Jun 11 2009

Artistic/Intellectual Property

This morning I came across a post by one of my favorite odd bloggers. In it, she posted pictures of herself that immediately resonated with me. I suddenly knew that I wanted to do pictures like this of myself while I am still pregnant.

But then I started thinking about, firstly, artistic etiquette and, secondly, artistic and intellectual property rights.

The situation is like this: I see an artistic project that I like and that inspires me to want to do something similar, though not identical. I ask a friend to help with a particular, important, and highly visible aspect of the project, and ask another friend to take the photos.

My questions are these: Do I first ask for permission from the original artist(s) to do this project? And then, once the project is done, who does it belong to? Is it the original artist(s)? Is it me, who thought of the new spin and posed for the photos? Is it the friend with the important contribution? Is it the photographer?

Think of it like this- if any of the individuals involved in the project wanted to enter the photos into a show, could each of us enter the same photo separately, siting our particular contribution as the most important aspect? To whom does ultimate credit go? To an individual? To the group?

Is it artistic plagiarism in the first place?

Also- anyone want to help me with a project?


  • By Beth Fish, June 11, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

    I know (at least I think I do) just what you are talking about, and I think you are free to do whatever you want, without permission, possibly unless you are planning to use the same text, in which case I would square with the author first.

    (Am I right?)

  • By ticknart, June 12, 2009 @ 7:53 am

    To the best of my knowledge, and this comes from reading legal stuff about comic books, you own the art you do unless you sign a contract and were properly compensated for it. The original artist does not own the idea behind the art, just the art, so she wouldn't own your project. I think it'd be nice to let her know what you're doing, though.

    The friend that takes the pictures owns the negatives, and can use them in any way she or he sees fit, unless that friend is paid for them or gives them to you as a gift. The photographer doesn't own a piece of your completed project, but it's nice, but not necessary, to give that person credit if the project is shown somewhere.

    The friend who makes an "important contribution" owns a percentage of the final work equal to the work done. In comic books, the inker owns the ink put over the pencil lines, but is compensated and contractually obligated, usually, to give up their ownership rights so the penciler gets the original art unless the contract says that the inker gets a certain percentage of the original pages.

    I know these things can get a lot more complicated than this, but these are the basics as I've come to understand them.

  • By ticknart, June 12, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    Was that any help?

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