Am I being sued?!!!????

Trever1t

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Is it possible for a curator to sue for copyright infringement of an artist's work? (Curator not being the copyright holder?)
 

Derrel

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Keith will eventually get around to commenting, but I am going to say NO.
There is some issue with the fact that SHE is in Israel and you are also not in the US. And neither are you. Therefore US copyright laws cannot be enforced.

On top of that your PHOTOGRAPH of the original work of art is not a copy of it. It is another artist's rendition and while it contains the original statue, it is not a copy of it in any way.
You are also in no way claiming that the original statue is your work, you are only claiming that the photograph of the statue and it's surroundings are your work.
I would tell the sender that you "eagerly await the contact of their US attorney. Have a nice day."

Sounds about right. YOU CREATED an ENTIRELY NEW work, in an entirely different medium...there is zero chance that the two would be confused in the minds of any buyer...you are not bound by US laws...the people who sent the letter are not lawyers, but are merely threatening you. They say what you did was, "Ugly"??? Oh....how very weak and wishy-washy. Ludicrous as well. My gut feeling is that this letter is what most people would call "bull-puckey". A lot of people have big egos and tiny brains. I would not worry about this "letter". I am not a lawyer (thank heavens for that blessing....they are scum...).
 

mjhoward

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Keith will eventually get around to commenting, but I am going to say NO.
There is some issue with the fact that SHE is in Israel and you are also not in the US. And neither are you. Therefore US copyright laws cannot be enforced.

On top of that your PHOTOGRAPH of the original work of art is not a copy of it. It is another artist's rendition and while it contains the original statue, it is not a copy of it in any way.
You are also in no way claiming that the original statue is your work, you are only claiming that the photograph of the statue and it's surroundings are your work.
I would tell the sender that you "eagerly await the contact of their US attorney. Have a nice day."

Sounds about right. YOU CREATED an ENTIRELY NEW work, in an entirely different medium...there is zero chance that the two would be confused in the minds of any buyer...you are not bound by US laws...the people who sent the letter are not lawyers, but are merely threatening you. They say what you did was, "Ugly"??? Oh....how very weak and wishy-washy. Ludicrous as well. My gut feeling is that this letter is what most people would call "bull-puckey". A lot of people have big egos and tiny brains. I would not worry about this "letter". I am not a lawyer (thank heavens for that blessing....they are scum...).

Im not saying they're not firing blanks, but US copyright law DOES protect the copyright holder of that piece against "derivative works", which includes photographs of statues. Only the copyright holder can authorize a derivative work.
 

Steve5D

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Quite honestly, I don't see what the problem is. Someone doesn't like the fact that the name of the work was changed. Okay, I can understand that. Think how pissed off Zeppelin would be if someone decided to rename "Houses Of The Holy" and call it "Little Church Ditties".

But they've informed you that they're going to contact an attorney, and that you would hear from them. Okay, so wait and see what they, or their attorney, has to say. Doing anything else, including taking the photo down, is premature. There's certainly nothing to indicate that you're being sued. Someone talking to an attorney is an ocean away from suing someone, so don't sweat it.

I wouldn't send them a thing, or contact them in any way. They told you that you would hear from them. Okay, then wait for that...
 

unpopular

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Sounds about right. YOU CREATED an ENTIRELY NEW work, in an entirely different medium...there is zero chance that the two would be confused in the minds of any buyer...

Nope see Reece v. island Treasure Art Gallery, inc:

NATIVE HAWAIIAN LAW SUMMARIES: RECENT CASES

The court did rule in favor of the defendant, but not because copyright hadn't been infringed, but rather because damages could not be proven.
 
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Tight Knot

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Quite honestly, I don't see what the problem is. Someone doesn't like the fact that the name of the work was changed. Okay, I can understand that. Think how pissed off Zeppelin would be if someone decided to rename "Houses Of The Holy" and call it "Little Church Ditties".

But they've informed you that they're going to contact an attorney, and that you would hear from them. Okay, so wait and see what they, or their attorney, has to say. Doing anything else, including taking the photo down, is premature. There's certainly nothing to indicate that you're being sued. Someone talking to an attorney is an ocean away from suing someone, so don't sweat it.

I wouldn't send them a thing, or contact them in any way. They told you that you would hear from them. Okay, then wait for that...

Hi Steve,

What you say makes sense, however I have removed the image from my website. As far as changing the name goes, it's quite funny, but that is just the name I saved the photograph under, not knowing what it was. SmugMug uses the saved names of the images unless another title is given.
I could understand the artist being upset at the name "change", and therefore took it down. However, I still feel it is largely a feminist issue, as in the same group of photos, I had another one of 3 sculptures together, titled "3 sculptures in Park Karmiel" which the "curator" did not mention at all. The fact that I was so nasty to do this "ugly deed" of taking something called "She" and calling it "Reflection MAN" and therefore changing it's gender, must have ticked her off. And the worst part is, If I had known it was called "She", that is exactly what I would titled the photo.
I believe women are far superior to most men in a lot of ways.
 
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Tight Knot

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Sounds about right. YOU CREATED an ENTIRELY NEW work, in an entirely different medium...there is zero chance that the two would be confused in the minds of any buyer...

Nope see Reece v. island Treasure Art Gallery, inc:

NATIVE HAWAIIAN LAW SUMMARIES: RECENT CASES

The court did rule in favor of the defendant, but not because copyright hadn't been infringed, but rather because damages could not be proven.
Hopefully if there is an issue, they will see the same thing here, that A. There are no damages, B. I made no profit from this in any way, and C. That it really was nothing more than a totally innocent mistake.
 

unpopular

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^^ I agree. The letter from the "curator" doesn't really make any sense. I wouldn't be surprised if you get a letter in a few days demanding some completely outrageous amount, followed by some vague legal threats.

It seems also very strange to me that the curator would contact you like this, rather than their legal representation. I don't think the curator would have the authority to represent the museum like this.

The whole thing just seems weird.

As for derivative work, I think that there is room for appropriation:

I photographed these Wayne Porter sculptures

5934561635_cba307994e_b.jpg


Certainly I don't own the likeness of the sculpture, but does the composition add enough to be transformative enough that I own the image? I do not believe the two sculptures were intended to be one contiguous piece, and I feel the landscape plays a vital role to the image.

But what about this image of, and perhaps more accurately, consisting of another Porter Sculpture:

5935123442_643f2dd488_b.jpg


Certainly, my interpretation of this sculpture varies significantly from Mr. Porters' intent and vision, and if one were not familiar with the sculpture, it would be unlikely that the two would correlate. Only two of the five fingers were used in the image, and major, defining elements are missing. Furthermore the juxtaposition creates a sense of ambiguous scale, while the scale in the sculpture is an extremely pronounced element.

http://portersculpturepark.com/porter2/content/images/large/pain_and_joy.jpg

Again, I don't own the likeness of the sculpture - but is this image "transformative enough" to call my own?

---

really, copyright law is a cluster**** of vagueness, and this "transformative" take on derivative work is almost like something taken out of existential philosophy or art theory class. I think it's important that artists are permitted to appropriate, as this is a core foundation to contemporary Western philosophy and the beliefs we hold. But how one may use appropriation and how it fits into fair use and copyright is yet to really be established firmly.
 
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fwellers

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I will stick with the simple:
1) Photo taken from public place
2) I am not using it as any advertisement, but just editorial.
=
I am safe from the retards and lawyers.
I will continue to refuse to make my non-pro camera hobby into a complicated legal issue.
 

unpopular

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Certainly us "non-pros" have it easy in the copyright department. You're very unlikely to get into any copyright issues at all so long as you press the shutter and never sell the photograph - even if it were infringement, there wouldn't be any damages - especially as far as I know, a photograph could never, ever be called a "mechanical reproduction" of a sculpture, and even less so a building - it would always be derivative.

OTOH, for those who do sell their work it gets very complicated.
 

fwellers

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Certainly us "non-pros" have it easy in the copyright department. You're very unlikely to get into any copyright issues at all so long as you press the shutter and never sell the photograph - even if it were infringement, there wouldn't be any damages - especially as far as I know, a photograph could never, ever be called a "mechanical reproduction" of a sculpture, and even less so a building - it would always be derivative.

OTOH, for those who do sell their work it gets very complicated.

Even though I am not a pro, I also will sell any photo I take if someone wants to buy it, and still only apply my two rules.
It may yet never be an issue for me, because nobody is knocking down the doors to buy anything from me. :)))
 

KmH

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Certainly us "non-pros" have it easy in the copyright department. You're very unlikely to get into any copyright issues at all so long as you press the shutter and never sell the photograph - even if it were infringement, there wouldn't be any damages -
There don't have to be any monetary damages, which is in part what statutory damages are all about.

However it doesn't do the copyright owner much good to sue someone that can't pay the statutory award.

Selling photos is not always considered a commercial use. Selling photos may also be considered an editorial usage.

The bottom line is, it's not as cut and dried as, say, traffic laws.

Plus a lot of copyright infringement disputes never make it to court, because a settlement is made before it gets that far.
 

Derrel

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Quite honestly, I don't see what the problem is. Someone doesn't like the fact that the name of the work was changed. Okay, I can understand that. Think how pissed off Zeppelin would be if someone decided to rename "Houses Of The Holy" and call it "Little Church Ditties".

But they've informed you that they're going to contact an attorney, and that you would hear from them. Okay, so wait and see what they, or their attorney, has to say. Doing anything else, including taking the photo down, is premature. There's certainly nothing to indicate that you're being sued. Someone talking to an attorney is an ocean away from suing someone, so don't sweat it.

I wouldn't send them a thing, or contact them in any way. They told you that you would hear from them. Okay, then wait for that...

Exactly. They threatened you. ANYBODY can type out the words, "my lawyer" and then slap a vague threat behind those two words. But, you've apparently already caved. No worries.
 

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