By on October 30th, 2020

 

 

“Stern Man” [Photo via <a href=”https://www.goodfreephotos.com/”>Good Free Photos</a>Liftarm] with my background.

 

Copyright and Fair Use

 

 

Fair Use is a legal term you use at your own risk. Lawyers can readily be found to take their battling arguments before a judge. Who can you afford?

 

 

Fair Use means a blogger profiling an artist’s work may not cut into that artist’s profit from the work. I assume that by profiling an artist the blogger is spreading the artist’s renown. So unless a person depicted in an image is recognizable I have the right to offer that image to you, the reader of my focused profile.

 

 

This I assure you is the fine legal opinion of me. Never a member of a law class.

 

 

Furthermore if I’m forbidden from using an artist’s image, I am allowed to replicate a part of it, just not in its entirety. Endless arguments festering here. An inch more off the top, judge?

 

 

The real problem is I don’t want to be a jerk. You can’t keep me from writing about you but you can vociferously resent my using your image as illustration. So do I say I’m claiming fair use? An ill-smelling choice. Do I publish without visuals? Pretty lame for visual arts. Maybe I can find a way to politely say that I’m writing the profile, you can give me permission to show some works or I’ll have to resort to chopping out pieces of it. How do you convey that without your subject seeing a gun in your hand?

 

 

I’m writing my letters and not hearing back. Kehinde Wiley’s crew took me to second base, then fell silent. In Covid times you can’t jump to conclusions. But of course I did. And I re-sent my reply, citing web malfunctions, but surely someone would be answering his email were he out of office.

 

 

My profile of Deborah Roberts (below) is my first after an unequivocal no from a gallery for images to accompany my blog. The method does the artist no favors. I’d much rather whole examples but I’ll take what seems legal and in good faith.

 

 

Sorry, Ms Roberts.

 

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Copyright law, fair use

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