Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania

Q: I'm a war/vintage style artist and I was wondering how can I legally use aircrafts and vehicles in all my prints?

I have been a huge fan of ww1 and ww2 engineering and designs. I love to use military items to create totally new designs that celebrate a famous ship or a plane for example. I also create fictional stories within the ww1/2 era by using famous planes and cars in scenes (like artist James Dietz does so well). My question is do I have to pay a license or ask someone to draw a B17 with a crew and a parked Classic Mercedes next to it? Also, when I use references from books or the internet (for planes, vehicles, patches, nose arts, insignias, uniforms and everything military) I find myself worrying about copying someone else's photo, but a plane is a plane, I cannot modify it if I want to be historically correct. What's your advice on this issue? I love to follow in the footsteps of famous artists that made famous ww1/2 compositions or comic books. Thanks very much.


Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: As long as you aren't lifting the entire image and photo reproducing it no. You may paint a subject already painted--many art students do this. I'm not seeing the concern. If you are painting an aircraft shown in a photo it's not a copyright violation. I believe you may be over thinking this but if you have a specific concern why not ask a copyright lawyer.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.