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Ask Alex Reese Your Own Question
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3466
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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Alex, Iam a graphical artist that uses public domain pics

Customer Question

Hi Alex, Iam a graphical artist that uses public domain pics and my personal images to build large mural images to represent my experiences in cities. Am I at risk of copyright infringement?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 2 years ago.
Hello....thanks for the question. No, if you are using public domain works then you can use them freely in any way you like. There is no copyright infringement for use of public domain works....so the main thing is confirming as best you can that is it in fact public domain.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How do you find that info, I filtered my google search as public domain when researching for images i could not obtain, like aerials and maps from before 1900, a lot came from wiki commons, I can research the pics again and credit the person who uploaded the image. I have created a new style of art, you can see at gturnbull.com
The website is still being built but I just want to check this out first incase it booms and people try to come after me... Thank you for your help!!
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 2 years ago.
first, anything before 1923 in definitely public domain. for works that may be after that date, if there is any name, contact info etc then do some follow up research. also, generally, the following chart is great for figuring how long copyrights last and will come in handy:http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfmAlso, you should copyright your original/creative works, esp. the ones that you think may be copied or used by others without your permission....because you need to have a copyright registration before filing a copyright lawsuit (and in order to get statutory i.e. automatic damages in the event of infringement)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, 2 hours later! i finally filed for copyright.. Thanks for your help...
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 2 years ago.
great that you did that! best of luck