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[teacherartexchange] Collage and use of images - copyright issues (David and all)

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From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed May 25 2005 - 14:02:54 PDT


Greetings Teacher Art Exchange,

This is a rehash for those on Art Education list and ArtsEducators,

David and I have been talking off list about copyright. I check site
policies before I post them to you.

David asked me about collage artists and use of images.

My answer to him:

Hi David,

Artists who do collage are supposed to use copyright free/public
domain images -- but they don't. Chance of getting caught are very
slim... Robert Rauschenberg DID get caught.... but that is because he
is famous. He lost the case against him. I have no idea what the
settlement agreement was now.

I believe there is a case pending now against Barbara Kruger - don't
know if that one has settled. (I may be wrong here).

I think it is important for teachers to teach about copyright, even if
they don't follow the letter of the law in their own practices (I
never did add all of the image credits and copyright info to all of my
PowerPoints...but at least I pointed out my errors to my kiddies and
told them that time was an issue for me and I needed to get some sleep
in, too.). Check Fair Use guidelines - easy to find online.

> but I was under the impression that an image
> manipulated beyond a certain point no longer fell
> under copywright protection.

This is so wrong - wrong - wrong. Legally you can not make a "derived"
work without permission of the original copyright owner. Folks get
away with what you mention only because the original is harder to
recognize. Taking a copyrighted photograph and manipulating does NOT
fall under Fair Use.... anywhere in the world (according to my
research).... Now you know.

If you want photographs to manipulate - surf for public domain
photographs - OR you and your students take your own. Getting
permission to manipulate a photograph is next to impossible to get.

In time...I will re-read all of my copyright wanderings and put a page
summarizing everything on IAD.... but quite honeslty? I "bored myself
to death" on the topic and needed to give it a rest (chuckles). The
more you know - the less you wish you knew (ignorance of the law is
better -- smile -- if challenged intent is harder to prove). Getty
folks missed all of my copyright "stuff" - list was down at the time.

One FUN artist who has never been challenged is Barry Kite (his site
is easy to fine). Most of the images he uses now could be considered
in Public Domain. I got a very fun copyright statement from him... I
will share it off list.

Thanks for asking David. Now you can join the "copyright police" too.

Regards,

Judy Decker

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