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I design needlepoint canvasses. Can I use photos from the…

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I design needlepoint canvasses....
I design needlepoint canvasses. Can I use photos from the net to start my design process without getting into copyright issues? What limitations are there on this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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1/3/2012
IP Lawyer: Thomas Swartz, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Thomas Swartz
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,265
Experience: Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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Hello JACUSTOMER,

One of the rights granted by copyright is the right to make "derivative works" based on the original. So, the person who owns the copyright to the photo has the exclusive right to take the image of the photo and "copy" the image onto other formats such as paintings, prints, and yes even needlepoint canvasses. So, if you were to "copy" the photographic image and make a needlepoint canvass, you do run the risk of copyright infringement. Now, if you use the photographic image as a base around which you sort of create your own image which is distinguishable from the photo you probably won't have any problems. It is just a matter of how much you "copy" and whether your image can be distinguishable from the image on the photo.

Thomas
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