1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Using Photos to Teach Portrait Drawing Techniques

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by fide, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. fide

    fide Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Indiana
    Thought I would be a radical and ask a question before acting.

    I am an art teacher who primarily works from photographs.

    I've seen many YouTube artists demonstrate "how to" draw this person and that person, always using photographs. These are often "speed drawings" that entertain and inspire more than teach.

    I believe I can draw all the photographs I want for myself, or draw to teach a class. I'm fairly certain this falls under fair use, so long as I'm not trying to sell my work? I am less certain regarding the display of works or their use in promotion.

    I'd like to teach online without getting into trouble. If I use an image I find online—some celebrity, a car, or a Marvel superhero—and walk through a drawing based upon that image, would this practice be protected under the fair use exemption? It is the transition from real life to work online that leaves me apprehensive.

    I mention Marvel superheroes as a Staples store recently refused to make a print of a student's work that I could display at school for other students—something I've done without issue for many years. I understand Disney is especially litigious. The experience has left me questioning my limited understanding of the law.

    I thank you for your time.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    32,718
    Likes Received:
    4,911
    Trophy Points:
    113


    I suggest you discuss your concerns with a licensed lawyer of your choice, subsequently retaining that individual or law firm at an agreed upon fee or retainer.

    If you seek and act upon FREE information provided by strangers, you just might reap that which you wish to avoid.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    1,908
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I believe what you described is fine so long as you give credit where credit is due and aren't trying to profit from someone else's work.
    I agree your best answer will come from an attorney who you can actually speak with and show what you are doing.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,953
    Likes Received:
    951
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Not really a fair use issue because you're not really talking about a copyright issue, and fair use isn't a defense against a right of publicity claim. Drawing pictures of famous persons in an art class does not violate their right of publicity. Using their likenesses in promotions for such a class probably would. If you were concerned about a copyright infringement claim by the photographer who took a picture that you're using for that purpose, then I agree that fair use would apply (but again, don't use the photos in your promotions).
     
  5. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    279
    Trophy Points:
    63

    First off, if you didn't take the original photo there very much *IS* a copyright issue to make copies even for a demonstration. This may or may not be fair use. To use a famous photo (one you have a legitimate copy of ) in a class and have people copy it may well be fair use. Reproducing a photo in a commercial art class video or book, will push you away from fair use.

    Second, is right of publicity, again it all depends on how you use it.

    Third, since you mention comic book stuff, is trademark infringement. This will bite you hard as well as many of the comic book (as well as things like WB and the Harry Potter universe) are very ligitgious.

    Finally, understand that YouTube will pull your videos on the complaint of a person who swears they own the rights to something. It will be a tough slog getting it reinstated (especially when you are indeed infringing). Fair use will not compel YouTube to allow it.
     

Share This Page