Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
1.We were talking about straight forward portraits. Is an artist allowed to
exhibit/sell one original (painting or mixed media) and NO reproductions
such as digital reproductions, notecards,etc.?
2.What is our organization's liability if we allow the artist to exhibit/sell
the artwork in question?
Thanks, Edith Dworak
A: The number of originals or copies is irrelevant. Either the work is consented to by the subject or protected under the 1st Amendment, as described in my original answer -- or not. If not, then the artist can't exhibit/sell anything.
A: If you are generating revenue, even indirectly, and even if you ultimately do not turn a profit, then you could be liable to the subject of the portrait for misappropriating the subject's likeness. Most celebrities would be unlikely to sue you, because it would make for horrible publicity. But, it's legally possible to sue you.
Hope this helps.
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