[thelist] Ethical issues concerning re-use (and heavy modification) of images

James S. Huggins (Evolt) Evolt at ZName.com
Thu May 9 08:54:00 CDT 2002

Thanks for your input - you've certainly given me food for thought. For the
record I'm based in the UK but I iagine copyright laws here are similar to
the States.

Yes, and no.

For example, in the US, the right of Congress to grant a copyright is
expressly stated in our Constitution. And, it also provides both a reason
for that right (advancing progress) and a limitation on that right (that
copyrights should be of limited duration). This (MAY) result in
Constitutional limitations and there is an important lawsuit over just
exactly this right now that will be heard by our Supreme Court (challenging
the EXTENSION of existing copyrights).

In addition, the US does NOT have a history of "artists rights", but instead
has a "first sale doctrine". That is, if I buy your work, I can then do with
it pretty much what I want, except that I can't copy it. For example, if you
a million dollar sculpture that I hate, in the US I can buy it and then do a
media event in which I roll a steamroller over it to destroy it. My right as

I'm certain that it is fair
use to take a photograph someone else has drawn and draw a picture based on
the composition of something in that photograph.

Don't be so sure.

See THIS article for VERY similar cases in which the court ruled that it was
NOT fair use.


James S. Huggins


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