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  1. #1
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    Boring questions regarding copyright

    Is it generally acceptable to use images from websites for reference?
    More specifically, dedicated photography websites.
    For example, they have a bunch of good photos up for display and they sell prints and do commercial stuff.

    Is it acceptable to just use these kind of photos as reference to draw from?
    Furthermore, is it a breach of copyright to use such photos as reference for commercial work - in part or whole?

    Please discuss.


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  3. #2
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    Debatable, depends on how your using it.

    If your using the photo to make a photoshop brush or texture to use in some other aspect, or using it to texture a model. I wouldn't say thats a breach.

    If your out right copying it in any aspect (ie re-drawing it, slapping some filters on it), then no.

    In any case its not like your going to have lawyers coming at you, your just cheating yourself in the long run if you do.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyFreeze View Post
    In any case its not like your going to have lawyers coming at you, your just cheating yourself in the long run if you do.
    How is using reference cheating?
    Say, I need to draw a F117 stealth fighter jet. There's no way that I could study it from life or get my own photos.

  5. #4
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    You never said you were just going to study it, no thats not an issue. "reference" is pretty ambiguous...

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post
    Is it acceptable to just use these kind of photos as reference to draw from?
    Furthermore, is it a breach of copyright to use such photos as reference for commercial work - in part or whole?
    I thought this expressed my point clearly. Maybe not.

  7. #6
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    You go from "study" to "commercial work" in two lines. No theres is no issue with studying anything, yes theres could be problems using other peoples work depending how you use it and what exactly your using.

  8. #7
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    "Reference" is a highly ambiguous word that is used to mean everything from "using an image for inspiration" to "copying an image". The former is acceptable professionally. The latter is not.

    If you want to make an image of a fighter jet, study multiple images and schematics to understand the shape of the jet in 3D. Then use that mental image to draw it from whatever angle suits you. Copyright law protects the rights of the person who spent the absurd amount of money that it took to photograph one plane from another. You don't get to copy their photo just because the opportunity to take such a photo is not available to you.
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  9. #8
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    ^ That's pretty much the idea I had.
    Thanks.

  10. #9
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    Huh, interesting, so if u go and draw something that u found in a photo that isn't yours, it's breaching the copyright laws? I guess that would make sense in some ways, but almost seems ridiculous in other ways, but to what extent does "copying an image" cover? Like, I'm obviously not gonna rip off another piece of artwork, but say I take a specific mountain photograph and stick a monastery on it, is that acceptable? As in if I copy the entire image by hand, and draw a monastery on it of my own design, or even one that's similar looking to another one, or say I just paste a monastery onto this other one, and then blend them through painting and whatnot, are either of those acceptable, or are they both absurd and nobody should ever do either of them?

  11. #10
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    ^ Yeah, see, that's what I was also wondering about.

    I do know that's illegal to use any part of a copyright photo, but drawing it and altering it in some way? I dunno, pretty tricky topic.

  12. #11
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Wait, of course you can use photos for studying! especially if you don't post it .

If you want to post it, then you can just say "credits go to the photographer at www.whateversiteyouused.com where I found my reference"
None is gonna say anything if you leave him credits!

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