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Started by indlovubill on Nov 26, 2016 9:36:14 PM
Work of Art Copyright

If someone commissions a painting who owns the copyright, the artist or the commissioner?

thismorning - 26 Nov 2016 21:58:04 (#1 of 25)


tasselhoff - 26 Nov 2016 22:01:25 (#2 of 25)

I'm not sure anyone owns the artist or the commissioner (although the former could be said to be under the yoke of the latter). Best just sticking to the copyright.

soz for weak attempt at humour

Hilary - 26 Nov 2016 22:06:42 (#3 of 25)

You mean we are living in an age in which a work of art can be mechanically reproduced?

Paperchaingeis - 26 Nov 2016 22:18:30 (#4 of 25)

More the right of the author to be associated with the work, kind of thing.

Perhaps the question is about intellectual property: as a matter of general principle whose is it, the commissioner or the producer? All my experience in industry suggests to go with the commissioner on this.

indlovubill - 26 Nov 2016 22:43:47 (#5 of 25)

That was my understanding, Paperchaingeis . I commissioned a painting, paid quite a lot of money for it, and the artist is selling prints on the internet.

TommyDGNR8 - 26 Nov 2016 22:50:53 (#6 of 25)

Copyright, unless specifically transferred as part of the commission, remains with the artist; it's been the basis of the photographic studio business for well over a century.

Paperchaingeis - 26 Nov 2016 22:53:26 (#7 of 25)

That's good information, TDG

indlovubill - 26 Nov 2016 23:13:52 (#8 of 25)

Thanks, Tommy that would indeed seem to be the case.

thismorning - 26 Nov 2016 23:50:29 (#9 of 25)

What if the art work commissioned is for a book cover?

Profits from the book going to the author who holds copyright for the text. Nut the cover of the book is the best part of the book. Not that this has ever happened to me of course. At least not in the past 2 months. ((Bromio))

uranrising - 27 Nov 2016 06:40:59 (#10 of 25)

Doesn't it depend on the contract i.e. on the agreement between artist and commissioner?

When you look at the copyright page of a book, sometimes it's the artist who owns the copyright, sometimes the commissioning publisher.

Bromio - 11 Jul 2017 22:10:43 (#11 of 25)

Ha! (((thismorning)))

invicta - 11 Jul 2017 22:21:10 (#12 of 25)

It depends where you are, Bill. US copyright has the concept of "Work made for Hire" which transfers the copyright wholly to the commissioner or employer at the time of commission, but in UK and EU the law is rather different.

Speaking as someone who commissions a lot of (musical) works - it doesn't serve anyone's best purposes not to assign the copyright properly at the time of commission. All you're doing is storing up some legal aggro for further down the line, and it generally becomes much more intense when there are actual monies to be divided.

brooklyn - 01 Aug 2017 14:19:58 (#13 of 25)

not a "copyright" matter: but who should own this work of art?

the tomb, I suppose. 'tis a shame, though, that it won't be on display anymore.

these stolen art cases are very intriguing. the best question here, though, may be this: how could the Met not figure out the provenance of as lovely (and no doubt expensive) and acquisition as this?

Bromio - 01 Aug 2017 16:25:11 (#14 of 25)

Wasn't the Met's job to establish provenance. That was down to Sotheby's and at that time the big houses and especially Sotheby's were being very lax about provenance. $90,000. Would expect it to reach at least $2m today.

brooklyn - 01 Aug 2017 21:34:06 (#15 of 25)

interesting. well, I'll glad if my friendly local museum off the financial hook.

I know this ADA Bogdanos. interesting character. he's a lt. colonel in the Marine Corps reserves, and though in his 50s (if not a little more) is an avid boxer. in the Iraq War he was in charge of a unit that scoured the country for threatened artifacts.

TinyMcOtter - 01 Aug 2017 21:45:21 (#16 of 25)

I'm not a lawyer, but in my experience copyright resides with the artist unless specifically agreed otherwise.

When I have commissioned photographers, illustrators and so on for publications, the copyright has always remained with the creator.

The only time this changed, was when the artwork was created by an in-house employee, using predominantly company equipment.

indlovubill - 01 Aug 2017 23:01:08 (#17 of 25)

I'm not a lawyer, but in my experience copyright resides with the artist unless specifically agreed otherwise.

That would seem to be the case even if you commission (and pay for) the work. Which is good because patents you have to pay for copyright you don't.

Bromio - 11 Sep 2017 19:55:05 (#18 of 25)

indlovubill - 11 Sep 2017 20:10:24 (#19 of 25)

Thanks for that link, Bromio.

Bromio - 11 Sep 2017 20:19:49 (#20 of 25)

No problem.

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