a. I have used other creatives works in my own at times, but only for drafts. I’ve learned throughout my designing and creative career that it may seem like a good premise to start with someone’s piece and incorporate it into your own design, but ultimately, in the end your design will be better if you can create your own version of what they have created. Using other artwork as inspiration for your own artwork has been done for many years and will continue to be what the heart of art actually is, but just to blatantly use someone else’s artwork is never a good choice. The Golden rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and you would never want to see your artwork being incorporated into another art piece and that artist claiming it to be their own.
b. This Fairey Copyright case has me so conflicted because I want to be on both sides of the argument. On the Shepherd side he created a poster and allegedly he made no profit for me. He sent all the profits to either Obama’s campaign or other charities. While creating that poster, he decided to use an image and he transformed the image in such a way that the final product is truly his. An AIGAs copyright chapter. It starts by asking what is copyrightable? “Work must be original and creative to be copyrightable here. Originality simply means that the designer created the work and did not copy it from someone else.” The way this chapter starts is almost confusing within this case. ‘Work must be original’, What does that honestly mean? Shepherd Fairey did create something original. It was just also created from something else but the end product is creative and it is original, isn’t it? Although in AIGA’s chapter of photography in rights, it states “a professional photographer, sales of license to use a photograph in particular circumstances.” Fairey didn’t ask permission to use this photograph and clearly he used that photograph and when he thought he may be in trouble for it. He tried to backtrack and claim that he did not use the photograph, went back on that word and explained that he did use that photograph. The back and forth doesn’t make his case look great but in all I do feel his end product was changed enough to not be in trouble, but I’m just not sure honestly. In my opinion though, this can all be avoided if you use your own photography or just simply agree to make a piece along with the photographer if they have a photo that you would like to use. Work together with the people who have the elements you would like to use or learn to make your own elements.
USE OF PHOTOGRAPHY – AIGA
GUIDE TO COPYRIGHT – AIGA