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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Copyright questions: If I wish to use a portrait of Queen Elizabeth

Customer Question

Copyright questions: If I wish to use a portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First on the cover of a book I am self-publishing, would that be a copyright infringement ?
I propose to edit her face out and use my own. I have written a book on my family going back to Tudor times and thought the Elizabethan collar and background would be very indicative of the times. I also plan to call the book "Blyth Spirits" (as it is a book about myself and my ancestors), do you think this might also be a copyright/trademark infringement?
Thank you for your reply
Stanley R Blyth
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
The proposed title is not a copyright issue as its a parody.
As far as the portrait is concerned, unless the original is out of copyright ((70 years from the date of death of the creator) you would breach the copyright of the creator of the original portrait and would also potentially be in breach of the "derogatory treatment" provisions of the legislation by using your image in the portrait.
If that is a risk you could simply create a new portrait using your image in the relevant period costume.
Happy to discuss further.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am grateful for your excellent advice, am very pleased that the title is O.K.

I shall accept your advice re the Elizabethan portrait. My daughter will design an appropriate collar.

Many thanks

Stanley Blyth

Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome.

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