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Ed Buziak

US stamp featuring photo of monument nets sculptor $650,000

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Here's an article about a sculptor awarded $684,845 against the US Post Office who used a design based on a photograph of the sculptor's original work!

 

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/09/29/fair-use-sculptor-gets-650-000-from-photograph-of-his-work?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=news-list&utm_medium=text&ref=title_0_1

 

Ouch!

Edited by Ed Buziak

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Survival of the fattest indeed.

I don't think that would get anywhere in Europe. Certainly not the UK, where photographing a public sculpture doesn't infringe its copyright.. Just as well or one or two of my best sellers wouldn't be.

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ED Buziak a NEWBIE nahhh.

 

I remember Ed from way back. Must be in the 1970s when I was a regular reader of Practical Photography mag seeing images and words by the man himself.

 

Come on forum admin make Ed a member at least.

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell

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He's not long to wait. I think it goes to 'member' at 10 posts.

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The most interesting thing about this is that the photographer of the work appears to have received over $6m in royalty payments from the US Post Office, which has in turn made over $17m in profit (not turnover) from this one stamp and merchandise based on the image. So they've done cards and envelopes and posters and probably T-shirts as well. I would say Ali's photograph, using the fallen snow and the contrast, constituted a valid new work as it is not simply a copy of the sculpture but uses environmental conditions and light unique to the photograph. And the sculptor does not seem to have pursued the photographer, either, presumably respecting that. The case seems to have been that the USPS made a vast sum in turnover and profit and the sculptor was originally offered $5,000.

 

But he finally got a sum based on 10% of the photographer's royalties, and that was $640,000 - which gave the photographer surely one of the best paid single image sales in all history.

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