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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:07 am    Post subject: Postcards/Prints Reply with quote


Can you give me some advice please about the copyright concerning various
objects and people which I would like to turn into postcards/prints ?

I am a photographer and have a wide range of subject matter which I would like to turn into postcards/prints for sale, but I am hesitating over certain subjects.

Firstly, I would like to know if I would be breaking any copyright of Royal de Luxe, a French Street theatre company which produce giant puppets. I took some photos of the puppets in 2012 when they were in Liverpool and they are returning to the city in a few weeks time. I did write to them and they told me that their puppets were protected by copyright, yet I have seen some of their photos of the giants being sold.

Secondly, I have photos of a statue of John Lennon on Mathew Street,Liverpool and also photos of the Eleanor Rigby statue on Stanley Street - this was a gift to the city from the singer Tommy Steele who sculpted it. Are these statues copyrighted ?

Thirdly, I have photos of Ken Dodd performing at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall about 2 years ago. Would I need permission for these photos ? I also took some photos of Ken Dodd outside on the streets(larking around) - I presume those photos would be ok for me to use as they were taken in a public place and not part of an act/performance.

Thanks for any replies.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Photoman,
Welcome to the forum.
Let's deal with the easy ones first. Statues or sculptures situated in a public place may be freely photographed without infringing the copyright which exists in them as artistic works, by virtue of section 62 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988
62 Representation of certain artistic works on public display.

(1) This section applies toŚ
    (a) buildings, and

    (b) sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public.

(2) The copyright in such a work is not infringed byŚ
    (a) making a graphic work representing it,

    (b) making a photograph or film of it, or

    (c) making a broadcast of a visual image of it.
(3) Nor is the copyright infringed by the issue to the public of copies, or the communication to the public, of anything whose making was, by virtue of this section, not an infringement of the copyright.
And sub section (3) permits you to sell copies of your images as postcards, or in any other format.

Next, Ken Dodd's appearance at the Philharmonic Hall was a performance and would be protected by Performer's Rights which are also contained in the CDPA. However these rights only extend to the recording of a performance, meaning by a sound recording or video or the like, not still photographs, so again you are free to use these images as you wish. Ken Dodd's appearance on the street was not a performance in the legal sense and so there are no issues whatsoever in using those images.
The most difficult subject matter is the Royal de Luxe street theatre.
I think these puppets qualify as works of artistic craftsmanship, meaning that they are protected by copyright. But because they are not permanently situated in a public place, Section 62 is of no use here. And like Ken Dodd they are staging a performance, but once again, taking the photographs of it would not infringe the performance rights. Nor would the still images infringe copyright as long as they were for private use, as this would be permitted under the fair dealing exception found in Section 29. But this exception only applies to non-commercial copying and so would not cover publishing the images as postcards. The next fair dealing exception, section 30(2) quoted below, allows for the copying of copyright works for the purposes of reporting current events - as the Guardian has done here - but this could not reasonably be stretched to cover producing postcards:
(2) Fair dealing with a work (other than a photograph) for the purpose of reporting current events does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that (subject to subsection (3)) it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.
(The reference here to 'photograph' refers to the thing being copied, not the means of making a copy.)
All of which is very unsatisfactory, especially as there are hundreds of images of the visit to Liverpool available via Google or flickr, and I'm sure you are right in saying such images are being sold. I am not aware of this theatre company ever enforcing its rights through the courts, but there remains the possibility that their lawyers are busy behind the scenes chasing people who have done this. Since you have already been in contact with Royal de Luxe, it might be best to see if you can obtain a licence to use your images in this way. If you prefer not to deal with Royal de Luxe themselves, see if Liverpool City Council are able to authorise something as part of the overall publicity for the coming event.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks Andy, you have been a GREAT help. I may do what you suggested and ask Royal de Luxe for a licence. Thanks again.
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