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When is 'inspiration' copyright theft?
#1
I'm looking for advice on the legalities of using material for inspiration and reference, such as street photography that could be used to recreate a digital representation which contains more than a passing resemblance to the original photograph.

I initially thought using images found on 'royalty free' websites would be tolerated, but more often than not these images have usage fees (which begs the question what does 'royalty free' even mean?) so where do we go for our inspiration and reference sources? When is a digital painting that has been 'inspired' by someone else's photograph, a blatant copy? Where's the line?

Quite often with digital artist software we see portraits of celebrities which have clearly been copied from a photograph, or simply the photograph has been used for manipulation, such as having an oil paint filter applied. Is this not copyright theft too?

Views and opinions very welcome.

[edit] A more in-depth search using terms like 'free to use images' garnered much better results, such as Pixabay, but I'd still be interested in others' views on the subject
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#2
I think it was sallyanne that showed me this one.
http://www.google.ca/advanced_image_search
then at very bottom option, select the very last option.
And you'll get images that are free to use, double check the image's source though...most of the time it's dead on about the free to use part....but rarely they guess wrong so double check...
That's what i use to get images for my collages.
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#3
I'm Not a Layer(*), but:

- You have a priori very little public exposure so they won't notice you and your work
- If your work is shown on the web, your host will just get a "take down" notice.
- It all depends on how recognizable the original art is, what ratio of the picture it represents and how much of the picture depends on it.

So, all in all, don't worry.

Edit: (*) I meant "Lawyer" of course. Too many forum posts tend to burn "layer" in your fingers.
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#4
Thanks for the replies both of you. trandoductin, I'll take a look at the advanced imaged search, but I think I hit the jackpot with Pixabay - their search engine returns great results, and ones that actually match your terms (unlike the 'royalty free images' websites), and they state categorically that their images are free to use for whatever purpose, even commercial. They even note that no credit is required.

Ofnuts, you pretty much share my thoughts on the subject, but with somewhere like Pixabay it's comforting as it removes any possible guilty feelings you may have about using others' work.
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#5
I have no guilt... But then when I take a picture on the web it's as an example for a question in the forum. For my own "art" I have a camera. Things are much easier when you take the pictures for the purpose.

Two hours of photography, 8 hours of Gimp'ing:

   
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#6
I would (and do) use my own photos when practical, but depending on what kind of piece I'm working on that's not always the case. At the moment my interest is fired by neon-lit streets at night, but hopping on a plane to Japan just to shoot off a few snaps isn't really practical  Big Grin
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#7
(02-09-2017, 03:34 PM)Ofnuts Wrote: I have no guilt... But then when I take a picture on the web it's as an example for a question in the forum. For my own "art" I have a camera. Things are much easier when you take the pictures for the purpose.

Two hours of photography, 8 hours of Gimp'ing:

ahahha i just realized that one your profile on gt is of a usb now... I always thought it was some kind'a art representing a robot..it looks like a robot's face...one of my USB has the mouth hole and the other one doesn't.
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#8
You Can Now Use 375,000 Images from the Met Museum for Free
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection#...pageSize=0
actually 441,143 records
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