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Author Topic: Is it possible to sell a public domain photo as a poster?  (Read 1079 times)

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« on: November 15, 2020, 03:31 »
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According to wiki public domain photos can be used or sold for profit but i am not still sure. Is it possible use public domain photos in print projects and sell? Is making effects or adjustments allowed?


« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 09:26 »
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Sure.  The entire point of public domain is that nobody holds the rights.

« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 10:52 »
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I don't understand much about this 'public domain", but this images are suppose to be.
https://www.pexels.com/public-domain-images/
https://unsplash.com/images/stock/public-domain
https://pixabay.com/es/users/publicdomainpictures-14/
They could be use for make compositions and sell on microstock ?

« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 11:53 »
+3
I don't understand much about this 'public domain", but this images are suppose to be.
https://www.pexels.com/public-domain-images/
https://unsplash.com/images/stock/public-domain
https://pixabay.com/es/users/publicdomainpictures-14/
They could be use for make compositions and sell on microstock ?
Many sites don't allow the use of public domain images.

« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2020, 11:56 »
0
I don't understand much about this 'public domain", but this images are suppose to be.
https://www.pexels.com/public-domain-images/
https://unsplash.com/images/stock/public-domain
https://pixabay.com/es/users/publicdomainpictures-14/
They could be use for make compositions and sell on microstock ?
Many sites don't allow the use of public domain images.
Ok, thanks!

« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2020, 14:26 »
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It actually depends on the license itself , not all public domain photos have the same. Some require attribution and a link under the product etc.

I suggest that you read about creativecommons licenses here.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

In general you want CC1.0 licence that requires no attribution. 

2,3 and 4 do have terms of use from linking back, describing changes, making changes share alike terms and so on.


« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2020, 16:03 »
+1
You also need to check the contributors terms for each agency you want to upload that image to. As has been mentioned, some do not allow the use of public domain photos, or even composites containing them.

Here is terminology from Adobe: Generally, we do not accept Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or public domain content that is uploaded to the Adobe Stock site. Modified NASA images may be an exception, however. We can accept content that incorporates NASA public domain imagery if the content does not depict any NASA trademark or likeness of an astronaut or other persons and has been used to create a recognizably new visual work. For example, in the image above, a NASA image (1) was modified to create a new image (2) that is distinctly different from the original.

And there is more here: https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/contributor/help/terminology-and-importance-of-copyright.html

You just have to check each agency.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 16:14 by cathyslife »

« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2020, 17:44 »
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You also need to check the contributors terms for each agency you want to upload that image to. As has been mentioned, some do not allow the use of public domain photos, or even composites containing them.

Here is terminology from Adobe: Generally, we do not accept Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or public domain content that is uploaded to the Adobe Stock site. Modified NASA images may be an exception, however. We can accept content that incorporates NASA public domain imagery if the content does not depict any NASA trademark or likeness of an astronaut or other persons and has been used to create a recognizably new visual work. For example, in the image above, a NASA image (1) was modified to create a new image (2) that is distinctly different from the original.

And there is more here: https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/contributor/help/terminology-and-importance-of-copyright.html

You just have to check each agency.
Thanks! Is this the NASA public domain imagery? https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/index.html
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 17:53 by alexandersr »

« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2020, 07:26 »
+2
It actually depends on the license itself , not all public domain photos have the same. Some require attribution and a link under the product etc.

I suggest that you read about creativecommons licenses here.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

In general you want CC1.0 licence that requires no attribution. 

2,3 and 4 do have terms of use from linking back, describing changes, making changes share alike terms and so on.

The images that require attribution/ links etc. aren't public domain. Someone holds the rights and is granting broad rights to usage to other people (depending on the CC license they choose to offer the image under).

If an image is public domain who would chose what CC license to release it under (rhetorical)?

You can use a public domain image however you like as no one holds the rights. You have to worry about 1. the agencies' terms; they choose what to allow and a lot don't allow any PD images in their collections 2. where you source the image from, a lot of websites are giving stolen content away under the guise of public domain 3. rules of different countries as to when something falls into the public domain.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2020, 10:04 »
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According to wiki public domain photos can be used or sold for profit but i am not still sure. Is it possible use public domain photos in print projects and sell? Is making effects or adjustments allowed?

Much of this has to do with Copyright as well. All the answers I see to far are looking at online Public Domain photos, but there are other sources. Also the creation date is very important. Before 1925, which will become before 1926 on January 1st, 2021. BUT... many agencies don't accept these anyway. So you need to do your research, before you make something, and before you try to upload.

https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain

I still need to ask, since you posted a very broad question, what is the source of your PD photos? If it's an old book from 1887 yes, if it's some recent CC image, probably not. What's the image? If there's a person, the estate may hold the rights to the images, after the fact.

Good luck! This is something that can't be answered with a simple yes or no.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 10:08 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2020, 12:04 »
+2
It actually depends on the license itself , not all public domain photos have the same. Some require attribution and a link under the product etc.

Public domain is public domain.  If they have requirements for use, they aren't public domain.

« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2020, 13:11 »
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It actually depends on the license itself , not all public domain photos have the same. Some require attribution and a link under the product etc.

I suggest that you read about creativecommons licenses here.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

In general you want CC1.0 licence that requires no attribution. 

2,3 and 4 do have terms of use from linking back, describing changes, making changes share alike terms and so on.

The images that require attribution/ links etc. aren't public domain. Someone holds the rights and is granting broad rights to usage to other people (depending on the CC license they choose to offer the image under).

If an image is public domain who would chose what CC license to release it under (rhetorical)?

You can use a public domain image however you like as no one holds the rights. You have to worry about 1. the agencies' terms; they choose what to allow and a lot don't allow any PD images in their collections 2. where you source the image from, a lot of websites are giving stolen content away under the guise of public domain 3. rules of different countries as to when something falls into the public domain.

Wrong, images that are public domain may require attribution depending on license and how they became public domain.

Non rhetorical, for example, NASA can give photos that they hold rights to public domain library. Not only them, you can do it also with your photos.

And no,  you cant use them as you wish, for example you can not sell them and claim you are the author which some would like to do for sure. 


« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2020, 13:31 »
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It actually depends on the license itself , not all public domain photos have the same. Some require attribution and a link under the product etc.

Public domain is public domain.  If they have requirements for use, they aren't public domain.

No its not, CC license photos are generally marked as traditional public domain nowadays all over the internet.

What Im saying is that if you don't want to make your own research when you take those photos from sites like wikimedia etc you have to be extra careful under what license are they relised under.

Correct me if Im wrong but legally there is absolutely no difference between traditional public domain and CC1.0 except that CC allows images that would legally never be able to fall under traditional PD to be public domain.   

« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2020, 13:51 »
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"Public Domain" is public domain.  Not "traditional public domain" or "Creative Commons". 

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/welcome/
The term public domain refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.

"for example you can not sell them and claim you are the author which some would like to do for sure"

I mean, that's a separate issue.


« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2020, 15:10 »
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"Public Domain" is public domain.  Not "traditional public domain" or "Creative Commons". 

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/public-domain/welcome/
The term public domain refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.

"for example you can not sell them and claim you are the author which some would like to do for sure"

I mean, that's a separate issue.

Sure, but Public domain equivalent licenses exist just because some legal jurisdictions do not provide for authors to voluntarily place their work in the public domain and some of those licenses ( CC1.0) allow absolutely equal use as public domain, just it was obtained in different way so that it becomes legally possible. 

Those images are tagged as public domain by main internet archives.

Also if one is selling that on products like prints etc, he will be most probably obligated by user agreement on most of those platform to use "public domain" in tags or even in the description.

On most POD sites it says to tag CC license images as "public domain" not as creative commons or something else.

   

« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2020, 15:23 »
+1
You must own the rights to any images you upload to stock and public domain you don't. Can we sell public domain images? Getty does.

« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2020, 18:39 »
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You must own the rights to any images you upload to stock and public domain you don't. Can we sell public domain images? Getty does.

If you modify it, like cleaning it up or tracing some thing or whatever, then you have the copyright to that new image.


« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2020, 19:21 »
+1
You must own the rights to any images you upload to stock and public domain you don't. Can we sell public domain images? Getty does.

If you modify it, like cleaning it up or tracing some thing or whatever, then you have the copyright to that new image.
Are you sure? But in microstock  is not allowed.  I don't know much about that. Well, many people has told that, for example composites.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2020, 20:31 »
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Also if one is selling that on products like prints etc, he will be most probably obligated by user agreement on most of those platform to use "public domain" in tags or even in the description.

On most POD sites it says to tag CC license images as "public domain" not as creative commons or something else.

You're getting mixed up with user agreements on varying websites, and copyright with regards to public domain images. Sean is right in that if a public domain image requires attribution, then it's not public domain. You're probably right that certain sites require you to mention if an image is public domain. But those two things are unrelated, so you being right doesn't mean that Sean is wrong.

Pond5 insist that I set a price, add keywords and specify the software used to create my content, but it's not like that's some global obligation under copyright law, required for any content I post anywhere on the web.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2020, 20:39 »
+1
Are you sure? But in microstock  is not allowed.  I don't know much about that. Well, many people has told that, for example composites.

A composite from two public domain images is very different from a composite made from two images that are not in the public domain. Same as Jingle Bells or Silent Night... you don't own the copyright to the music, but if you record your own rendition of the song, then you own the copyright to that track/recording. Which you can then sell. And just in case Lizard wants to chip in... yes, a website might not allow you to sell it, or they might want you to make it clear who the original authors were, or that you only own the copyright to the recording not the song... but that's a condition of the site in question, not of copyright law and the like.   

« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2020, 21:00 »
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Are you sure? But in microstock  is not allowed.  I don't know much about that. Well, many people has told that, for example composites.

A composite from two public domain images is very different from a composite made from two images that are not in the public domain. Same as Jingle Bells or Silent Night... you don't own the copyright to the music, but if you record your own rendition of the song, then you own the copyright to that track/recording. Which you can then sell. And just in case Lizard wants to chip in... yes, a website might not allow you to sell it, or they might want you to make it clear who the original authors were, or that you only own the copyright to the recording not the song... but that's a condition of the site in question, not of copyright law and the like.
I don't understand much about public domain images, but microstock sites allowed to sell composites made with images from unsplash, pexels and pixabay ? I am not very clear. Are they  public domain images ? For that reason I ask so much, because I don't know. Sorry.

https://unsplash.com/images/stock/public-domain
https://pixabay.com/es/images/search/domain/
https://www.pexels.com/public-domain-images/

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2020, 21:13 »
+2
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing wrong with taking two public domain images, compositing them and selling the resulting image.

Whether a stock site will allow you to sell them is another matter. And whether those images you get from those sites are actually public domain, is another matter as well.

Like Adobe for example... Cathy's post above says they don't generally accept public domain content.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 21:16 by SpaceStockFootage »

« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2020, 21:22 »
0
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing wrong with taking two public domain images, compositing them and selling the resulting image.

Whether a stock site will allow you to sell them is another matter. And whether those images you get from those sites are actually public domain, is another matter as well.

Like Adobe for example... Cathy's post above says they don't generally accept public domain content.
Thanks!

« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2020, 01:56 »
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Thank you for all the answers. Sometimes i see posters or artworks with some illustrative modifications of nba stars are being sold in amazon or other places. I really wonder how they can sell these photos in big markets without and trouble  ???


Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2020, 05:50 »
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Public Domain sample photo:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kobe_Bryant_8.jpg



Poster sample on sale:

https://www.amazon.com/Basketball-Painting-Posters-Memorabilia-Decoration/dp/B08BS3XBF2/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=lebron+james+poster&qid=1605596576&sr=8-10

I don't know how they sell those, and in my opinion (I am not a lawyer) selling a representation of Lebron James or any other recent celebrity, could get the artist in trouble. Your example is a good one, where someone painted from an original photo, (or for all we know, filtered an original?) which is someone else's creation. I suppose some will argue it's a new original work of art, but the source material is copyrighted. So the original photographer could have rights.

Even with that, a personality owns the rights to their own likeness. It's blatant that the artist is also making use of his name. This is just a mess.

Just altering something, doesn't make it a new work. Yes some artists have made their name doing that, which I think is kind of low. The name now is "appropriation art". Some cases the artists have won, some they lost. Depends on the judge. That's how vague the law is, and how open to interpretation.

Anyway, now that you have explained more, and even though you did say poster in the original, it does make a difference, what you are doing and what you are making. If your original is clearly public domain, not CC, expired copyright, you can pretty much do what you want with them.

With recent changes to the laws: Copyright happens automatically, the minute you set something into a "fixed form" even if that fixed form is a doodle. You automatically own the copyright to any creative work of art you produce, the minute you produce it. So does everyone else. That's why I linked and mentioned before 1925, and more complicated are the changes to the copyright laws since the 1970s.

Easiest place to start is, how old is the image you want to use for the poster. Before 1925, you're on the way. Next would be, does the subject claim rights to their name or personal likeness, or the estate of that person does. Then research.

Yes you can make and sell a poster of a PD image. Just for an extreme, I could make and sell prints or posters of this image, Dorthea Lange, because it's public domain.



Or this one by Ansel Adams



Since this is the Microstock Forum, most agencies won't accept these. Maybe resale isn't illegal, but they aren't interested in a collection bloated with PD images. The laws and what agencies will accept are not the same. Agencies make their own rules, beyond the laws.

« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2020, 08:00 »
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Public domain means some form that belongs to everyone and that anyone can use.

In publications as books, unless the laws of the country where it was published say otherwise, your book belongs to the public domain 70 years after the death of the author. It was 50 years, but Walt Disney pressured the US government to change this to 70 so as not to lose the rights to Winnie Pooh (true story).

During those 70 years your family (or those to whom you have sold the rights to your work) will continue to benefit from it.

You can also voluntarily place your book in the public domain, but I don't know how to do it.

If a book is in the public domain, you can do whatever you want with it, except say it is from your authorship. Think of Shakespeare's books, they will always be his work, but anyone can print and sell them, anyone can make a movie based on his story without paying any rights to anyone, and even modify the story in any way they want. The best example is Dickens's "Christmas Carol".

These laws apply to books and everything else, but with images I don't know how it works (i don't know the specific details).


 

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