Friday, April 04, 2008

Image Copyright

Earlier this week, I was asked by a client if they had image rights to a caricature that was purchased from a street vendor. After searching and searching for the answer, I called the U.S. Copyright Office. Their response was that the street artist owns the copyright and person who purchased the caricature has to get permission from the artist in order to use the print. Well then, how can the purchaser find the artist? Go wandering the streets of the same city in the hopes that they may run into him or her? Unlikely. Instead, they need to make a Good Faith Effort into locating the artist. The referenced link gives multiples locations to look for the original creator.

Good Faith Effort does not mean that if the owner posts the caricature after trying to locate the artist and failing, they are free to use the image as wanted. For specific copyright laws, go to The United State Copyright Office. If you can't find the answer, do what I did, and call 202-707-5959.

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