copyright of the impression of body parts

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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copyright of the impression of body parts

Post by romosc »

I am inrerested to know how the law would see the copyright of bodyparts or the impression left by bodyparts, eg thumb or lip prints to be used in form of artwork.

I understand from other posts that if I were to ask for a photographer to take a picture of my thumb print or lip print then he/she would automatically own the copyright to that photo.

What if however, a photographer was to take a picture of such impressions, against my wishes, that I have left elsewhere or included in other artwork?
Firstly if they are the subject of the photograph.
Secondly if such an image was mearly included in a photograph of another subject eg a (window for example).

Would I still hold copyright over these impressions as original work of my own?
Am I entitled to such a copyright in the first place?

Any input would be greatly appreciated and also very interesting to me.

Thanks for your reply.
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Post by typonaut »

You may be able to claim the imprint of body parts as copyright, as artistic works, or as "industrial" works (term of protection may be affected).

If a photographer records your work without permission, then this may fall foul of your rights, with certain exceptions: essentially fair dealing allows such for the purpose of review, or where the inclusion is incidental (dealt with below).

To be "incidental" the inclusion of your works needs to be non-deliberate. ie if I photograph a busy shopping street and a copyright protected image happens to be in the background (or anywhere), then that is not an infringement. Where the infringed work is being shown in a shop window, and the only elements in the window are the works, and the photograph is solely of that scene, then there may be an infringement.
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