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i hadn't really thought about copyright until i was in sixth form on a painting that i had done had won a competition and was displayed in the satya art gallery i was actually quite shocked to win the competition but it did get me thinking about how i would protect my painting considering it would get a lot of publicity from it so when the press contacted us for a picture of the painting we had to give them a low resolution picture so that if someone wanted to try and reproduce it they won't be able to print it in a high quality the painting was loosely inspired by a photograph in a bucket ten years ago and i just remembered the nose so i used it as a starting point and just developed the face and character from there using images as inspiration is something which a lot of artists do and is completely fine to do as long as the image itself isn't copied too closely i mean copyright covers all mediums i mean if a painting can easily infringe on a photograph and vice versa if i'd copied the entire photograph then obviously i had been breaching the photographer the publisher's copyright which as an artist you really don't want to do i'm currently studying photography in the arts at university of wells trinity st david swansey and i've been recently studying appropriation style of art which is basically where you take existing artwork and create something new from it by studying in university it's given me the opportunity to explore appropriation art i'm not creating anything commercial and through the exception of non-commercial research and private studies i'm able to carry on in this medium if i was to do this commercially i guess i would have to seek the copyright on his permission and perhaps license the images just to avoid copyright infringement i do love photography i'm protecting our images in the digital age it's something we learned about at university for me whenever i upload an image to my blog i would usually stamp it with a copyright stamp date it and write my name on it this then would usually deter anyone from using my images without my permission i was approached recently by pride whales for permission to use my images that i took at swansea pride 2014 at singleton park i did give them permission but i did enforce my model right as a photographer creators of literary dramatic musical and artistic works can enforce moral rights to be credited for their work so even if you do sell an image you can still make an agreement that you will always have the right to be acknowledged and ensure the work is not used in an offensive way copyright is an automatic right with no official register so it can be quite difficult to see when work was created and and who created it so it's really important to take note of when your work was created and perhaps dated as well ideally you should give a dated copy of your work to a reliable professional you don't have to do this but it can make things easier if an infringement occurs uh what i tend to do is i post my images on my blog so if i need to i can look back onto my blog and see when the date of the work was created i'm just at the start of my journey to into photography art and i expect the digital medium to be a big player in my career and so protecting my copyright is of massive importance to me
Thanks for your comment Dee Norcott, have a nice day.
- Zonia Lechlak, Staff Member
hi everyone today I want to give you some useful information about copyright and how it will inevitably affect you as an artist I hope you enjoy this video if you do please do subscribe here on YouTube and also consider checking me out over on patreon where I teach lots and lots of parcel techniques copyright is the exclusive rate given to the creator of work to reproduce or make money from that work it includes paintings photographs audio recordings screenplays so long as the work is in a tangible form copyright protection exists the moment you create the work so technically there's nothing else that you need to do to ensure you own the copyright however if you're really worried about others profiting from your work you might want to consider actually registering your copyright and how to do this will differ depending on what country you're in this can be expensive though and for many artists it's just not an option to register each and every piece of work so what can you do if you want to post your work online for example and make sure that no one can steal it well to be honest people can usually find a way to steal things but you can make it harder by ensuring that you only ever upload your work online in low resolution so take your image into Photoshop or something similar and reduce the size only posted up in low resolution this is the main method of deterrence that I use anyone trying to make reproductions from my website or my social media will find that there will increase in size to be very grainy very pure quality so not much luck in making prints from those you can also watermark your images I don't do this one personally as I just prefer to post my work online without that distraction for people to enjoy and anyway a watermark can be quite easily removed on Photoshop so it's not a foolproof method but it is another deterrent that you can use when you post your work online you can mention your ownership of copyright within your post try using the keys Alt + G to make the little copyright symbol on my keyboard that is anyway sure there's an equivalent on PC add this to your posts letting people know and making it more difficult for them to claim ignorance I'm talking about copyright mostly from my experience as a visual artist mostly creating portraits and landscapes if you're working more within the commercial industry you want to make sure that you always use a contract stating the clients a light usage of your work and therefore avoiding any confusion in the future for example when I worked in illustration I would always draw the contract between me and my client of course another thing that I do as I create my work is take progress pictures I take pictures of me with the piece when it's finished all for my posts mostly on social media but it also serves as more proof should I ever need it that I am the sole creator of the work it's such a horrible feeling when someone uses your creative work without asking for permission really does feel like they have physically robbed you and I have find my work on several sites mostly companies selling products with animal pictures on them and I always do make an effort to get my work removed but I do know lots of artists continuing with this struggle to get their work removed from certain companies so having said that here's the other side we as artists need to be sure that we ourselves are not infringing on copyright and causing this same distress to other creatives if you're an artist working from photo reference where do you get them from pixabay is one of the most well known free reference sites where lots of photographers upload their photographs royalty-free for artists to work from because don't forget photographers share the seam copyright protection as we do as artists so if you're using photographs to paint from and then sell the work or make prints and you haven't gained the permission of the photographer and it's not a royalty-free photograph then you're stealing and that's just a legal fact now whether anyone will find out if you do it is another matter and maybe that's where it becomes more of a moral issue and you need to decide whether you care about this enough but of course all art is theft in a way we copy and replicate as part of our practice and if you're using it for practice that's okay but as soon as you try to sell it or profit from it in any way you're infringing someone's copyright so search for royalty-free photographs if you don't want to pay to use a photograph but here's the downside to that each time I searched on pixabay many of the photographs already remind me of two or three paintings that I've seen already and in a world where you want to try and make your art stand out from the crowd that's not really going to help it my best advice is to try and take your own reference images where possible as obviously then you will own every part of your image now I too love painting wild animals and I do go out with my camera but I'm not a professional photographer so sometimes I enlist the help of the pros too but instead of searching for a free reference I contact some of my favorite photographers and I offer them a fee for use of their image I explain to them that I want to create an original work to sell I may also want to create prints and if their fee is reasonable to me I pay it then I have permission to use a wonderful photograph and I've also supported another creative person sometimes a photographer has even given me permission for free just because they really appreciate it be asking for the permission in the first place while it's great to make use of images that you find online for practicing I always try and encourage people to even and make those images their own composition is such a huge part of a painting and if you only ever copy other people's photographs then you never really give yourself a chance to start at that very beginning process in a painting way before the rendering stages sometimes the main element that I need from another photographers photograph will be the animal so for example in some of my hair paintings I've made use of another photographer for the animal and then I've used some of my own reference shots for the flowery backgrounds for example and I have some videos on my youtube channel here which show you how I change the background successfully another area these days that has become important to know about is in copying from another artists tutorial if you use a tutorial to create a work of art then technically you do not own the copyright you must not sell it make prints of it enter it in a competition or in any way claim that you own the creative work these works are designed for practice purposes only but of course it's fine to share them on your social media just try to always link back or give credit to the original tutorial it's not that you can't show it to people it's just that you mustn't profit from it so if you're entering competitions you really need to read their small print and make sure that your work is eligible for example one Facebook group that I love the Apostle Society of America actually prohib
Thanks Emerson your participation is very much appreciated
- Zonia Lechlak
About the author
I've studied sociology of music at Saint Joseph's College of Maine in Standish and I am an expert in environmental chemistry. I usually feel giddy. My previous job was preschool administrator I held this position for 10 years, I love talking about ceramics and lawn darts. Huge fan of Isaak Presley I practice snorkeling and collect antique.