View Full Version : Outlining Graphics, allowed?

07-29-2015, 01:23 PM
Whats are the legal implications of taking a graphic you found online (let's say from a istock type website) and creating your own outline of the graphic from scratch. You used the original as a guide but the end result is entirely made up of your own outlines and work. Is that a no no or ok? thoughts?

07-29-2015, 03:46 PM
Morality aside, there are occasions where I use Google for visual inspiration on graphics. Sometimes I'm so inspired that I find it difficult to stray from that graphic too much. Are there legal implications to this?

07-29-2015, 08:41 PM
It could very well be considered a violation of copyright (in US). The context and potential commercial value to you using it would be pretty important factors to determine the risk. How much are you altering things? How novel is the reference image? Do you use it as one element amongst many in the final work? Lawyers and judges are the ultimate arbiters if someone decided to sue you of course. It would be entirely ridiculous not to mention that artists, both in the commercial and fine art world; do exactly as you have done every day.

Your post also brings to mind that the state of copyrighted works might be reformed sooner than people think http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2015/07/the-battle-to-reform-300-year-old-copyright-law-for-the-digital-age/