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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8107
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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If I trace over an image in a licensed photograph that is

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If I trace over an image in a licensed photograph that is licensed and owned by the photographer, am I in breach of copyright?, which part of the copyright law am I in breach of?

Hello,

I am a solicitor. Do you know the photographer?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I traced over part of the image
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
the image in the photograph is a stone work from a church, so I thought it would be okay

Has the photographer raised any issue?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
not yet, they don't know, I have realised its got a copyright notice
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
its more of a technical question than other, in that can I claim copyright after a tracing over an image in a copyright photo of a historic artefact?

I would argue that you own the copyright in your trace as you have not used the image in itself but for a trace.

May I help further?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
but I have copied over the image in the photographers art work, are you sure?

I cannot be 100% sure as I would need to see your work and the photographers work, but like I said, you may be able to argue that you created your own copyright in your trace work.

If you are in doubt, you should ask the photographer for approval/no objection of your work.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
the shephard fairey case? using an image from a photograph?

I am in the UK, that is an American case. Different laws.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
its a derivative art work, are you saying derivate rules are different in the uk?

Copyright exists in a photograph and it is not covered by any exception (fair dealing/fair use) and so on, but you are not using the photo itself, you created a trace from it.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I traced over the photograph, its exact
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I traced on top of the photograph

If it is exact and people would think it is identical, then yes, you would be in breach of copyright.

May I help further?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
thank you, ***** ***** I thought
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
which part of the copy right act can I look at?

S. 4 defines artistic works which include photographs: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/4

S. 17 talks about infringemnent: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/17

I trust that responses were useful.

All the best

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
thank you, yes. I have been doing some research on this and believe that tracing over an image in a photograph is copyright infringement.

If the work is identical, yes, I would agree. If the work is different e.g. you add other things to it so that it is not identical, then you could argue it is not infringement.

End of the day, only a court can decide who is right. Lawyers simply give their opinions.

Good luck

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