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Thread: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

  1. #71
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    An architect should be flattered if people photograph their work (without trespassing, that is). Light itself doesn't belong to anyone unless it belongs to everyone. But yeah, being paid to do it ain't bad either.

    But Alan - read your own link more carefully. It's not photographing the building per se which matters, but pirating its specific identity in such a manner as to constitute a conflict, like using its image unauthorized for your own brand logo or own advertising focal point.
    That's what I said. "Photographs of buildings as well as art works can violate copyright under certain circumstances." and then referred you to the article that clarified the points.

  2. #72
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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    I think that talking about commercial feature films has limited value in this context. The people who make them are businessmen who have serious money invested. The last thing they want are lawsuits for things like copyright infringement and violation of privacy. They take steps and spend money to avoid both, even if they may not need to as a strict matter of law.

    I wish that I could remember the name, but the makers of a feature film that takes place in New York, and was made guerrilla-style (relatively low budget, skirt the NY film shoot permit system), included a behind the scenes in the DVD about how the film was made. The filmmakers made damn sure that there was nothing in the shots that could conceivably give rise to a copyright or privacy lawsuit, even one without merit. For example, there's a scene in the film that takes place in a video rental shop. The filmmakers took down posters on the shop walls advertising popular feature films. Why? The posters, at least in theory and despite them being free advertising, could have attracted a lawsuit for copyright violation.

    The Godfather is a particularly bad subject for discussion. It's a work of fiction, not non-fiction, and Paramount only paid US$80,000 (some sources say $50,000) for the rights. Then the book took off. It's a long, complicated story, but Puzo's book became a huge bestseller and Puzo wrote the screenplay for the film. From the perspective of Paramount, Puzo's involvement was a benefit both creatively and financially in terms of ticket sales. The film also helped boost sales of the book and therefore Puzo's and his publisher's own profits. Then The Godfather became a lucrative film franchise, to the benefit of Paramount, Puzo and Puzo's publisher. That $80,000, obviously supplemented by subsequent agreements, became an extraordinarily good investment.
    Are you suggesting that Hollywood should not have paid him otherwise? That they wouldn't be violating copyrights?

  3. #73

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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    That's what I said. "Photographs of buildings as well as art works can violate copyright under certain circumstances." and then referred you to the article that clarified the points.
    Your link says:

    “The copyright in an architectural work does not include the right to prevent others from making and distributing photos of the constructed building, if the building is located in a public place or is visible from a public place.”

    That would seem to clearly contradict you. How does the link support your argument?

  4. #74

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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Are you suggesting that Hollywood should not have paid him otherwise? That they wouldn't be violating copyrights?
    Rather the opposite. In my view, there was no room to argue that using The Godfather without purchasing the rights was legal. Consequently, I think that the film is irrelevant to this discussion. More broadly, I think that copyright practice in feature film production, and indeed in commercial documentary production, is not a good indicator of what's legal and what isn't. There are financial and practical reasons (e.g. avoiding the risk of having distribution of your film enjoined until a lawsuit is over) to take a broad view of copyright protection in both.
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  5. #75
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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by drj52 View Post
    Your link says:

    “The copyright in an architectural work does not include the right to prevent others from making and distributing photos of the constructed building, if the building is located in a public place or is visible from a public place.”

    That would seem to clearly contradict you. How does the link support your argument?
    Ths is also in the article:
    "Generally speaking, only buildings created after December 1, 1990 are protected by copyright. The copyright in an architectural work does not include the right to prevent others from making and distributing photos of the constructed building, if the building is located in a public place or is visible from a public place. Generally you don’t need permission to be in a public place and photograph a public building. There may however, be trademark issues at play. For example use of the Empire State Building in an ad for “Empire State Fashions” without a release, contract or consent from the building owners may lead to legal disputes likely resulting in a trademark action."

    It's my understanding if you use a picture of a particular building as part of ad for your product to advertise it, you are going to run into copyright issues. It's sort of like people. You can photograph people on the street in a public area, but you can't use that picture of them in an ad without paying them and getting a release.

    Now I'm not a copyright lawyer. So I'd check with yours before doing anything.

  6. #76
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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Rather the opposite. In my view, there was no room to argue that using The Godfather without purchasing the rights was legal. Consequently, I think that the film is irrelevant to this discussion. More broadly, I think that copyright practice in feature film production, and indeed in commercial documentary production, is not a good indicator of what's legal and what isn't. There are financial and practical reasons (e.g. avoiding the risk of having distribution of your film enjoined until a lawsuit is over) to take a broad view of copyright protection in both.
    I agree that copyright and patent law and intellectual property rights in general are very complicated. It's easy to run afoul of them. One should be cautious and get good advice from a lawyer who practices in this area.

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    Talking Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Or better yet, just go to the ASMP website and take advantage of their knowledge of both copyright law, and their activism on behalf of all photographers (and thus creative people).
    Less enjoyable than uninformed speculation, rumor, and hearsay, I admit.

  8. #78

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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Or better yet, just go to the ASMP website and take advantage of their knowledge of both copyright law, and their activism on behalf of all photographers (and thus creative people).
    Less enjoyable than uninformed speculation, rumor, and hearsay, I admit.
    Note that the ASMP guide is U.S. specific. It is not reliable, and in some cases is plain wrong, when it comes to other countries.
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  9. #79

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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Or better yet, just go to the ASMP website and take advantage of their knowledge of both copyright law, and their activism on behalf of all photographers (and thus creative people).
    Less enjoyable than uninformed speculation, rumor, and hearsay, I admit.
    Thank you Mark- As someone who has spent many years on the National Board of ASMP, and the local ASMP board here in NYC, I am always a bit bemused by these discussions. Threads like this tend to drift in many directions and folks tend to conflate all kinds of ideas - criminal fraud, copyright infringement and rights of privacy with each other.
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    Re: Gallery owner arrested for forged and stolen Ansel Adams photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Note that the ASMP guide is U.S. specific. It is not reliable, and in some cases is plain wrong, when it comes to other countries.
    ASMP is fully informed on international copyright law, and how it applies to our profession.
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