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CD artwork copyright question

Using a product image in artwork



4:42 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)


I've seen a few posts about this but none specific to my situation. I am producing a CD and plan on taking a photograph of a few relevant items for the cover. One of those items I picked up at a yard sale...in a margarine container ('I can't believe it's not butter'). The setting was perfect for my concept.

Is it okay, in the eyes of the law, to use the image of this container or would I need to contact the manufacturer to request permission?

Many thanks for any input.



5:39 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Welcome to WebmasterWorld rogerhewett :)

If you are in the UK ? ..you wouldn't need permission to use a product container or packaging as part* of a still life photo or photo montage or as an included item in a CD cover photo or image ..

Only if you were using it in a derogatory way would the manufacturer have maybe cause to complain ..and even then a CD cover would fall under the category of a "work of art" and any photos would be of a montage nature ..and your photo could be considered to fall with "commentary" ..

This is why the art agencies who produce CD covers for rock bands etc, and who use products ( cars ,alcohol bottles , whatever )in their CD cover artwork ..don't have to ask before hand..and objections afterward have to be very very well founded for the judges to rule in the manufacturers favour ..

However ..don't do photo shoots of nudes in private buildings ( unless they are your own ) ..and not in church buildings or graveyards etc ( which are not public ) ..same applies to mosques and synagogues ..

Can get you into a heap of community and legal trouble ..
I once had to make a highly photo-realistic painting ( fast )of that kind of scene as the owners of the actual setting took legal action to prevent the results of the unauthorised photo shoot being used on a cover..

Good gig ;-)..I knew they were "over a barrel" ( re my charges ) because of who ( and in what "condition" they were in ) they had draped over tombstones for their photos..graveyards etc are not public property..at least not in the UK.

Plus they should have known it would cause offense ..Hammer didn't just shoot vampire movies at the local church ..or even Highgate cemetery without getting written permission "up front".

You should be OK..the biggest problem photographers have in the UK is being "too big"..Glad I left ;-)

* "part" being the important word..other items in the shot means you wont be seen as "passing off" or "trying to associate yourself with"..."or bringing into disrepute"..

You could always try contacting the editorial staff of one of the more "pro" photographic magazines.for their opinion or guidance ..and there are some pro associations that will give their members legal advice and liability cover etc against just this sort of question..

HTH :)


11:20 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thank you very much for this information, and for the welcome. I'm from the UK originally but am currently in the US- however I would imagine the same rule of thumb would apply. It's all fairly logical really...I can see both sides of the situation.

Anyway, I really appreciate your input.



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