that the artist themselves did not create.
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:54 PM
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Re: Legal Question with Collage Work

Another downside is that it will fade
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