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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I would like to create a series of booklets for our church

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I would like to create a series of booklets for our church using the artwork of Fra Angelico and Giotto. Since they are considered ancient art, they are public domain, yes?
If I use ancient art, or any art piece, what is the cut off date that it is considered "public domain"?

Also, if I would "remove" a character in a photo for the purpose of our booklet, does this create a legal problem?
I would like to create a series of booklets for our church using the artwork of Fra Angelico and Giotto. Since they are considered ancient art, they are public domain, yes?

A: Hello. Yes, any artwork created before 1923 is public domain for copyright purposes in the USA.

If I use ancient art, or any art piece, what is the cut off date that it is considered "public domain"?

A: See above.

Also, if I would "remove" a character in a photo for the purpose of our booklet, does this create a legal problem?

A: Public domain means you can do with the artwork what you wish -- in the USA. In some foreign nations, however, "moral" rights can effect what you can and cannot do with famous artwork. If you're only publishing your work in the USA, you have no issue. However, if you intend to use your work in Western Europe, you may want to have a lawyer in the jurisdiction where you intend to publish review the work to ensure that you haven't violated some "ancient" law disparaging the original artist or the nation's dignity, etc.

Hope this helps.
Hope this helps.
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