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Re: Collaged Covers and copyright



It seems like there are a couple of different conversations going on here.
Some people are taling about using other people's work as raw materials
in the creation of another object, and others are talking about actually
reproducing the original work. There are endless variations of this
argument, each with its own intentions and ramifications.

If I buy something, I can physically do whatever I want with it: tear it up,
glue it on something, sell it at a higher price, recycle it, make a doily out
of it, whatever. I can take a thousand bottle caps and make a dress out of
them and sell that dress, if I want to. Coca-Cola does not care. The
difference comes in when I make my own Coca-Cola bottle caps and use
them to make my dresses. I don't have that right. (Though I could probably
get away with it, anyway.)

Or do I? Why didn't Campbell's sue Warhol? He certainly reproduced their
commercial property, but Campbell's definitely did not lose money from his
work. We're talking about making something new here; making art. We're
not talking about appropriating anothers' ideas as our own (especially in
collage, where it's often understood that you're dealing with found objects).
It's more about making a statement about those materials than about claiming
thiose materials as our own. We're not talking about screen-printing Tommy
Hilfiger shirts in a basement and selling them on the streets for $5 each.

I think once the parameters are defined, the answers are pretty straightforward.


C.G. Hipp



> > This, too, is not correct.  You do *not* buy the copyright/license fees when you
> > buy a magazine.  A person can only get permission to use someone else's work
> > through a contractual transfer of those rights.  When you, as an artist, create a
> > work and sell it, unless specified in the bill of sale, the person who purchases
> > your work does not own the copyright.  You, the artist, retain copyright of your
> > work until you sign a contract to transfer that right to someone else.  This
> > protects you.  If the new owner of your artwork takes that artwork and puts it on
> > a t-shirt without obtaining legal ownership of the copyright from you, and makes
> > millions of dollars (this is only an example, not necessarily realistic), he has
> > committed copyright infringement and you can sue him for the profits of which you
> > were deprived.

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