Repurposing art is a real temptation for professional crafters, visual artists, and Etsy-sellers alike. What some call mere inspiration, others consider copying. Where’s the line between the two? Below are some of the rules at play for repurposing art, or using elements of creative works owned by someone else in a new creative work, and some common misconceptions when it comes to fair use.
We can all agree that handshake deals are not your friend, right? Artists often rely on the handshake deal or verbal agreement, maybe due to the assumption that contracts for artists are ten-page beasts, chocked full of legalese. On the contrary, a written contract can make certain that each side’s understanding matches up to the other’s. Put differently, a contract makes sure everyone is on the same page (pun intended) when it comes to important terms such as payment, delivery, and copyright.
We’ve become a very visual society. Maybe we have always been that way, but social media has made us more aware of just how visual our society is. (Hello, Instagram.) As such, every article, DIY project, and blog post has a pretty image. (If there is text overlaid on the image, it’s pretty text.) Luckily, there are several websites that offer stock photos and free fonts to help make things “pretty.” But can you really get away with using stock photos and free fonts with no strings attached?
The following will make any copyright lawyer cringe: “Oh, we didn’t put anything in writing, it was done on a handshake. I paid for it, so now I own it. Right?”
No. Not right. Hence, “handshake deal” should not be a part of your vocabulary or your business practice. Continue reading “Handshake Deals Are Not Your Friend”