February 9th, 2009, 11:36 AM
For a current fuzzy look at copyright law see: Associated Press vs Shepard Fairey.
You would be violating the right to copy (and the right to display) of the photographer, not the celebrity.
| would be violating copyright law |
Yes. But your husband is generally right in that this is something you can probably get away with 99.5% of the time and you could possibly argue artistic reappropriation as Fairey will in his use of the Obama photo which he modeled the Hope poster after. Fairey has a pretty good case, but he also has access to a pretty good legal defense (for one thing, there will be fans with law degrees coming out of the woodwork on all sides offering their services for free ... a nice side effect to being a famous 'street artist').
In many cases the photographer won't own the work either (see again: Associated Press is going after Fairey, not Manny Garcia, the photographer).
Since you are making one of a kind items if you did get in legal trouble over it I would find it hard to come up with damages in excess of the amount you sold the item for. But I'm not a lawyer, and they're good at finding all sorts of damages where no damage occurs :-)
You'd propel it further into the "fuzzy" area if your husband used the photos as a model and painted the celebrity (as did Fairey) then used his painting in your lockets.
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