Wall art copyright question

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Neil73
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Wall art copyright question

Post by Neil73 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:10 pm

Hi, I hope you can help me with a subject I am trying to research before going ahead and accepting a payment from somebody who wants me to draw on a bedroom wall. I am a keen artist and I've been asked if I could draw an image of spiderman with a background scene on a childs bedroom wall.
I am pretty sure I know the answer to this but is this completely illegal to be doing this kind of thing and making money from it?
Also, is there any kind of licence that I could purchase from a governing body, that would give me licence to start up a business doing drawings from copyrighted images for paying customers?

I hope you can help me.

Many thanks

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:07 pm

Hi Neil75,
Steve Ditko the artist who created the first Spiderman artwork is still alive and so his work will be in copyright for many years to come. Copying a substantial part of one of his images without permission would, as you have suggested, amount to copyright infringement. Unfortunately I can't see any of the existing exceptions to copyright being applicable here. The fact that you would be doing this for payment means that most of the exceptions wouldn't apply anyway.
In theory you could try to obtain a licence to reproduce the Spiderman character from Disney who own Marvel Comics and hence the intellectual property rights to Spiderman, but I suspect this might be quite expensive, and it would probably only cover just the Spiderman figure or possibly several of Disney's characters, but wouldn't include other characters not owned by Disney, such as Batman or Superman.
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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