I couldn't find a clear answer and thought I'd ask opinions -

Are you allowed to sell an autographed photo without violating copyright law, etc.?  Most images are obtained online and than signed. I'm sure that can be a copyright issue, and doubt that Fair Use, etc., allows one to do so?

Here's the situation-

Offered an autographed photo of Tiffany Alvord for sale...  I know... who really cares, Lol. However, I was contacted by her manager (which is her mother). I professionally replied, asked questions, and provided information from where I purchased the photo. I'm attaching the messages I received.

Decided it's not worth the hassle and took the listing down, but wondered if others on here ever had similar issues? 

Views: 568

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


The difference in quality from originals and copies can be seen on the right of the main page. Those photos of Plant, Bono, Henley and Cyrus. Overcontrasted, loss of detail esp in the darks (compare what is behin Cyrus' head and the copy, or the detail in Claytons hair.

Here is an example of a wonderful photograph I sold next to an overenlarged copy to make the 11x14 money grab. Cropped to death and lack of detail etc. Original composition ruined.

I think that's a bit more clear cut, since physically copying licensed works (i.e. printed film photos as above, movie stills and posters, etc.). The issue that Alvord's mom/manager brings up is much more vague in this instance. She doesn't even seem sure of what she's going on about.

Digital images exist primarily - if not exclusively - as files. The only quality degradation would have to do with subpar printing, assuming the original or sufficiently high res files are used. Of course low resolution files found online are what they are - i.e. poor quality. 

"...Of course low resolution files found online are what they are - i.e. poor quality. ..."

+1 and it shows.

Its interesting issue, but let me put it this way:
1.) autograph is not licenced product
2.) photograph IS licenced product

IMO you cannot break any laws by selling autograph, but you can break laws by selling photograph, but you should ask who is owner of copyrights for PHOTOGRAPH itself. Photographer and? 

So first sentence ("Obtaining and autograph photo does not give you one permission to resale it to make money") is relevant only in terms of photography itself.  Let´s imagine you have picture of someone which is part of album boxset and you get this photograph signed - and then sell it. IMO, it´s completely ok, because you didnt break any rule - your gain is from autograph, not from photograph (which you bought under common licence - which doesnt ban getting autograph on it). The only possible way how they could "enforce" this, is their merchstore as condition of selling and then, you would explicitly agree with it. But in case of "street autographs" - it´s completely out of game. Photograph printed from google can be legal issue, autograph cannot. 

Still weird to have an artist take the stance that Tiffany Alvord (well, her mom) is. You don't encounter that from artists at that level all that much. Most time I bring photos to shows, the artists actually really like them. Again though, I guess we're talking about a social media star here. Those egos and behaviors tend to be in their own category.

What about if you have a photo of Harrison ford and get a tattoo of that image, who owns your arm?

That's obvious...   Harrison would own your arm.

Right thing to do is cut it off and send it to him :-)

I have had museums in DC steal my images for a textbook frontis peice and I simply invoiced the Director every day until I was paid. I have had many folks try to steal my images - they don't do well in the end.

That is pretty drastic don't you think WHuffman?!?  Cut off an arm.  How ridiculous.  

The fact is Mr. Ford would have permission to use the "said arm" any time he chooses.  That's 24/7 folks.  So, be prepared if you choose to go this route.

tell her to work harder, nobody knows who the hell her client is



  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Steve Cyrkin, Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service