Artistic Freedom VS Copyright - Artist Forum
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post #1 of Old 05-06-2015, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Artistic Freedom VS Copyright

Hey friends - thought I would start a conversation about copyright and freedom of the artist.

There are a few examples I know of -
most recently the lawsuit by Glen Friedman VS Mr Braiwash.
Heres Friedmans photo

...and one of Mr Brainwash's subsequent works


yes clearly he was using the original image - BUT it is different no?
a Judge ruled against brainwash.

It is of particular interest to me, (perhaps for obvious reasons) but could Andy Warhol do his work today? apparently not.

IE if I want- as an artist- to draw Led Zeppelin in 1976 - Im screwed. Because since a photographer owns all the images they pretty much own the IDEA of Led Zeppelin in 1976, no?

Since Glen OWNS this image of Run DMC - I figure he has benefitted from not only his photographic skill, but also from every bit of work Reverend Run and his partners have done.

Heres my choppy idea of a truly transformative work with Glen getting the glory he deserves.
Glen DMC.



think the judge will like this one better?
thoughts?
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post #2 of Old 05-06-2015, 06:21 PM
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It's different to a point but it is an obvious copy and I think that is where the problem lies with that particular piece.

Did you know that Andy Warhol did, indeed, get sued for his use of somebody elses photographs and from that point on he was basically forced to take up photography and use his own photographs to work from?

LOL Jeff. I had to laugh at your version.

I do understand the frustration actually on both sides. From a photographer side (albeit amateur) I understand what it takes to get those photos and how proud the photographers can be of them..just like any piece of art. I understand that if somebody takes one of their photographs and copies it in a drawing yet doesn't give them credit or even monetary compensation (if the artist sells the piece) then that is a hard pill to swallow. I see no issues with the copyrighting of photography as the photographer SHOULD have the right to say what is done with their photograph.

On the other hand..as an artist..I understand the frustration that goes along with not being able to draw really awesome photographs unless permission is given to do so. I think that is why so many artists turn to taking their own pictures in order to be able to draw what they want.

I think the major issues are when artists copy photographs without permission and then not only promote their works but also make big profits off them and the photographer is left with nothing. Yes I understand the work that went into it on the artist side but on the flip side..the original photographer spent a lot of time and money so that the artist could profit off them.

It's an ugly double edged sword.




Last edited by chanda95; 05-06-2015 at 10:16 PM.
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post #3 of Old 05-06-2015, 10:33 PM
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You hit on the head Chanda.



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post #4 of Old 05-07-2015, 01:26 AM
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I'm not sure about all the ins and outs of the copyright laws.. But I think that this "rendering" is actually photomanipulation. I could be wrong.. but the "drawing" looks too perfect IMO. If this is photomanipulation.. then I would think it should not be aloud.

The best way IMO to get around the vast array of the copyright laws is to definitively change the work (I assume painting or drawing) that you are doing. For example.. turn the head some.. etc etc etc. I would NEVER use the exact pose as Mr Braiwash did. A person's face can't be copyrighted.. so had he done these individually.. and not with the clothing (I don't mean naked.. I mean the poses.. LOL!).. he probably wouldn't have had an issue. But it was the exact photograph..

Not So Smart!

D
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post #5 of Old 05-07-2015, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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I really think that the photographer walks a fine line between art and documentation.
An artist is different than a documentarian. Im beginning to think that if a person with a camera takes steps to set up his photo so that he/she is creating something new - that can clearly qualify as an art form. - However - if this is a matter of looking and clicking (especially of a public figure)- then we are doing documentation IMO. I didnt create Run DMC, I was just there with them to click a photo. I went to a concert and now own many images of Angus Young. (for sale)
- as it is, if I click a photo of a superstar in an airport, I now have COMPLETE CONTROL over any and all future images which may have derived from my click.
...and Run DMC or Angus Young or their fans cant say dick. It belongs to me.

Now, all of this being said, I do believe that Bushcraftonfire is correct, in that its fairly clear that Brainwash traced over a projected image + these were on flyers he was handing out to promote his show.
I believe this is one of the actual artworks ..


I personally would change the image simply because the transfer of my eye to my hand is not perfect, therefore it will be (somewhat) different, but...Still - is this not transformative? Even with using a projection - I think this is different enough to be valuable. He is making a comment about Run DMC...not Glen Friedmans photographic abilities.

I also have an issue because - Glen is making cheese for his cracker, not by virtue of his exceptional ability, but because the guys he clicked are extremely famous.
Which to me is fine, but hey dont fricking SUE me just because I LIKE THEM TOO.

also there is the glaring fact that - even bereft of his lawsuit win over Brainwash, I imagine Glen didnt really suffer lost income, or harmed sales of his prints, and in fact BENEFITTED from Brainwash working from his photo and the subsequent publicity.

Last edited by Jeff; 05-07-2015 at 10:16 AM.
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post #6 of Old 05-07-2015, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I have to say that the artist in me says "Oh, you say Im not supposed to draw that, eh?!! ...snicker snicker. " Now THATS some artistic motivation.
+ Usually artists only get sued after they achieve tons of success and are over-rated and overpaid.

Therefore, please. Sue me.
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post #7 of Old 05-07-2015, 09:24 AM
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All good points Jeff. Good conversation. I'm afraid I don't have anything to add pro or con to this copyright dilemma but it is interesting and thought provoking.



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post #8 of Old 05-07-2015, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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We tell the papparazzi that they have artistic freedom to sell images of stars, because thats the price of fame, the star is now in the public eye and has willfully given up some privileges of privacy that most people enjoy.
You have agreed to be in the public domain.

We give these guys so much artistic freedom that somehow its not only legal to photograph someone without their permission, its also legal to literally stalk them hoping to get that click when they are at their most vulnerable.
So why on earth does the public domain and artistic freedom suddenly end at Gus's smartphone camera?

Deniro doesnt own the image of himself that Gus just took, AND somehow Gus can sue me if I draw Robert from his camera phone photo. Thats BS.

Last edited by Jeff; 05-07-2015 at 10:37 AM.
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post #9 of Old 05-07-2015, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "[T]here are certain materials – the air we breathe, sunlight, rain, space, life, creations, thoughts, feelings, ideas, words, numbers – `not subject to private ownership. The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival."[
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
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post #10 of Old 05-07-2015, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushcraftonfire View Post
I'm not sure about all the ins and outs of the copyright laws.. But I think that this "rendering" is actually photomanipulation. I could be wrong.. but the "drawing" looks too perfect IMO. If this is photomanipulation.. then I would think it should not be aloud.

The best way IMO to get around the vast array of the copyright laws is to definitively change the work (I assume painting or drawing) that you are doing. For example.. turn the head some.. etc etc etc. I would NEVER use the exact pose as Mr Braiwash did. A person's face can't be copyrighted.. so had he done these individually.. and not with the clothing (I don't mean naked.. I mean the poses.. LOL!).. he probably wouldn't have had an issue. But it was the exact photograph..

Not So Smart!

D
I disagree to some extent, as It wasnt the exact photograph. It was an interpretation of a piece of the photo. The piece was even revised to have paint dripping from the bottom, incinuating the graffiti/ street art revision of the original. Theres no brick background. theres much less detail.

The question is, did Brainwash change it enough to be something new?
I would argue yes. Its not as if he just started printing Glens photo to t-shirts and started selling them.

..and sure, If Brainwash had copied the brick background and left out the Rap icons, Glen wouldnt really care. Hmmm, now why is that?
Because music fans pay for images of their cultural heros. (Not because of the skill of the shutter-bug, but because of the cultural legacy of the person in front of the camera.

Last edited by Jeff; 05-07-2015 at 12:48 PM.
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