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Copyright issue or okay?


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With all the copyright laws TOS's, EULA's, DCMA's LMNOP's...I am confused.

I am smitten with a picture portrayed on a book cover. It is of a statue and I would like to see if I can contract someone in world to make said statue - from sculpts or mesh, doesn't matter at this point - but I would like to know what kind of laws I (or the creator) would be breaking of said statue was made. This would not be for sale (other than the initial compensation for creating such) and would be for my private use.

 

Are things of this nature permitted?

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There is nothing confusing about this.  Its simple.  Private use or not you can't copy someone else's art without their permission, or the permissoin of whoever owns the rights to it.  No builder of any integrity would get involved in this either.

You will have people post that its OK as long as you don't sell it, or that everyone else does it or that LL doesn't do anything about it or any number of excuses.  It is all just rationalization.  You know its wrong or you wouldn't have asked.  People who do this in RL and are called counterfeiters and looked on as thieves.

 

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What statue are we talking about? Legally, that is an important question. If it was made 400 years ago, then probably there are no copyrights attached. But the amount of time needed for a piece of art to become free of copyright varies per country, and then there are lots of museums who retain reproduction rights of the art in their collection. Of course, there is such a thing as fan art. If I am crazy about for example Van Gogh, I can make a Sunflowers shirt for myself and wear it. But when I make one for you because you are such a big fan of Van Gogh, and you pay me for it, then I cross the line already, even if it's a one-off.

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You want someone to make you a virtual copy of a RL statue, using a photo of the RL statue as a pattern?  That's not breaching copyright.  

Their statue - the virtual one - will be an entirely new and separate piece of art.  The fact that It is based on a RL statue is not relevant, unless they use a copyrighted logo or something on It.

It would be like me drawing a copy of a RL photograph.  If I photographed It, and claimed It was the original, yes, breach of copyright.  Drawing a picture using the photograph as a pattern, no.  It's a new piece of art, a separate creation.

If you send them copies of the book cover photo you mentioned, however, you may well be breaching copyright. I suggest you find a public domain photo of the statue online, or ask the SL statue creator to look at a copy of the book you have.  

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Rosie Eun wrote:

You want someone to make you a virtual copy of a RL statue, using a photo of the RL statue as a pattern?  That's not breaching copyright.  

Their statue - the virtual one - will be an entirely new and separate piece of art.  The fact that It is based on a RL statue is not relevant, unless they use a copyrighted logo or something on It.

It would be like me drawing a copy of a RL photograph.  If I photographed It, and claimed It was the original, yes, breach of copyright.  Drawing a picture using the photograph as a pattern, no.  It's a new piece of art, a separate creation.

If you send them copies of the book cover photo you mentioned, however, you may well be breaching copyright. I suggest you find a public domain photo of the statue online, or ask the SL statue creator to look at a copy of the book you have.  

 

What this would be is a derivitive image and still a violation of the IP rights.  Refer to this article.  The article is about making a painting based on a photo, but he same principle applies here.

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Alright  - as I thought.

Said statue has never been made in RL, as far as I know. I suppose to cover everyone's arses, getting some kind of release from the author of the book, or the author of the person who drew the book's cover can't hurt.

One more question though, would I seek permission to have this thing mad in SL by "anyone who could" thus releasing anyone from copyright laws, or would I have to find a creator, hope like made he/she can do it then have that person named in the copyright...thing?

 

*edited to cover the fact that I'm all thumbs today and can't type properly the first time 'round

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Fan art does not enjoy special treatement under US Law. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_art

"The legal status of derivative fan made art in America may be tricky due to the vagaries of the United States Copyright Act. Generally, the right to reproduce and display pieces of artwork is controlled by the original author or artist under17 USC  § 106. However, fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work. Display and distribution of fan art that would be considered a derivative work would be unlawful."

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The first issue in ethics is not whether it is legal, but whether it is ethical.  What you have in the book cover is a combination of the efforts of several people--the scultptor, the current owner of the statue, the photographer, and the publisher.   They all have some claim to rights in the product.  

You can bypass the last 2 and ask the contact the current owner.  The picture you have on the book cover should have credits showing the current owner.  You can write the owner and ask permission to have a virtual replica made.  You might describe what you want to do with it.  You could use it in private, make public pictures, or make a public video, display it in SL, along with a lecture.  

You probably  would offer to send them copies of any photo or video you make.   You might invite the owner (perhaps a museum) to provide a lecturer if they want.   A museum might view this idea as a modern extension of their display capabilities and therefor welcome your offer.  

If the owner refuses to give or sell you permission for this kind of reproduction, many people would consider it unethical to make the reproduction, even if there is no legal restriction.   

TKR

 

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Hmmm. Any chance this book cover is visible on Amazon or somewhere? I'm thinking that, if we all took a look, somebody could identify a public domain source of something quite similar, from before the artist was born, on the theory that "there is nothing new under the sun."  Then your sculptor could work from the public domain source instead of the book cover.

Of course, if the depicted sculpture is of a contemporary subject -- Justin Beiber holding a cell phone, or anything else since Steamboat Willy -- then so much for Ecclesiastes.

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It's a fuzzy area. Real fuzzy.

An exact reproduction would probably be a copyright infringement if it isn't too old. The key here is to make the new artwork "legally distinct."

But then again, there are some things which are unprotected. There's public domain, There are old artworks. There are images which are so commonplace that nobody will say anything if you do copy them.

Remember the paintings of Campbell's soup cans?I have my doubts that such an artwork would be considered "actionable."

What about the practice in music of slightly changing a beat to a song, to the point that everyone knows where the beat originally came from, but it's JUST different to slip through the legal cracks.

In terms of what you are doing, your best bet is to change the statue significantly to add enough originallity to it that it can pass as it's own original work.

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