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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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misc crap I thought was interesting last friday, but don't care about now...
Josh 201604 KWP
joshdavis
According to the US Copyright Office FAQ, copyright "protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed."
Collage is considered a derivative work.
For a derivative work to be copyrightable, it must be "different enough" from the original works that it can be considered a new work in its own right. For most collage artists, this is not a problem. The very nature of collage generally involves combining multiple elements to create a new whole. However, keep in mind that the changes must be significant. Minor alterations to a single other work might not be "different enough."

Most important to the collage artist is that a derivative work can only include copyrighted material if it is created by the owner of the copyright on the original material, or with that person's permission. This means that making a collage that includes photos from National Geographic, Rand McNally maps, or pictures of Andy Warhol paintings, is illegal unless you have obtained permission from whoever owns the copyright on those works.
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What if the Rand McNally maps are changed so that you can't tell they are Rand McNally maps? What if you can tell that they are maps in general, but can't even really tell what the map is depicting? What if they are torn to bits and then put back together? I'm still going to use the old atlas. :)

Most of my early work breaks copyright laws-- mostly before I knew how to do very much, so I would just take other peoples' photos (and etc) and alter them, combine them in strange ways, etc. Then in like 96, I discovered digital photography, and so didn't have to rely on other peoples' images to convey my meanings.

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