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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I make visual art (waveforms) from sound clips such as heart

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I make visual art (waveforms) from sound clips such as heart beats and spoken words and then sell them to the person who commissioned the work.

I am wanting to do the same sort of thing for quotes from films and song clips. The finished piece of art in itself is not identifiable with the original quote / clip but I would like to be able to put the film/song title on the piece of art and/or use the same information on my website to identify the different pieces of art so that the potential customer can search for specific pieces of art.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would like to know if I am able to do the above without getting into trouble over copyright issues. I am making a visual piece of art out of an audio clip taken from a song or film sound track.


The items would be for sale


Provided you do not identify the original work in any way I cannot see that you breach the original person’s copyright. However that is not to say that some pop singer is not likely to see it as a breach of their intellectual property and take you to court over it.

I cannot see how they could possibly win but it would be an extremely expensive court battle. As you appreciate, nothing like this has ever been to court before and therefore you would be making new law and it would be for the court to decide. The only definitive answer I can give you is not to do this although you might want to do it until such time as someone tells you to stop.

With regard to what this would cost you if it did go to court and you lost I think it is likely to be negligible damages (although the legal costs could be high) because the original artist is not doing what you are doing and therefore has suffered no loss.

Can I clarify anything for you?
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