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Old 10-06-2008, 08:49 PM
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ZB3 ZB3 is offline
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

This is an interesting thread. I've been dying to do a portrait of James Arness and Amanda Blake as Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty. I figured the best I could do was make a semi-likeness of them in Poser and work from that, so I wouldn't have to use any photos.

Quote:
Ok, anyone have a famous movie quote that could accompany an Indian chief portrait,

There's a good one by Chief Joseph. It always makes me cry. Goes something like this...

"Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired of fighting. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more, forever."

The exact words are somewhere on the 'Net, I imagine.

Quote:
a cowboy portrait

"Somebody needs to punch you right in the nose. But I won't. I won't. The hell I won't." Paraphrase of a line in a John Wayne movie. My husband's a John Wayne freak.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:50 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

There are two considerations when draw celebs. The copyright of any reference you may use, and the right of publicity of the celeb.
If one chooses to use protected material/references, the same typical fair use considerations should be made. Typically a good artist can transform reference material into a new creation (transformative test). An easy example of transforming a photo of a celeb into something new would be when caricaturists et their hands on it. Another less obvious example of transforming photos into new original artwork would be what Andy Warhol did.
The second consideration is the right of publicity. There are both federal and state "right of publicity laws", so depending on where one is the details could be different. But this law essentially states you cannot use a celeb's image or likeness for commercial purposes without consent. So essentially you can’t make it seem like an actor is endorsing a product or put in some ad without permission. There are exceptions to this law like has already been mentioned.
Typically the exceptions read like this: "a use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness in connection with any news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account, or any political campaign, shall not constitute a use for which consent is required under subdivision." So essentially it's like fair use. On top of that first amendment rights always trump the right of publicity (So a cartoonist can lampoon an actor and recieve 1st amendment protection). Also in many states like California, they write in specific exceptions for artists to be able to paint a likeness in "single works of art". This is California’s written exceptions to the right of publicity:
Quote:
(n) This section shall not apply to the use of a deceased personality's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any of the following instances:
(1) A play, book, magazine, newspaper, musical composition, film, radio or television program, other than an advertisement or commercial announcement not exempt under paragraph (4).
(2) Material that is of political or newsworthy value.
(3) Single and original works of fine art.
(4) An advertisement or commercial announcement for a use permitted by paragraph (1), (2), or (3).
Some states that include similar exceptions for artists are Illinois, Nevada, Washington, Indiana, so these places its absolutely (Without question or grey area) legal to paint a celeb. (Prints however is in the grey area) Law experts believe a limited number of prints would not be any different than a single work of fine art" but there are no cases proving this.

Good article

Last edited by Smokin : 10-07-2008 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:05 AM
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Rusalka Rusalka is offline
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Re: Celebrity Portraits Question

At Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL, there's a stand with selling pencil drawings of famous movie stills and photos. They sell lots of prints of these pencil drawings. They've got Al Pacino from "Scarface", Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean", basketball game stills, etc etc. Honestly I don't know how they get away with this for so long. They've been there for years. I've seen stands like this in other malls as well. So there's a whole cottage industry out there based on copying photos of famous people. Not only does this little business copy and sell famous people's images, but those images are the property of movie companies!

P.S. They are not officially sanctioned because there is no attribution on any of these prints or drawings. They are absolutely copies of copyrighted materials - I recognize the stills they came from.

Maybe a pencil drawing is considered "transformative" enough...

Last edited by Rusalka : 10-10-2008 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:56 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

Attribution on or off a work is not an indication of legal or infringing work.

Quote:
Maybe a pencil drawing is considered "transformative" enough...
IMO, prob not. It more likely a case where it’s just not worth it to go after these small businesses or they just don’t know about it to decide to do something about it. However in the saderup case (three stooges), I believe that his charcoal drawing was found to be transformative enough to not violate copyrights (right of publicity is another story)

Depending on the state, celebs have very limited remedies even if they win. The most common is to stop the infringing use of the image. The second is for damages, but that’s always hard to prove. There was a recent right of publicity case with Andy Griffin where he lost in large part because there was no damages to speak of. Because Andy made only 5k off his name in the last half decade, it was unlikely that the use of his image did any financial harm.

Personally, I'd ask the owner or employee what was up. Usually a buisness in a malls would not risk doing anything blatantly illegal. Id be interested if there was a licence available or legal advise/exeptions that they felt applied.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:48 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

In your opinion is this is a small business? I was sitting in a little Italian deli and saw an image on the wall of the actors in "The Sopranos" lined up for a publicity shot. I walked closer and recognized the artist of the print as one I've seen in malls all over the place. I went home and looked up the name and she's selling in a lot of online print stores as well as an ebay store.

She's an excellent copyist, judge for yourself:
http://www.direct-to-business.ltd.uk/Prints-Various.htm

(just used this site as an example because it has an easy to see set of images, you can see plenty of other U.S. sites selling these if you google the artist's name)

Isn't it funny that here we are wringing our hands over the littlest copyright detail, while artists like this sell their *prints* drawn from photos all over the internet with nary a problem!

Last edited by Rusalka : 10-14-2008 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:32 AM
NZ_Born_Aussie NZ_Born_Aussie is offline
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

I think it sucks how artists are not appreciated in America, as they are in France. In France, laws are in place to protect the artist. It's not right that a bunch of faceless corporations are holding back our creativity. I wonder if there's a way we can band together and possibly help change the laws here? Like lobbying for it? What a filibuster session that would make!

It's a thought...
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:09 PM
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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.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:37 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

You know it's a funny thing that people mention all these things. Of course sometimes you can change the pose of person or maybe even the facial expression, but how do you change someone if your doing photo realism? Your change certain aspects of feature of the person so it doesn't look like the photo and then it's not person your drawing it's someone that resembles the person. I thought the whole point was to draw the person as accuratlly as possible. If that isn't the case might as well just draw a black blob and call it "monroe" "elvis" etc..
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:55 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

AFAIK there are no celebrity protection laws here in the UK but also no "fair use" so it's simpler in many ways. If you want to copy a photo, seek the agency that holds the reproduction rights and say how you want to use the image. Pay the fee and they will give you a licence to reproduce it. Don't always assume the fees are unaffordable.

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Old 11-07-2008, 05:54 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by namjagee
You know it's a funny thing that people mention all these things. Of course sometimes you can change the pose of person or maybe even the facial expression, but how do you change someone if your doing photo realism? Your change certain aspects of feature of the person so it doesn't look like the photo and then it's not person your drawing it's someone that resembles the person. I thought the whole point was to draw the person as accuratlly as possible. If that isn't the case might as well just draw a black blob and call it "monroe" "elvis" etc..

You can have photorealism without having to copy photographs. They did it for hundreds of years before there were cameras.
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Old 11-07-2008, 08:09 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by namjagee
You know it's a funny thing that people mention all these things. Of course sometimes you can change the pose of person or maybe even the facial expression, but how do you change someone if your doing photo realism? Your change certain aspects of feature of the person so it doesn't look like the photo and then it's not person your drawing it's someone that resembles the person. I thought the whole point was to draw the person as accuratlly as possible. If that isn't the case might as well just draw a black blob and call it "monroe" "elvis" etc..

Well, in actuality, here in the US ,a person's likeness is considered raw material that's not protected via a copyright. This truth makes it harder to figure whats protected and whats not with respect to photos. What's not is the raw material, but rather how this material is photographed.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...29/ai_87207299
Quote:

In California in 2001, an artist created a charcoal drawing of the Three Stooges and sold them as lithographs and on T-shirts. The likenesses of the Three Stooges were extremely realistic. The owner of the rights to the Three Stooges' likeness sued under California law, which prevents the unauthorized use of the deceased person's likeness "on or in products, merchandise, goods or for the purposes of advertising, selling or soliciting purchasers of products, merchandise, goods or services." The artist argued that the statute did not apply since the lithographs and T-shirts were not an endorsement or sponsorship of a product. The artist also made First Amendment claims. The court found the claims had merit but did not agree with the artist. The court adopted a version of the copyright law's fair use test and found that the image was not sufficiently transformative to enjoy the First Amendment protection based on a fair use analysis.
What is important for artists about this case is that the court carved out an important exception to the right of publicity for art works. It held that if the celebrities' likeness is just "raw material" for an original art work and it is the artistic expression that is the dominant attribute of the art work, then the artist's First Amendment rights will trump the celebrities' right of publicity.
Take a look at this photoreal image.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthre...f=121&t=691263

No boubt that photos were used to create this likness, but this is an example of not the photo being copied, but rather the raw material IN the photo being copied. Gosh, hope that made sense.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:02 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

I've been wondering about this myself...I'm starting a pencil portrait site and I have done a few celebrity portraits to add to the gallery in addition to commissioned work. The celebrity portraits on my site are not going to be sold...they're just for the sake of showing a potential client that I can capture a likeness using an image of someone they know and recognize. I'm wondering if I can run into problems with this even though I'm not selling these works?
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:32 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

The photographer may have an issue with your drawings...a photograph is also protected by copyright law as art. I would suggest contacting the photographer who took the picture you drew from and obtain permission just to cover the bases.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:59 AM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

Also consider that some celebrities trademark their image so they could take offense and legally come after you.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:21 PM
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Re: Celebrity Portraites Question

Playing devils advocate here...turn the tables for a minute, to help clarify the situation:
Quote:
I am aware that the photogs own their works, but is there a time limit?
How long do you as an artist own your work? Why should it be different for a photographer?

Regarding modifying the photo...
What if a photographer took a photo of your art, then via darkroom or digital manipulation, made many changes to it, color, values, even distorting the image or combining it with others? Do you think this would be ok?
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