Painting paintings!

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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Painting paintings!

Post by Catherine »

Hi, I am an amateur artist painting for pleasure only. I often copy other artists paintings. They are not as good as the original but passable for gifts. I am often being offered money for these pieces but have never taken any.
If I was to display and sell some of my work,( similar, but not a precise copy of the original) advertised as mine, am I breaking copyright laws ? Thanks.
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Catherine,

Copying a substantial part of a work which is protected by copyright will normally amount to infringement, unless one of the exceptions for fair dealing applies. So while you have been doing your art for your own pleasure and instruction it is most likely that the private study and research exception would apply, and so you won't get into trouble.

However once you start to sell your work, this exception would no longer apply and so you might well find that the original artist(s) complains.

And of course you would not infringe the work of an artist who had died over seventy years ago as his/her work would no longer be protected.

If you wish to continue working in the style of living artists you admire, that shouldn't pose a problem so long as you select new subjects which are sufficiently different from the actual subjects of the originals. Alternatively if your version can be said to parody or be a pastiche of the original, you may be able to take advatage of the exception for this purpose. However it doesn't sound as if, at this stage at least, that applies to your current work
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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