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    Legality of Tracing Clip Art in Illustrator for Use On Website


    I am looking for a specific bit of clip art for a Live Chat feature on some auto repair websites. I found a really nice graphic of a mechanic leaning on a nice little "box" where I could put in my own text. Unfortunately the cost of this graphic as I want to use it is beyond my budget. I am curious if I were to take a screen shot, then trace the image in Illustrator, changing some colors, etc., could I then claim this (version) as my own? Just curiuos. T
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    It it's a copyright images (which I'm guessing that it is from what you've said) then tracing it and changing a few colors will not get you around the copyright issue.

    If you REALLY need to use this image, then you have to pay for it to use it legally. If you can get away with using something like it, there's several good royalty-free image sites around that offer vector graphics as well as photos, so I'd recommend that you check out some of those. Maybe you can get some inspiration from other images that you find.
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    Originally Posted by thall89553
    I am looking for a specific bit of clip art for a Live Chat feature on some auto repair websites. I found a really nice graphic of a mechanic leaning on a nice little "box" where I could put in my own text. Unfortunately the cost of this graphic as I want to use it is beyond my budget. I am curious if I were to take a screen shot, then trace the image in Illustrator, changing some colors, etc., could I then claim this (version) as my own? Just curiuos. T
    Such a modified version of someone else's image is known as a "derivative work." Creating a derivative work from someone else's image without permission is forbidden by copyright law.

    It might still be possible for you to find a legal alternative at a reasonable cost, however. For example, iStockPhoto has a decent selection of images that you may use (and create derivative works from) legally, and they are less expensive than vendors such as Corbis or Getty who cater to professional designers.

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