Q: I'm an artist who is using portraits from historic photos for which copyright is difficult to determine.
The photos have generally been captured from online sites such as Pinterest or general historic photo searches. Specifically I'm plucking images of people from the internet, printing them on my home computer, physically cutting them out of their original setting and collaging them into bigger art pieces that changes the context of the original image. This also includes some altering of the images, with paint on the surface of the photo - further altering the original photo but in most cases not rendering it unrecognizable from the original photo, if you are familiar with it. My current project is a children's book, which I of course hope to publish. How do I determine fair use before shopping a book around?
You are facing a tough issue. You should definitely talk to an attorney. Also check with an insurance company agent covering copyright violations. They may have some clear cut criteria you can use as a guide.
In general there are several layers of rights. Pintrest and the poster could have copyright rights, even if the picture is outside of protection.
1 user found this answer helpful
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.