Copyright for photos taken in German museums

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Craig

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Note: There is no distinction made above with respect to "personal" versus "commercial" use.
I will note however, that there is a "fair use" exemption, and that applies to copying materials for the purposes of criticism and reviews ( such as a newspaper or magazine book review), private study and academic use, and for an archive to manage its collection - for example to make a copy available to be read if an original book is too fragile to be handled.

As always, there are guidelines and rules around these uses.
 

Sirius Glass

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I will note however, that there is a "fair use" exemption, and that applies to copying materials for the purposes of criticism and reviews ( such as a newspaper or magazine book review), private study and academic use, and for an archive to manage its collection - for example to make a copy available to be read if an original book is too fragile to be handled.

As always, there are guidelines and rules around these uses.

Hence call all your illegal copies as objects for academic use and the changes them to legal copies. devil with pitch fork 0.png
 

AgX

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If I take a photo of the piece of art, that photograph is my own creation and I am the copyright holder of the photograph - not of the original piece of art; each is considered a separate, original work.

Not in Germany.
A more or less reproductive photo of a work of art is not protected as own creation.
A work of art showing up just as addition in a photograph with a wider topic is not protected as such within that photograph.

Of course this both is prone to discussion, and legal cases...
 

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A more or less reproductive photo of a work of art is not protected as own creation.

Essentially the same exists here in the U.S.; a simple photo of another piece of art would most likely not be considered to be an "original work of authorship" and thus may not be protected by copyright.
 

AgX

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A standard, shadowless photo of a drawing or a painting does not qualify for being creative, but for being technical.

But at a sculpture it likely already becomes difficult the moment you do not put it into a lighting dome...
 

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A recent court decision that confirms the right of a musem to restrict what is going on within their premises, especially already prohibiting the taking of any photographs.
 
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benveniste

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And just as I thought... there is nothing in copyright law preventing the taking of exterior photos of a building in a city and doing with those photos as the photographer pleases.

In the United States and Germany, that's true. It's not true in France, which, for building less than 70 years old, requires licenses for Images shot by an individual person for Commercial purposes. This is why you shouldn't rely on legal advice from random internet posters.

You may safely assume that I'm a random internet poster.
 

AgX

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In the United States and Germany, that's true. It's not true in France, which, for building less than 70 years old, requires licenses for Images shot by an individual person for Commercial purposes.

Basically Europe falls in two groups on this matter, but for any country one has to look at the very legislation (or even court decisions).
 

Duceman

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In the United States and Germany, that's true. It's not true in France, which, for building less than 70 years old, requires licenses for Images shot by an individual person for Commercial purposes. This is why you shouldn't rely on legal advice from random internet posters.

You may safely assume that I'm a random internet poster.

While the title of this thread is in regards to German copyright law, the post of mine which you quoted was in connection with U.S. copyright law only, nothing more.

Carry on.
 

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The building owner owns the right for commercial usage of the building's image. Anyone can take photos or make a drawing of the building, they just cannot sell it commercially without the owner's permission. Another example is the lighting on the Eiffel Tower. The tower itself is not protected, but the lighting scheme is. No commercial usage without permission. Of course, if the building in question is part of a larger cityscape or a skyline, then it is fair game, as long as it is not the obvious focus or subject of the image. Sort of like if you were to take a photo of a celebrity on the street. Then you try to sell it for usage in an ad. No go.

How about Rock & Roll Hall of Fame vs Chuck Gentile?

Gentile made a poster, was sued by them over it and ended up winning. A bit more complicated than that, but it is the general result.



-------------------------

What it comes down to is .... It's Complicated.

As to copyright of photos of displayed artworks - how much Originality is there in your copy work?
 

Pieter12

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As to copyright of photos of displayed artworks - how much Originality is there in your copy work?

As in the RnR museum case, it all comes down to income generated by the image. If you copy a displayed artwork you are technically denying the institution income that would have been made if they also sell reproductions of the artwork in their museum store. The ones who really get screwed there are the artists or their estates who get zilch.
 

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It’s based on trademark registration:


17 USC 120(a) - certain works of architecture may be copyrighted to afford protection in limited circumstances such as protection against misuse by other architects and designers. So generally I’d think making/reproducing selling photos and vid of architecture is not protected by the building owner‘s/rights holder’s copyright - so anyone under this for any purpose (w above exception) seemingly can photograph it, “if the building is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.“ Even the Chrysler building w this analysis.

Exceptions include that certain elements of a building may be copyrightable such as independent works of art connected to it, like gargoyles or frescoes etc. and this may act independent of the statute above.

These trademark protections for the Chrysler Building I think narrow (as all do w the enumerated goods & services, limited to services in connection to the building) but yes there is case law to support wider use of photography and using it commercially on products - as CasperMarly above mentioned, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame v. Gentile Productions, (6th Cir. 1998) didn’t protect the I.M Pie-designed building rights holders from others using images of it like a photographer’s poster, or on t-shirts.

The Wall Street journal had a quickie article at the advent (1998) of what the Chrysler Bldg “wanted” to do w its trademarking enforcement - trump boasted all his buildings were trademark protected precluding movie makers from using them in scene w out a license… back to the first copyright point, it also mentions in 1990 that congress specifically intended/legislated to allow public photography rights as an exception to building copyright. I‘m certainly not an attorney so go see one… https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB897434998149805000
 
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I have a question about US Copyrights. What is copyrighted? For example, if I take two pictures and combine the sky of one with the ground of another, are all three photos mine as far as copyrights are concerned? Is an extremely edited photo a new photo of mine? How does fair use affect what I can do with each of them?
 
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As in the RnR museum case, it all comes down to income generated by the image. If you copy a displayed artwork you are technically denying the institution income that would have been made if they also sell reproductions of the artwork in their museum store. The ones who really get screwed there are the artists or their estates who get zilch.

Assuming the museum or someone else originally paid the artist for their work, why is the artist getting screwed? If I buy a tractor from Caterpillar, do they have rights to the profits I make from food production?
 

momus

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Just talk to the guard or other museum staff about their photo rules. Every museum will have different ideas on this. I don't think it's a problem w/ copyrights, you just need to know the individual museum's rules.
 

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I have a question about US Copyrights. What is copyrighted? For example, if I take two pictures and combine the sky of one with the ground of another, are all three photos mine as far as copyrights are concerned?

The copyrights of all three initially vest with you. The first two photos are original works, while the third is a derivative work of the first two.

Is an extremely edited photo a new photo of mine?

Who took the original photo and who made the edits?

How does fair use affect what I can do with each of them?

If you're referring to your original scenario, fair use is not at play because you held the copyrights to the original photos and if you're the one altering them you hold the copyright to any derivative work. As such, you do not need any permission to do so (or rather the permission is implied as you're the one doing it).
 
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The copyrights of all three initially vest with you. The first two photos are original works, while the third is a derivative work of the first two.



Who took the original photo and who made the edits?



If you're referring to your original scenario, fair use is not at play because you held the copyrights to the original photos and if you're the one altering them you hold the copyright to any derivative work. As such, you do not need any permission to do so (or rather the permission is implied as you're the one doing it).

IS a derivative work of a photo considered a photo? What if it's a derivative drawing of the original photo? Is the copyright for a photo of the derivative or copyright for some other type of art?
 

Duceman

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IS a derivative work of a photo considered a photo? What if it's a derivative drawing of the original photo? Is the copyright for a photo of the derivative or copyright for some other type of art?

Unfortunately, short of visiting (and paying) an attorney with experience in U.S. copyright law, my best advice for you is to read the information put out by the U.S. Copyright Office: https://www.copyright.gov/title17/ Pay close attention to the "definitions" section under Chapter 1.

For works that pertain to photography (visual arts), this can be helpful: https://www.copyright.gov/comp3/chap900/ch900-visual-art.pdf

Or maybe read their Circulars (they're actually quite good): https://www.copyright.gov/circs/

Short of that, see if there is a law school nearby that offers a semester on copyright law, and see if you can audit that course.
 
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Unfortunately, short of visiting (and paying) an attorney with experience in U.S. copyright law, my best advice for you is to read the information put out by the U.S. Copyright Office: https://www.copyright.gov/title17/ Pay close attention to the "definitions" section under Chapter 1.

For works that pertain to photography (visual arts), this can be helpful: https://www.copyright.gov/comp3/chap900/ch900-visual-art.pdf

Or maybe read their Circulars (they're actually quite good): https://www.copyright.gov/circs/

Short of that, see if there is a law school nearby that offers a semester on copyright law, and see if you can audit that course.

That's the problem with the law regarding Copyright. It's very confusing and obscure. It should be simple enough so photographers like us don't have to hire an attorney to figure out what it is. It would be nice to know where we stand before getting sued.
 
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Consult a Lawyer if you need legal advise of any importance to you.

Anyway, artefacts from ancient Egypt are not covered by copyright.

usually copyright protection is over 75 years after the death of the original artist.In case of Egyptian art,You should be on the save side.
 

Duceman

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That's the problem with the law regarding Copyright. It's very confusing and obscure. It should be simple enough so photographers like us don't have to hire an attorney to figure out what it is. It would be nice to know where we stand before getting sued.

Actually, it's not that difficult at all, especially if you take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with a few basic definitions.

As for the "getting sued" which you allude to... that's most likely a tempest in a teapot.
 
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Actually, it's not that difficult at all, especially if you take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with a few basic definitions.

As for the "getting sued" which you allude to... that's most likely a tempest in a teapot.

If it's so clear, why are they fighting about the definition of words in the Supreme Court? For example, when does a derivative work begin and end? When is your work no longer considered derivative?

Derivative work is defined: "A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”."
 
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If it's so clear, why are they fighting about the definition of words in the Supreme Court? For example, when does a derivative work begin and end? When is your work no longer considered derivative?

Derivative work is defined: "A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”."

Commenting on my own post, I think the legal issue is the underlined words, "...as a whole..." Isn't that in the eye of the beholder? When do you cross over that line and where is it? How does an artist know he legally crossed passed the line where it's no longer a derivative work?
 

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Commenting on my own post, I think the legal issue is the underlined words, "...as a whole..." Isn't that in the eye of the beholder? When do you cross over that line and where is it? How does an artist know he legally crossed passed the line where it's no longer a derivative work?

But what if one is third eye blind?
 

MattKing

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Commenting on my own post, I think the legal issue is the underlined words, "...as a whole..." Isn't that in the eye of the beholder? When do you cross over that line and where is it? How does an artist know he legally crossed passed the line where it's no longer a derivative work?

To answer that, someone knowledgeable about the issue compares the facts at hand with the wording of the statute and the interpretations that the courts have provided over the years of how that wording applied to various similar facts.
In most cases, the answer is straightforward - often clearly reported in publicly accessible material. In some quite complex and highly nuanced cases, a deep understanding of the court cases will be necessary. And in the most difficult situations, a court will need to decide.
The need for the interpretations arise because circumstances evolve for a myriad of reasons - the common law has a built in ability to adapt to the changes of time.
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is quickly and easily determined by looking up the issue on the sort of materials referenced by Duceman.
Based on what I know about what Alan does with his photography, I'm confident that Alan will get any answers that he needs from those.
 
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