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Thread: Celeb photos used in fanarts permissible or infringing?

  1. #1
    Senior Member velasco's Avatar
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    Default Celeb photos used in fanarts permissible or infringing?

    I've been webmasters for various celebrity fansites(unofficial) like Kelly Clarkson and many fanlistings. In our webmaster world, we try to promote our celebs so we circulate and share photographs of them if you aren't aware yet. Thats why fansites have sections called PHOTO GALLERY where we upload photos (professional photos taken included) to share with fellow fans.

    Let's face it, webmasters create fansites to support the artistes, he ain't a photographer. Needless to say, the graphics & layouts will require photographs of the celebs so if he cannot use these photos, should he himself stalk the celebs and take their photos himself?

    On a fansite, you see a layout and obviously the graphics will all made up of celeb photographs. Icons, blends, avatars, headers, signatures are very popular in the West especially in online communities and also here. We use celeb photos and create blends alll in the name of "fandom". Is this crossing the line?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophomo...7606469881789/
    (Here, see what i mean, i use images that i find online to create fanarts)

    Recently, I uploaded alot of my fanarts to Deviantart. My account got suspended and all the pieces were deleted. It says that they donot allow us to use celebrity photographs as part of our works unless with written permission.

    Just wanna hear your take on this.Are you neutral on this or actually allows fans to manipulate photos you took to support the artist? Do we really need to seek permission from every photographer in the West if we wanna do a digital manipulation of Britney or someone really famous or just pluck out photos from these fansites?

    PS: Flaming and arguements aren't invited. Let's create a healthy discussion

  2. #2

    Default Re: Celeb photos used in fanarts permissible or infringing?

    My take is, technically, you would have to have written permission to alter, adapt or manipulate any original piece (photo) and use it in a layout.

    In essence, most fans are breaking the law by what they are doing, but my guess is vary few or hardly any artist/manager would take legal action because they generally know or believe that allowing the fans a certain amount of 'freedom' to live out their fantasies and express their adoration on such forums and sites actually help bolster the popularity ratings of the artist, and therefore increase sales and profits.

    An independent host may, however, decide not to take the risk of allowing such material to be placed on their domains simply to avoid any possibly liability or legal action.

    On the part of the photographers, chances are, they are not concerned because they have already sold the/all rights to the artist.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Celeb photos used in fanarts permissible or infringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by velasco View Post
    Just wanna hear your take on this.Are you neutral on this or actually allows fans to manipulate photos you took to support the artist? Do we really need to seek permission from every photographer in the West if we wanna do a digital manipulation of Britney or someone really famous or just pluck out photos from these fansites?

    PS: Flaming and arguements aren't invited. Let's create a healthy discussion
    You can manipulate whatever you like for yourself, in your own private space.

    But once you share your manipulations on a public and easily-accessible platform like the Internet, you need to be aware of copyright issues, even if it's not-for-profit. It's not a matter of whether you 'really need' to seek permission, but you SHOULD. It's a form of respect. At the very least, try to attribute the source of the images.

    With deviantART, what you agree to (Terms of Use) when you use the site already states this:

    deviantART respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects users of the Service to do the same. At deviantART's discretion and in appropriate circumstances, deviantART may remove Your Content submitted to the Site, terminate the accounts of users or prevent access to the Site by users who infringe the intellectual property rights of others.

    http://about.deviantart.com/policy/service/
    It will help to familiarise yourself with the terms you agree to abide by when you participate in a certain community. Don't click "I Agree" blindly

    Also check out dA's Copyright Policy, it's quite comprehensive in answering the questions you posed.

    Copyright and Your deviantART Submission

    Here at deviantART we respect the rights of all artists and creative people worldwide and we expect our members to demonstrate an equal amount of respect and assist us in creating a beneficial and positive atmosphere for all deviantART visitors and members.

    The bottom line is: Just about anything that is on this site, on the web, on TV, on CD's, on DVD's, in books & in magazines is probably copyrighted by someone.

    http://about.deviantart.com/policy/copyright/

  4. #4
    Senior Member velasco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celeb photos used in fanarts permissible or infringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    My take is, technically, you would have to have written permission to alter, adapt or manipulate any original piece (photo) and use it in a layout.

    In essence, most fans are breaking the law by what they are doing, but my guess is vary few or hardly any artist/manager would take legal action because they generally know or believe that allowing the fans a certain amount of 'freedom' to live out their fantasies and express their adoration on such forums and sites actually help bolster the popularity ratings of the artist, and therefore increase sales and profits.

    An independent host may, however, decide not to take the risk of allowing such material to be placed on their domains simply to avoid any possibly liability or legal action.

    On the part of the photographers, chances are, they are not concerned because they have already sold the/all rights to the artist.
    Yesh i believe so. Personally, if i use the photos i would credit from whatever source I got it from. But as of now, photos are often found at various source. You googled an artist images and you can find 10-20 of the same photo everywhere. Internet and photo storage have made it accessible and possible for images to circulate around and policing is not put to place since its virtually daunting to pick out culprits.

    I used to make myself believe that most artistes pics are "freeware/shareware" and we can manipulate them as long as we credit to respective parties but as I'm more aware now , it is still wrong since we did not seek direct permission.

    However, if you go to livejournal, there are communities which have icon contest , blending contest, layouts all which requires us to work around a celeb photo or a particular fandom like Lost, Prison Break etc.

    In fact, there are sites which provides what they say stock celebrity pictures. I tend to assume selling of rights have occur between the photographers and the artist management of some sort. So we fans are kinda at the receiving end of these goodies while the authorities settle it amongst themselves.

    This rights issue are very complex but so many fans doing it, they tend to desensationalize it and simplify it.

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