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Is this breaching copyright?

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  • Is this breaching copyright?

    I want to take a photo of a motif from a fabric design then use it to create a patterned paper to decorate a wall in a miniature house. I would only be making one copy, and only using it once, although my plan is to sell the completed house (of which the wallpaper is only one small feature).

    Does anyone know if this is breaching copyright please?

  • #2
    personally I would have said no - it would be the same if I used a pattern from a bead to make a bigger bead, you are not using the complete pattern only a motif part so unless anyone here has more ideas then I should think it would be ok.


    • #3
      Thanks ellie. I hope you're right.

      Just in case I haven't explained it properly, the fabric is patterned with chickens and I want to take a photo of one chicken then copy and paste it to create and print out the wallpaper.

      It's not like I would be selling the paper as wrapping paper or anything like that, just using one sheet to decorate the little house.


      • #4
        Again I think it should be fine, its not like you are using a trade name or copying a trademark logo, I would go ahead and Hubby agrees. xxx


        • #5
          er i think your all good, as your not using the image as a whole, when i went to the Saarchie gallery once some guy had almost identically copied one of russo's paintings, but added his own image at the side!

          it was then his "own art" x



          • #6
            I have to disagree I'm afraid, I THINK this would perhaps be breaching copyright but don't really know enough about it to be sure. Although you are making changes in so far as material and usage etc you are using the image directly. I know card makers have to REALLY careful when wanting to use images of famous characters etc. Wouldn't this be along similar lines?

            I don't know but my gut instinct tells me you'd be on dodgy ground.

            Could you draw your own chicken based on the fabric image then photograph it and do it that way or photograph the chicken and then manipulate it in a graphics package to 'make it your own'- then you'd know for sure you were okay.

            Belovedly facebook group


            • #7
              Dover books have copyright images and cover all sorts of subjects so it might be worth sourcing them.


              • #8
                Having worked in the art trade for over 30 years, I have come across this problem many times when artists copy famous works of art. The original image in this case is a repeating woven design, I am assuming the chicken is the only part being repeated. If so then the design of the chicken has copyright.

                If your image is a reduced scale reproduction of the chicken then you would be in breach of copyright. However if you digitally altered the image slightly using photo editing software, e.g. used a softening function to reduce the image quality or made some colour changes, then it would no longer be a direct copy, hence outside copyright.

                If you only required a portion of the original design, e.g. there was background to the chicken which you removed, then it would almost certainly be outside copyright.

                Have you googled chicken images that are free of copyright? This would certainly be your best route to avoid any problems.

                In the big scale of things you also have to think of a small pattern on a dolls house wall would be most unlikely to be noticed and very unlikely for a copyright dispute to be raised.



                • #9
                  Thanks so much for your help here, everyone. I had no idea copyright was so complex - just had a gut feeling I should check it out.

                  It seems that it might be OK to use the design as I have altered the image and removed background etc.

                  I think I may go with my own design though, as I ended up drawing one last night in case I wasn't going to be able to copy the other one!

                  It's not a scale dollhouse, just a house shaped diorama type thing with one 'furnished' room, so the chicken pattern is visible, luckily


                  • #10
                    Gut reaction is that there would be a copyright issue...assuming that the original fabric is a repeated pattern then someone sat and designed that chicken to then repeat on the larger surface, so I'd really look into it.

                    I know if it was me that designed the chicken I'd have something to say!
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