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#21 Jennie

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

Yes, although I think you'd still have to be pretty specific about the rights when you commissioned it just to make sure it's all in writing and agreed upon. You would want to have the full, exclusive rights to sell it and alter it.

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#22 Jennie

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:25 PM

Basically what Cali said.

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#23 C. Taylor

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

Basically what Cali said.


Don't you just love cross posting! lol. : )

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#24 JoeB

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:30 PM

I just registered with dreamstime.com. Their policy is buy 8 credits for $9.99 then you can download 8 small pictures. Is that common with the rest of the sites or can you buy one picture when you're happy with it?
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#25 C. Taylor

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:52 PM

Some have minimums when it comes to credits, and then others allow you to just pay per picture. Bigstockphoto allows you to purchase just a single image. The medium size, which is what I recommend, since it's got a high ppi, is $4.99 per pic if purchasing individually. It's less if you go with the lower quality image, but I think for the $2 you'll save, you're better off going with the med. size.

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#26 Jean Oram

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

I would assume a blog would be a 'gray' area in that a case could be made that it is commercial--if you have a link on it to a place where you can purchase your book. It would then become an advertising tool. Wouldn't it? (Complicated!)

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#27 Peter Burton

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:03 AM

Whew!

Things like this make me glad I got the graphic artist job first. True, I ended with having to learn Adobe Illustrator, and rolling-your-own takes longer, but the headache is saves in the end is well worth it.

Funny thing there, Cat. Believe it, or not, special fonts have always been under copyright. When I worked for Diamond G printed sportswear in the 80's the company had to purchase most of the fonts we used, or have us make them up.

(Adobe does make some things easier, but I still miss the days of tri-scales, light boxes, and drafting tables. :wink: )

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#28 RSMellette

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:47 AM

I just remembered another Hollywood case. The show NORTHERN EXPOSURE was shot in a small town in Oregon. In the opening credits they featured a mural on wall that had been around forever. Once the show aired, the artist showed up asking to be paid.

Jennie, we should so do lunch!

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#29 Caterina

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:08 PM

This has been a great learning experience, especially for us new self-published authors. Thanks for posting this RC. I really appreciate coming to a community where information is researched for me (so I don't have to fumble around in the dark) and where my questions get answered.

So if Hollywood can't even use tattoos, is that why actors always have theirs covered on set?

#30 RC Lewis

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:12 PM

Anybody know about incorrectly quoted movie lines? I've got one brief part that does just that, where it's clear what the characters are referring to, but it's not actually a 'quote' because it's not the correct wording from the movie.


SJ, I think the "don't quote me on this" consensus is that you'd be in the clear for that one.

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#31 mwsinclair

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

Great discussion. Yet another reason I love this community.

#32 Robin Breyer

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

I can clarify a couple of thing.

In the US, there are two levels to fonts. There is the typeface itself (which is covered by patent, not a copyright) and then there is the font file. For example, in 1979, Paramount Pictures commissioned a font for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was patented for 17 years. That means to even create a font on that lettering during that time, you first have to get the rights from the patent holder. After the patent expires, the typeface is fair game for anyone to use. The font file(s) created by a particular company are covered by copyright. Anyone may make a font of a out of patent or unpatented typeface. But the creator of that font has control over how that font is used... to a point. If you take that font and render it into a bitmap image, you are no longer subject to the copyright of the font, but the limitations of the typeface. So you can use any font for a bitmap for your cover art, website banner, etc, but you cannot use the font in your ebook (you are distributing an embedded copy of the font) without permission. The demarcation whether the characters are scalable. If what you do it not scalable, you are only subject to the limitations of using the typeface. If it is scalable, you are subject to the font copyright plus the limitations of the typeface. The copyright on fonts is solely for the outlines and control points used to make them scalable, not the shape of the characters themselves. An artist who creates a font from a typeface of their own design, but fails to patent that design, has no protection on the typeface, only the font.

And there is a caveat to using a copyrighted image. (I would like to point out that every image is copyrighted under current US law, it is the matter of permission to use the image that is really under discussion) If you substantially alter an image to a sufficient extent, you have created a new work. There really is no way to do this to a single image, but in the process of photoshopping many images together, if those changes are applied to every image used, you can create a final product out of pieces of other images that is unique and becomes an independent, copyrightable work in its own right. It is a slippery slope to determine what constitutes substantially altering an image. To pick on Calista Taylor (because I know where she got her source images), the woman on her covers has not been substantially altered and occupies enough of the image that any original copyright on the women would still apply. It takes quite a bit of altering to avoid running into copyright issues and it is a gray area that is best kept away from. You'd have to be a pretty talented photoshopper to succeed in creating something that fits this loophole. But that is really the clincher, you have to put enough of your own artistic talent into it that any sources you may have used are obscured by your own work.

And in what I've seen on Deviant art, you need to be very careful. There are a lot of copyright violations waiting to happen. What you want to look for are stock images (usually backgrounds, objects, or people). Many just want credit, some just want to be informed and see it. Some are real sticklers and want you to jump through hoops. There are a lot of images that have been taken from other images the artist does not have the rights to. I think the best covers are ones where you put in your own creativity. Take your own photo, do your own photoshopping of good stock images, put something into it that someone else won't duplicate. Using an unaltered stock photo is easy, but not very creative. You want something uniquely your own and really the best way is to use photos that you have taken yourself.

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#33 Robin Breyer

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:07 PM

My previous post is on the US only. In the US, a photo of a copyrighted piece of art (usually confined to 2D art) cannot be independently copyrighted. The copyright of the photo remains with the copyright holder of the original work. So if you take a picture of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, you can't claim copyright on it. Now if you take a picture of your friends in front of the Mona Lisa, that's different. In the UK, the photographer holds the copyright of their photo regardless of the subject. So if you find a really nice images from an out of copyright book (say something published in 1860) and it is a US source, they are fair game. If it is a UK source, they are copyrighted by the photographer so you would need to obtain permission before using them. All the ins and outs of copyright law vary from place to place.

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#34 Jennie

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:38 AM

I just remembered another Hollywood case. The show NORTHERN EXPOSURE was shot in a small town in Oregon. In the opening credits they featured a mural on wall that had been around forever. Once the show aired, the artist showed up asking to be paid.

Jennie, we should so do lunch!


We should!

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#35 Peter Burton

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:35 AM

@ Robin.

Exactly. Which is why I use Illustrator instead of Photoshop.

I can draw my own images, scan them into the computer, then work them from there, so everything is mine from the get go. Illustrator is harder to use than Photoshop, because it is a graphic art program. But once you get the hang of it, you can make the image look anyway you want, from cartoon to photo real.

It takes longer, sometimes weeks, but considering the mess you can wind up in useing photographs and Photoshop, It's worth it.

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#36 Michelle_in_WI

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:48 PM

Actually, I just did a job interview for a company that does websites for celebrities, where they blog about products - major advertising dollars.

I heard a story on a film set a few weeks back where the guy that did Mike Tyson's tattoo sued over the image being used in The Hangover II. There's a crazy thought. You pay someone to put their art on your face, and yet you might not own it. Because of that lawsuit extras with tattoos had to get them approved and/or altered before they went on camera - and that's just for guys walking around in the background.

Crazy world.


From my understanding, the lawsuit was over the recreation of Mike Tyson's tattoo on another actor. Ed Helms, I believe. So, even if Mike Tyson owns the rights to the tattoo on his face, it sounds like the artist's argument is the license doesn't extend to other people's faces in a copy of the original tattoo.
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#37 RSMellette

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

That was exactly the case. I'm not sure if they paid Tyson for the use or not - but it was the artist who sued.

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#38 Michelle_in_WI

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 05:58 PM

Didn't the guy who did the Obama "Hope" image get sued for using the original photo without permission? I think it was an AP photo, or something?
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#39 Jean Oram

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:38 AM

t into it that any sources you may have used are obscured by your own work.

And in what I've seen on Deviant art, you need to be very careful. There are a lot of copyright violations waiting to happen. What you want to look for are stock images (usually backgrounds, objects, or people). Many just want credit, some just want to be informed and see it. Some are real sticklers and want you to jump through hoops. There are a lot of images that have been taken from other images the artist does not have the rights to. I think the best covers are ones where you put in your own creativity. Take your own photo, do your own photoshopping of good stock images, put something into it that someone else won't duplicate. Using an unaltered stock photo is easy, but not very creative. You want something uniquely your own and really the best way is to use photos that you have taken yourself.


Robin: That was some great info on copyright, patents, etc. Thank you for sharing and explaining that.

And the fact that some of the pics on Deviant Art are breaking copyright--oh dear!!! That's scary. I'd hate to end up in trouble after thinking I was in the clear.


Funny story about fonts: My mom designed a label for their honeycomb years ago (as well as their pail labels--she did everything from the sketches on up) and another beekeeper was admiring it (It was incredible--best I've ever seen...even when you strip off my bias it was still the most striking label on the market). They were admiring the font, drawings, etc. and you could tell the person was scoping it because they wanted to copy it. (This was back in the 80s when it was a little tougher to do that.) My mom was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I asked her why afterwards and she replied, "They want that font. Well good luck with that because I made it up. They won't ever find it anywhere other than on my label with those eight letters I needed to spell "honeycomb. Besides, I also own the copyright." Grin, grin, grin.

Nowadays that probably wouldn't stop a person. Sadly.

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#40 Whimsical_Werecat

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:02 PM

Very interesting and useful info here. Thanks for sharing guys!

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