Legal question, any lawyers here?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AP_piano295, May 4, 2009.

  1. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    #1
    Background: So this summer me and some friends are planning to run a little business online and in our home town making and selling custom stencils. Were planning to do portraits and anything else people want really.

    But--> All of the original material we use might not be our own (in other words we might be taking some pictures off the internet)

    So my question is, is it legal to download a picture then significantly modify it so it basically becomes and original piece of art and then sell that piece?
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #2
    Rather than asking on an internet forum, where anyone can be a lawyer, you need to ask an actual lawyer. Especially since laws can differ from place to place.
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #3
    The fact that you're asking indicates that your sniffer is telling you something is wrong with the idea. That is a Good Thing.

    IANAL but I have done some research into "Fair Use" - and it doesn't sound to me like Fair Use applies here, unless your derivative work is clearly for parody. Even then, it might be wise to seek permission from the copyright holder.
     
  4. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

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    #4
    Only if the picture is in the public domain, or you were given permission directly from the owner. Otherwise you're asking for a lawsuit. IANAL though.
     
  5. blackstone macrumors regular

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    #5
    Anyone who's willing to give a definitive answer your question on an Internet forum is either (1) not a lawyer or (2) so reckless that they may as well not be a lawyer. There are two reasons for this. The first is that lawyers (at least in the United States) can't give legal advice tailored to someone's particular circumstances without risking the creation of an attorney-client relationship, which makes the lawyer owe fiduciary duties to you as his/her client. The second is that it would be incredibly difficult to actually answer the question you're asking without having more facts in hand.

    If you're in the United States, one resource to consult to get a general idea of the legal background is the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center. However, this is no substitute for actually hiring a lawyer and getting the lawyer to give you a reasoned answer based on the particular facts and circumstances of your situation.
     
  6. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #6
    What is iAnal? Is that some new Apple device? :D
     
  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #7
    I Am Not A Lawyer.
     
  8. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #8
    Oh... thanks. IANAG!

    (I Am Not A Genius)
     
  9. AP_piano295 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 9, 2005
    #9
    knives aren't food...no
     
  10. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #10
    IANAPC

    (I am not a PC)

    Anyway back on point, i don't think it would be legal, Wikipedia had this exact same issue, which is why all pictures used on it have to be public copyright:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_image_resources

    So unless the images you are taking are classified by the creater as being open copyright. Theres hundreds of terms for it though, GNU etc etc, it gets really messy, you need a specialist IT lawyer, which would cost more money than your going to make.
     
  11. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #11
    I've seen lawyers give advice on forums. They explicitly say that they are giving advice, not advising a client. I think that would be okay, but what do I know, IANAL(Y).
     
  12. jarjarblinks macrumors 6502

    jarjarblinks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    #12
    The information you have given is too skimpy and no one will be able to give you definitive advice.

    Questions to be answered:

    Is the content posted on the website copyrighted?

    What are the Fair Dealing and Creative Commons law in your country?

    Is the author (or Copyright holder) contactable?

    Will you consider exploring a profit sharing avenue?

    To what extent will the new "art" be used? For charitable causes, profit driven motive?

    Besides Copyright, will it infringe on Trademarks?

    Suggest you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons
     
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #13
    the artist Jeff Koons got into trouble in a situation that sounds a bit like what you want to do....perhaps you should read this:

    wikipedia link

    Basically, he used somebody else's photograph that he'd found as the basis for making a sculpture. The photographer found out and sued claiming infringement. The photographer won the case.

    from wiki;

     

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