Jump to content
Ed Rooney

Large Street Murals?

Recommended Posts

There must be an issue with copyright here surely?

 

By the way I have an image of a large street Muriel but she won't let me post it here. :)

 

Allan

 

My understanding Allan, at least here in the USA, you can photograph most public art and put your own © on it as long you are showing more than just a flat copy of the art.....such as a person walking by or how it relates to the surroundings.  I know the famous Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) outdoor sculpture of the large cherry on the spoon, has prohibitions on stock sales of the art piece but it is on private property and cannot be viewed from public property.  All the murals posted here seem to be viewed on public property, these artists must know that their art will be reproduced, and in many cases, for profit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

There must be an issue with copyright here surely?

 

By the way I have an image of a large street Muriel but she won't let me post it here. :)

 

Allan

 

My understanding Allan, at least here in the USA, you can photograph most public art and put your own © on it as long you are showing more than just a flat copy of the art.....such as a person walking by or how it relates to the surroundings.  I know the famous Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) outdoor sculpture of the large cherry on the spoon, has prohibitions on stock sales of the art piece but it is on private property and cannot be viewed from public property.  All the murals posted here seem to be viewed on public property, these artists must know that their art will be reproduced, and in many cases, for profit.

 

 

minneapolis-sculpture-garden-with-spoonb

 

Spoonbridge can be viewed from the street.

 

wim

 

edit: layout.

Besides I'm pretty sure the sculpture garden is now a public park. This however is from the street between the Walker and the Garden.

 

edit2: Just looked and found there are at least 4 RF images of this on Alamy. Not a very wise thing imho. Some are by very reputed stock shooters.  Oops.

Edited by wiskerke
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to avoid public art for both legal and moral reasons.

 
How would photographers feel if I went to Google images, downloaded a copyright image and photoshopped it into a photo illustration occupying perhaps 1/2 of the area of the photo illustration? This is the same thing as making a photograph of a copyright street mural also containing the building and passers by.
 
Copyright for public art usually remains with the artist and should be cleared with the artist. A property release from the  owner of the building only releases the building, not the art thereon. The owner of the building may not realize it, but he is usually in no position to release the mural unless he has an agreement with the artist beforehand.
 
As a stock photographer claiming to own copyright of a photograph of an unreleased street mural for commercial purposes, you are ultimately responsible for any blowback from the artist. Even vandalism is copyright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I tend to avoid public art for both legal and moral reasons.

 
How would photographers feel if I went to Google images, downloaded a copyright image and photoshopped it into a photo illustration occupying perhaps 1/2 of the area of the photo illustration? This is the same thing as making a photograph of a copyright street mural also containing the building and passers by.
 
Copyright for public art usually remains with the artist and should be cleared with the artist. A property release from the  owner of the building only releases the building, not the art thereon. The owner of the building may not realize it, but he is usually in no position to release the mural unless he has an agreement with the artist beforehand.
 
As a stock photographer claiming to own copyright of a photograph of an unreleased street mural for commercial purposes, you are ultimately responsible for any blowback from the artist. Even vandalism is copyright.

 

 

Bill, I think the key word here is commercial purposes.  Outdoor, public murals define a place and are becoming more and more commonplace.  Keep in mind that the end use can only be editorial for the images posted here and should never be RF unless the artist has sign a release.  If a photograph of mine is somehow printed or projected on the side of a building, let's say in Washington DC, and someone takes a photo of it in the context of the surroundings and it is then published in an article about the city (as an example), I don't think I would have any case for copyright infringement.  On the other hand, if someone took that same photo, the one used on the wall, off the web somehow and incorporated it into a illustration and sold it as their own, then there is a problem.  I have had this happen a couple of times and won those infringements.   Architecture itself is public art and you can photograph all day long and sell it as editorial, commercial use is whole other deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that painting a large work of art on the side of a building in a public street does not indicate a desire for privacy or control.

 

I think of myself as retired from photography now, but I was a pro for a long time, and I've never been sued for anything. I'm not comfortable with Alamy casting me in the role of lawyer, but here we are. A few years ago I read that the ASMP (the American Society of Media Photographers) has never been involved in a property release case. 

 

I had a conversation with one of these mural artists last summer, and she was completely in favor of of people taking pictures of her public works. She understood that it gave her a larger audience. 

 

With regard to sales of stock images of these murals, I've had a few sales back when there was just the one public spot on the corner of Houston and the Bowery . . . but no sales with the newer works. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting conversation about possible copyright conflicts. I had an artist in the USA contact me last year after seeing a photo of one her street murals (painted on the side of a ruined building) on my PhotoShelter website. She was very upset, saying that only she had the right to reproduce her work. I explained to her that I was on public property (the street) when I took the photo. I even pointed out to her that a group of tourists was photographing the same mural while I was there -- i.e. it happens all the time, and she should expect that. In the end, I decided to remove the image from my website and from Alamy, not because I thought I was in the wrong but because she seemed unhappy with my explanation. Personally, I think that "public art" is just that, public, and so photographing it for possible editorial use should not be a problem. Commercial use is another story.

 

Still, as Bill B. mentioned above, the copyright issues remain fuzzy.  

Edited by John Mitchell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There must be an issue with copyright here surely?

 

By the way I have an image of a large street Muriel but she won't let me post it here. :)

 

Allan

 

That Muriel sounds like a shrewd businesswoman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael Edo and John good discussion. I am not a lawyer either, but to play the devils advocate.

 
Michael you seem to be saying that it is “fair use” to take a photograph that partially includes copyright work, without permission, as long as it is in the public space. Then sell your photograph for money as long as your photograph is used for editorial only. I think that applies only to news, and editorial is not necessarily news. A soft newspaper piece about the street murals of NYC may be OK, but not a book on the same subject. The editorial book should be paying the muralist for reproducing the copyright work contained in the photograph.
 
In the case of the book, the photographer makes money, the publisher makes money, but the artist only receives publicity. If the mural artist wants money, they may have a case.
 
Edo some artists would like the publicity. However if the image is used without crediting the mural artist, they may have second thoughts. In addition some muralists are famous artists, and their agents may demand money that will be paid. Why should a famous artist be treated any different financially, than a not famous artist? I think John’s example of his muralist’s concern is a good one. Ironically the mountain scene in John’s mural photograph is a copy of a painting by the artist Lauren Harris. So we have John photographing a mural created by a muralist who copied a painting by Lauren Harris. We all stand on each others shoulders.
 
Disputes over property releases may be more frequent than ASMP thinks, because ASMP does not usually get involved in these disputes. Disputes are usually settled privately by negotiation between the property owner/artist and the publisher.
 
I understand your arguments. They are practical from a stock photography point of view. However I think they go down the same slope as the arguments about everything on the internet should be free of copyright, or let us make money from your copyright work, in return for free publicity.
 
I think we should not incorporate copyright work into our own work unless our work is used exclusively in the news, or we have permission of the copyright holder.
 
Editorial, none news, works have to follow the same copyright rules as commercial works. There is no exemption for editorial, except when it is news.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many street murals are unsigned -- i.e. the painter has remained anonymous to the viewing public. How might this factor into the equation?

 

P.S. Bill, that painting certainly looks like one of LH's (similar style), but it may not be an exact copy of one of his works.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Edo some artists would like the publicity. However if the image is used without crediting the mural artist, they may have second thoughts. In addition some muralists are famous artists, and their agents may demand money that will be paid. Why should a famous artist be treated any different financially, than a not famous artist? I think John’s example of his muralist’s concern is a good one." - Bill

 

As John says, many street murals are not signed. If the artist signs the work, I put the credit in the caption. I even go to the trouble of hunting for the name on the Net when there is no signature.

 

But no one in their right mind would go to court over this; the lawyer's fee for the day would eat up all and any money involved. I credited the artist in this image below, but I didn't have to. His mural in my image of the street scene is no different than showing the Empire State Building as part of the whole scene. I just check that 1.) the picture needs a property release, and 2.) I don't have one. And I make it RM. 

 

tristan-eatons-big-city-of-dreams-mural-

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Edo some artists would like the publicity. However if the image is used without crediting the mural artist, they may have second thoughts. In addition some muralists are famous artists, and their agents may demand money that will be paid. Why should a famous artist be treated any different financially, than a not famous artist? I think John’s example of his muralist’s concern is a good one." - Bill

 

As John says, many street murals are not signed. If the artist signs the work, I put the credit in the caption. I even go to the trouble of hunting for the name on the Net when there is no signature.

 

But no one in their right mind would go to court over this; the lawyer's fee for the day would eat up all and any money involved. I credited the artist in this image below, but I didn't have to. His mural in my image of the street scene is no different than showing the Empire State Building as part of the whole scene. I just check that 1.) the picture needs a property release, and 2.) I don't have one. And I make it RM. 

 

tristan-eatons-big-city-of-dreams-mural-

Edo, I totally agree.

 

I've sold three different images of graffiti-art for varying sums at another place, a place I might add that pays particular attention to copyright.

 

As you mention, I too simply stated I did not have releases, the other agency did the rest.

 

EDIT: just checked, at least two of my images here have also sold more than once each, one of wall art (totally filling frame), one of pavement art (half-filling frame).

 

I've also seen such images in several travel-guides of late. For me, wall murals and similar are definitely a subject I'll continue to shoot and submit.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sheffield, England

 

deleted for now until I can fix the size!

Edited by Keith Douglas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sheffield, England

 

deleted for now - can't work out how to make image a sensible size!

 

I no longer can either. Perhaps Edo can tell us how he did it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my . . . a tech question aimed right at me.  :huh:

 

This is what I do, although there must be a better way. I'm on a Mac, and I do not have a Website. 

 

1.)  I have the forum page open where I want to put the image.

2.)  I open a second window, also on the forum, where I find one of my posts and click on the number of images to open my collection.

3.)  I find the image I want and click on it so a page opens with just that image and the caption and keywords. 

4.)  This is the tricky part. You pull each window a little bit out of the frame, one left, the other right. Then you drag and drop the image from that page into the forum post. This will give you the medium size image I have up there now. To get that monster large image I had at first, you would click once on the image with the text and drag and drop the image that opens into the post. 

 

dusk-in-the-fishing-village-of-port-d-an

 

This big image is also a scan.  Oh, sorry . . . I thought I was in the scanning post. Anyway, that's how I do it. Good luck.

Edited by Ed Rooney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<... snip ...> 

This big image is also a scan.  Oh, sorry . . . I thought I was in the scanning post. Anyway, that's how I do it. Good luck.

 

I can just imagine that large street mural covering the seventh house in the third row ..... :D

Edited by hdh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot I had these... totally bizarre in a derelict area you wouldn't normally find unless your dog got off its lead and ran off!

 

Malta2014-1003399-660x439.jpg

 

Malta2014-1003408-439x660.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the position in Australia, and in most common law countries, is that reproducing (pjotographing) two-dimensional street art is an infringement if done without the copyright owner's permission. This is so irrespective of how public the location of the art may be.

 

That said, the usual exception of 'fair use' or 'fair dealing' may apply, which is why editorial use can be OK.

 

In contrast, in Australia and many other countries, there are specific exceptions that apply to 3D public works (eg sculptures). Generally it isn't an infringement to photograph sculptures if they are in a public location. A strange distinction, but there you have it!

 

Although covering Auatralian law, the attached leaflet may be useful. NThe principles will be similar in many other countries. Note, for instance, the leaflet mentions a Montreal case

 

http://www.copyright.org.au/acc_prod/ACC/Information_Sheets/Street_Art___Copyright.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Phil already mentioned, Brussels is full of murals.

 

 

comic-themed-mural-in-brussels-belgium-o

 

 

Comic-themed mural in Brussels, Belgium, of the classic Franco-Belgian comic "Spirou et Fantasio" by Robert Velter (Rob-Vel).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

deleted

 

Edited by spacecadet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the position in Australia, and in most common law countries, is that reproducing (pjotographing) two-dimensional street art is an infringement if done without the copyright owner's permission. This is so irrespective of how public the location of the art may be.

 

That said, the usual exception of 'fair use' or 'fair dealing' may apply, which is why editorial use can be OK.

 

In contrast, in Australia and many other countries, there are specific exceptions that apply to 3D public works (eg sculptures). Generally it isn't an infringement to photograph sculptures if they are in a public location. A strange distinction, but there you have it!

 

Although covering Auatralian law, the attached leaflet may be useful. NThe principles will be similar in many other countries. Note, for instance, the leaflet mentions a Montreal case

 

http://www.copyright.org.au/acc_prod/ACC/Information_Sheets/Street_Art___Copyright.aspx

 

I never used to photograph art as I thought it wasn't the way the artist meant it to be seen, particularly sculptures, but now, with stock I do shoot art (for editorial use only).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.