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Re: [BKARTS] How to sign photographs - a further question



jessica syme wrote:
Hi Jules
Your posting prompted me to ask a question I have been wondering about for a while..in hope someone on the list might have experience with this ..when photographing walls of public graffiti..and then using the photos on/in books, do you have to gain copyright permission from any of the original artists. I have been asked to do a little picture book on "anger" and have found a great wall of public graffiti including bits of writing/verse in between the spray painted images..I would like to use it in a cover design but am uncertain if there are any copyright issues. Can the original graffiti artist pop up and say "Hey, that's my wall art" ... anyone have any experience with this...?
If you used the picture commercially, as in an advertisement, there might be some grounds for a copyright infringement complaint, but I believe that any editorial use would be fair use, especially an illustration for a book. A lot would depend on the nature of the original. If it were clearly a work of art in the sense of being a public mural created by an artist or artists who signed their names, copyright issues would enter. Elements of a wall of collective public graffiti might have some copyright protection, but it would be very difficult to establish a case for infringement of the entire work. Despite this, you should check the exact instance with an expert on copyright law.
Thanks for sharing Anita's photos. I particularly liked the washing over the graffiti in the lane.
I just told her. She was really pleased.

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