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Old 04-28-2017, 08:44 PM
annehra annehra is offline
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Painting and Drawing from Flickr Photos

Hi,

I was wondering if it would be legal to sell anything that you drew or painted that had a reference from flickr or some other internet or printed source. My style is quasi-Matisse, if that makes a difference and elements of the photo have been used, the entire image would not be copied, just some elements. I also do abstract paintings based on photographs of flowers from the internet. Do I need to worry about legal issues if I ever want to sell those?

Thanks.

Annie
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:00 AM
zardoz71 zardoz71 is offline
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Re: Painting and Drawing from Flickr Photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by annehra
Hi,

I was wondering if it would be legal to sell anything that you drew or painted that had a reference from flickr or some other internet or printed source. My style is quasi-Matisse, if that makes a difference and elements of the photo have been used, the entire image would not be copied, just some elements. I also do abstract paintings based on photographs of flowers from the internet. Do I need to worry about legal issues if I ever want to sell those?

Thanks.

Annie

Disclaimer. No legal advice and a big minefield ahead.

First it depends a lot of the country you are living in. Certain things that are allowed in the US are illegal here and vice versa. In case of flickr and some other websites like pixabay are not that bad and the try to avoid most of the legal problems with the creative common license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/?lang=en

In case of flickr click on the "Some rights reserved" and see what kind of license the use e.g. it can mean you could use it but need to name the author of the picture in other cases you could use it for private means but not commercial. In case of pixabay the use a CC0 Public Domain license that gives you the most freedom https://creativecommons.org/publicdo...ro/1.0/deed.en & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

Just don't do one thing, just copy anykind of picture without knowing the source/origin

That is the easy part and now to the complicated ones


You as the artist are liable for the work you produce in the eyes of the law. So where are the problems if you use the creative common licenses. First the good news the last version is "reliably" in many different country justice systems so that part works. However you can run into:
  • Somebody is stealing pictures from anohter source and upload them there, you can't transfer copyright if you don't have the rights in the first place.

    In case the Photography shows Humans the photographer needs a Model Release or the can't use this picture in the first place (*with exceptions) You can read more here: https://digital-photography-school.c...ses-need-know/ Some micro(macro)stock photography need signed papers for it.

    Even if it's legal you need to look into the Terms and in if additional laws apply. As an example in Germany I can't abolish my copyright entirely, even it I put a picture under a CC0 license because our law would not allow this. Another example just you found a "hot" looking model under a CC0 license that dosen't mean you can change her/him into a nude model. Additional Terms from e.g. flicker/model and/or country law can apply.

    Even it's in the public domain and can still can have some copyright issues depanding on the country it could have different meanings. In case of flickr the have a U.S. Government works search but even then it's complicated http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/us...ent-works.html

So it would be safer to use only your own picture. This would be the best bet, but even then you could still run into some issues as we have seen in some past threads and this list goes on.



Ok this is the way I use certain things, it may or not work for you. I use microstock agency that have law text for my country like shutterstock.com or pixabay.com for CC0 public domain licenses. This gives you at least one additional safety net.

I check the pictures with a reverse image search first like google or https://www.tineye.com/ , you don't want to run into trouble with gettimages....

In some cases if pictures are taken from a Zoo in e.g. Germany I avoid them entirely because most don't give you the right on it, if you use it commercial except you got permission. In this case additional "trustworthy" sources like e.g. wildlife dvds from Jason Morgan are good.

Some public domain sources from US-GOV are good (s.a)

Lucky I travel a lot so I got way to many reference pictures, so this helps too.


One last point I would say if you just take one look at a picture then throw it away and just paint with the image of in your head you should be fine but the
truth is, the fine print and legal aspects are sometimes mind numbing and not always something we would expect from a artist point of view like this research article shows in case of The Public Domain vs. the Museum: The Limits of Copyright and Reproductions of Two-dimensional Works of Artmuseum http://www.jcms-journal.com/articles.../jcms.1021217/
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:52 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Painting and Drawing from Flickr Photos

Lots of good advice from zardoz. I listened to an interview with a well established artist a few weeks ago, a figure painter, and she said she got all her reference photos from Instagram. I don't know how much of a photo she uses. It didn't sound like she asked for any permission. I think her paintings feature numerous people.

I've used online photos as reference photos but will combine them with 3-4 other photos of the same thing and then use them to produce a sketch. Then I might refer to them while painting for shadows or color choices. I try to use photos I've taken myself as much as possible, but recently when I painted a picture with a desert background, I gathered about 10 photos of Monument Valley and then constructed my background by pulling different elements from those photos to create my own image.

Years ago in an ecommerce forum someone said that if you can't recognize the reference photo from the image created from it, you are okay. That's not a legal opinion; that's an opinion of someone in the trenches of producing images for online.

I second the wariness about Getty and would add Corbis. These guys make a living by threatening to sue anyone who uses one of their images and immediately setting a price to "settle out of court" (IOW, the bribe they want not to sue). A lot of people end up paying a thousand for using a photo, but I know someone who used one without meaning to and just ignored their threats and nothing happened to him.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:11 PM
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~JMW~ ~JMW~ is offline
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Re: Painting and Drawing from Flickr Photos

If you use parts from a mix of photos , and build your own composition , you will be less likely to run into problems..
Always read a site's copyright, terms etc..

There are some facebook groups with free use images - search photos for artists
the paint my photo website.. PMP?
and the Ref images here are free to use if you haven't found them -
http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:35 AM
IanBertram IanBertram is offline
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Re: Painting and Drawing from Flickr Photos

Don't use just one image. Pictures anywhere can be inspirational, but inspiration, in my view, isn't about painting a copy.

This is my approach to using source images!

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