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Shooting Artwork - Permission needed?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Herman, May 12, 2010.

  1. Herman

    Herman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Hi everyone. I myself ask permission to shoot and post artwork.
    This morning I got another permission for a gallery shooting.
    Another permission is pending.
    How about the legal side, do we need permission for shooting, are we allowed to post pictures of artwork without permission?
    Comments are welcome, thanks in advance.
     
  2. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Hi Herman,

    I can only reply in relation to belgian law, I do know nothing about international law.

    Photographing objects cq artwork is always permitted if the object cq artwork is in the public domain. If the object/artwork is on private owned location, permission is needed even to photograph it.

    Another thing is to publish those pictures in any form : book, presentation, internet, ... In that case, and certainly if you are going to make money with that publication, written permission by the copyright holder is necessary.
    However, it is up to the copyright holder to find your publication, and to sue you. Some examples are well know in Belgium, of copyright holders that use tools like google to find pictures that infringe their legal rights and sue the publisher : Atomium (Brussels), Tintin Museum (Louvain la Neuve) ...

    An interesting topic in the forum "belgiumdigital", in dutch :

    Is atomium onder copyright ? - Belgiumdigital forum - Digitale fotografie

    I hope this helps !

    C U
    Rafael
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    Rules and laws vary by location but in general if they let you photograph in the gallery usually you can post them online. Often providing credit or link back to gallery is appreciated. The issue is usually in publishing and selling the images which is usually not permitted.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. e-pl1

    e-pl1 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Apr 21, 2010
    fxurdz.

    I didn't ask for permission :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. e-pl1

    e-pl1 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Apr 21, 2010
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I know when my significant other was taking an art class, whe was required to take a picture of the piece of art in question. If it is a public gallery, I'm not if it matters. If it is a private one, I would probably ask first. Even if it is a public gallery, asking might not be bad either.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Herman,
    Those works are in the Public Domain. Generally, this is not an issue with copyright providing you don't reproduce the works for capital gain.
    That being said, any good Lawyer could hit you with an infringement of copyright anytime they want.
    Be careful but don't be afraid.
    In the US, the ASMP has a booklet you can read that explains the Copyright laws.
    International law is very similar with variations on some clauses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    When possible at an art gallery/museum - ask, or read before you go in. Recently at MOMA's (Museum of Modern Art in NYC) Cartier-Bresson exhibit no photos were allowed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    • Like Like x 2
  10. DavidB

    DavidB Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Apr 7, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    f6cvalkyrie made the same mistake earlier in this thread.
    I think you mean "are on public property". There's an important difference:

    If the work is on display in public property, you have implicitly been granted rights to view and to photograph it. Mind you, if you zoom in and take reproduction-style photos of each artwork (consinaphile's example?) you could be in murky territory (especially depending on how you used the photos) but shots such as those shown by e-pl1 that show the artwork installation as a whole are unlikely to be seen to infringe any rights.

    If a work is in "the public domain" that means that no-one owns the copyright (usually because the person who owned the copyright has decided to release it and grant the public all rights to the work).
    This is very different to displaying a copyrighted work on public property!

    Of course, I Am Not A Lawyer but still...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Hi David,

    for us belgians, public domain means everything that is owned by the public : the streets, the public parcs, ...
    This relates to a location, not to copyrights.
    Photographing in public places is always allowed here, but publishing the pictures and certainly making money from that publication, can be restricted in some cases. The Atomium in Brussel is an example of restriction because of copyrights, but also publishing portrets or even pictures of people in the street can be subject to limitations because of what we call the "right on your own image".

    C U,
    Rafael
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. DavidB

    DavidB Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Apr 7, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Just a terminology issue we need to be careful of then.

    In Australia (and I believe the UK and the US) if I was to display my work in a public location it would be wrong to say that my work was part of the public domain! That would be saying that I had given up all rights to my work.

    Cheers
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    David, Raf is correct and that means we even own you too....

    But this brings the issue of the LAW and INTERNATIONAL LAW and INTERPRETATION to the issue.
    It is here that we all get in trouble. Those trying to abide by the law and those trying to enforce the law...
    it's way to ambiguous.
     
  14. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I'm confused. I'm more familiar with patent laws than I am with copyright laws.

    In the US, if a piece of artwork is displayed at a public place, I would assume that the creator still owns the copyright to the artwork.
     
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    DJ,
    You are correct.