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 Posted: Fri Jan 4th, 2008 11:35 pm
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mythos
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I found this on ebay ... 110209219429

It was a multiple item selling.  Not all were sold, and the deck is a limited edition of 50.  I imagine more will become available.

This is what he (Jason Lang) wrote:

Caillot Tarot  

According to Wikipedia, Jacques Callot (born 1592) was a baroque printmaker from the Duchy of Lorraine Duchy, an independent state on the North-Eastern border with France.  He is an important figure in the development of the old master print.  He made over 1,400 brilliantly detailed etchings that chronicled the life of his period, featuring soldiers, clowns, drunkards, Gypsies, beggars, as well as court life.  Rembrandt was a keen collector of his prints.

Deck Description

22-card major arcana deck, aprox. 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, front in greyscale or sepia monochrome, back of cards have a patterned ancient design in color. Cards are printed on 12.5 point semi gloss card stock. A single ply, no glue and no lamination.  This deck is a self published limited edition of 50.  There is no explanatory booklet.  Self published by the editor Jason Lang, Ontario Canada, 2007.

These are the images her included in the ebay sale ... obviously resized to create an even-sized deck.

 

 

Attachment: caillot.JPG (Downloaded 186 times)

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 12:41 am
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debra
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Yes, I saw that. I used to have a deck that he produced.  He has a good eye for choosing images from other artists that fit tarot iconography. 

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 12:01 pm
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AdamMcLean
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He has also just produced a tarot seemingly based on the images in wall paintings in Pompei.

There are always interesting images to explore and find tarot resonances.


I have a page on my Art Tarot website showing some of the decks he  has produced which I have now updated to include his recent publications.

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/tarot/jason_lang.html


 


Last edited on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 01:21 pm by AdamMcLean

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 05:01 pm
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tantricknite
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Jason has a new deck listed on E-bay that looks quite interesting. It's called the Chikanobu Tarot.....




Chikanobu Tarot - lrd edition 15. Japanese woodblocks

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 05:29 pm
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goldenweb
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Ohhhh.... nice, very nice...  

The Chicanobu, I mean.

Although I like the other too. 


I see from the ebay page that he makes them to order. Does anyone know whether they're printed on cardstock, or on paper then laminated? What's the quality like? 

Pen  


I really must learn to scroll down before asking questions!

From lower down the page:

22-card major arcana deck, 3 inches by 4.5 inches, front in high resolution colour, back of cards have a patterned ancient design in color. Cards are printed on 12.5 point semi gloss card stock. A single ply, no glue and no lamination.  Handcut. This deck is a self published limited edition of 15.  There is no explanatory booklet.  Self published by the editor Jason Lang, Ontario Canada, 2007.

 

Last edited on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 05:41 pm by goldenweb

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 06:40 pm
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debra
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I purchased one of his older decks and although I felt the images are well-chosen, I was disappointed by the production quality relative to the price and carelessness in packaging (a card was missing and they were not carefully packed).

I gather he's printing them now on some kind of heavy paper with a pattern on the back, which may be more aesthetically appealing.

The use of other (dead) artists' work as tarot images raises some interesting questions, in my mind.  And the difference between this approach (single image, part of a larger image, with a number and title) vs. collage also interesting.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 07:14 pm
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tantricknite
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Some of Jasons older decks (Book of Kells,Kahlo and others) were laminated in plastic which really took away from the cards.The first thing you wanted to do was to trim the edges off.However his Tarot making skills have improved and he has gotton away from that.I suspect he got some feedback from collectors and figured out what people like when it comes to the tecture of the cards.I have some of his recent stuff (Collot,Pompei,Judaica) and the card stock is excelllent.He also seems better organized now as I havent had to wait to long to get the cards after I ordered them.I remember originaly having to wait a long time to get the decks I orderd and sometimes they would come in two shipments.He would always apologize for the wait and add things to the order like extra sample cards and once a tarot bag that he had hand made.The boxes he would ship the cards in were a trip too.They are kind of hard to descibe but he would dress them up and I still use them to store cards in.........

Last edited on Sat Jan 5th, 2008 08:10 pm by tantricknite

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 08:55 pm
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mythos
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Chikanobu Tarot ... OMG ... I love it.  I did a sub-major in Asian Politics when I was doing my first degree.  It included Modern Japan, starting with the Meiji Period.  I so want this deck and I have absolutely no money except a little silver in my wallet.

mythos sobs into her coffee:(

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 11:16 pm
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quid
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mythos wrote: It included Modern Japan, starting with the Meiji Period.  I so want this deck and I have absolutely no money except a little silver in my wallet.
And I collect Japanese poetry from different periods and books of Japanese woodcuts and art.

However, I did buy several decks in the Fall so refuse to complain. . .much.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 07:37 am
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goldenweb
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Debra wrote:

The use of other (dead) artists' work as tarot images raises some interesting questions, in my mind.  And the difference between this approach (single image, part of a larger image, with a number and title) vs. collage also interesting.


 

I have a huge bookcase full of art books crammed with every style of art and the work of artists ancient and modern, famous and obscure, but I'm discovering that there's something about an image, whether in whole or in part, that takes on a new and compelling attraction when selected and framed for the tarot. It's a sort of "Ahhhh...." moment, a kind of revelation.

Having said that, one seems to get a sense of whether a deck has been created with love, care and artistic input, or just knocked out for some quick sales on ebay.

The use of dead artists' work is interesting also from a copyright POV. Unless one obtains a book that is over a certain age (25 years I think), the artist can have been dead for a millenium, yet here in the UK the copyright for the images will belong to either the photographer or the publisher, depending on the contract between them.   I think it's different in the US - there was a case involving the Bridgeman Library some time ago. As far as I remember, the judge ruled that unless a photographer had added significant artistic input,  the copyright remained with the artist or (if they'd been dead long enough), in the public domain. Another difference between the UK and US is that here an artist's copyright is automatic for 75 years - no need to register anything, whereas in the US I believe there was a loophole around 1957/8 when a few artists neglected to re-register their work and it slipped into the public domain. 

The whole thing is such a minefield that as a very tiny publisher it's far safer and less stressful to produce original work. But I still love that Chikanobu....

Last edited on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 02:00 pm by goldenweb

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 07:48 am
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debra
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Uh huh. And the publisher of these tarots is in Canada, so that adds to the copyright confusion....:P

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 11:03 am
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gregory
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In the UK - and I believe in Continental Europe, as it has been raised in terms of the Mona Lisa - one copyright nasty is that if - for instance - I take a photo of an art work in a museum - I STILL cannot use it for my own ends.

I ofen wonder how Jason gets around this. If I dared I would make a Max Ernst deck myself.... and a PreRaphaelite one...

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 12:18 pm
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goldenweb
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gregory wrote: I ofen wonder how Jason gets around this. If I dared I would make a Max Ernst deck myself.... and a PreRaphaelite one...

I don't see why you shouldn't make one for your own use - it's selling stuff that gets one into trouble.


I suspect (although I could be wrong) that JL began by using images published by the Dover bookshop - his  tarot based on the drawings of Odilon Redon springs to mind. Nothing is straightforward though - I recently bought a couple of their books with the woodcuts of Lynd Ward - one was stated "Permission Free" on the website, yet on the title verso page was printed "all rights reseved, copyright estate Lynd Ward..." etc etc).   Another Dover book I have states that the images are permission-free, but that no more than 10 may be used in the same project.

As for museums, who owns the pictures? We do! The bottom line is that it's all about money.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2008 01:09 pm
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gregory
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goldenweb wrote: gregory wrote: I ofen wonder how Jason gets around this. If I dared I would make a Max Ernst deck myself.... and a PreRaphaelite one...

I don't see why you shouldn't make one for your own use - it's selling stuff that gets one into trouble.


I suspect (although I could be wrong) that JL began by using images published by the Dover bookshop - his  tarot based on the drawings of Odilon Redon springs to mind. Nothing is straightforward though - I recently bought a couple of their books with the woodcuts of Lynd Ward - one was stated "Permission Free" on the website, yet on the title verso page was printed "all rights reseved, copyright estate Lynd Ward..." etc etc).   Another Dover book I have states that the images are permission-free, but that no more than 10 may be used in the same project.

As for museums, who owns the pictures? We do! The bottom line is that it's all about money.
I didn't know that about Dover :cool:

But I do agree about museums and photos. OUR TAXES keep them going. I was annoyed to see (in Roslyn Chapel) that you have to ASK to use your own photos in a commercial project. IF I ever sold the deck I am doing, which has at least one from there - well, er --- tough ! No-one owns a place like that. And more fool them - I went there and paid to get in because of a photo I saw whch was somewhere I am sure it shouldn't have been (that and the da Vinci code ;))

*but I hope they don't find me out....* :shock:


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 Posted: Fri Jan 11th, 2008 04:29 pm
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jasonlang
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Thanks everyone for their comments and support.  This is a fine site. I have just joined. Sometimes it is useful to clarify outstanding questions from collectors such as the ones about copyright.  Firstly, I thank AdamMclean and Tantricknite amongst others for their behind the scenes suggestions for improvements, for example that led me to move away from lamination to card stock.  As I recall, Gregory suggested to us the idea for the Carolingian which later led me and my partner later to the ideas for the Kells and the Hebrew.  And yes one ply card stock is better in most cases, except perhaps a specialty art deck such as the Matisse. And yes, I had been late with some deliveries (as is very well documented by a few on the Aeclectic) but I have sent out quite a few free decks as penance, as most of you quietly know.

Before I address some of the questions on copyright, let me note that I have listed a few more Caillot decks, based mainly on the interest shown in this discussion. To clarify, since it is quite awhile since I listed decks, the ones that have sold out are the Carolingian, Kells, Matisse. Malevitch and I have orders for the last 2 Kahlo.  (The Spirt Bird was made 100% by my partner and I only handled the clerical end).  The decks that are still available are the Caillot, Redon, a few Pompei, Chikanobu which is new and the Hebrew.  Laminated Klee ( reviewed by the Tarot Garden) and the Kandinsky are available on request since they are made to order.

In terms of copyright, in most countries in the world it is 50 years after the death of the artist, exceptions in France and Japan where it is 75 years.  In Canada, a case went to the Supreme Court of Canada a few years ago by a publisher called CCH versus the Osgoode Hall law library. Students were copying thousands of law cases from the library and paying the library for use of the photocopying machines, instead of buying them directly from CCH.  Although the losses to CCH were likely hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, the coirt said the students and the library could copy a few pages at a time if the copies were for limited use.  I believe that the argument was that the benefit to society of free discussion outweighed setting very strict and draconian limits on copyright rights for business.

I believe that a limited edition of 15 to 25 copies and images from many sources can be considered limited use.  As some of you noted, many of the images that I use are already in the public domain.  I think it is fair to say though, that it would not be easy at all to get a publisher to make a run of 2000 Klee tarots, especially if all the images were from one museum such as the Louvre using the analogy of the Mona Lisa.  Strange as it may seem though, my idea of a Klee Tarot would itself be copyrightable and might prevent a musuem that owned the images from making a Tarot deck from its own pictures, unless it paid me royalties.

I hope these comments help clarify a few things and I would be pleased to answer other questions as well or suggestions for other improvements.  Thanks for the opportunity to comment on this forum.

regards

Jason Lang, Toronto Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Posted: Fri Jan 11th, 2008 05:43 pm
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gregory
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Hi Jason ;)

Thanks for the credit for the Carolingian idea !! I'd forgotten that..... Don't suppose it will earn me a free Chikanobu ???:?

Thought not ! :(

I wish I had more money these days - as you both know - but I am glad to hear you are back to single ply... I have read with the Matisse, but I have to say I had to shuffle another deck and then match up the cards ! The Redon, by contrast, handles beautifully !

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 Posted: Fri Jan 11th, 2008 11:04 pm
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mythos
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Thanks Jason for the information.  My Caillot arrived yesterday (I think ... it has been 41C for the last few days and the brain fries and becomes time-deficient).  Anyway ... it is extraordinary and utterly inspiring.

I'm glad to hear that the Chikanobu Tarot is new ... because it will be a while before I am cashed up enough to buy it.  Again extraordinary and inspiring.

You are a blessing to the tarot community.:D

mythos:)

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 09:59 am
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goldenweb
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Jason, thanks for answering all those copyright queries. I just wish I had the nerve to embark on a few projects that involve the work of dead artists I admire, but I'm far far too good at worrying, and like to sleep well at night. :)

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 11:34 am
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AdamMcLean
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I don't think Jason is right in his assessment of the copyright issues regarding the selling of images of artworks.

The position is rather that, although an artwork may be out of copyright, the artist having died over 70 years ago, the reality is that one is not copying the original artwork but a modern scan, photograph or printed  facsimile of an artwork, which is itself copyright of the present owner of the painting and the photographer.  It is entirely legitimate for a artist to make a facsimile painting of a Titian or Gainsborough, as these artists died over 70 years ago, but one would infringe copyright if one made a facsimile painting of a Dali, for example.

The situation with reproducing a photograph or printed version in a modern book is entirely clear, it is a breach of copyright.   One is allowed to reproduce part of a modern book for the puposes of a review or scholarly article. Reproduction of part of a book is allowed for the purposes of private study, but then one has to sign a standard agreement not to reproduce these further.

In any case the selling of a work created by reproducing images from modern books is forbidden, and a warning about this is usually printed on the reverse title page of most artbooks. This is why there has been a growth in the picture agencies which will sell the rights (on behalf of the owners of the paintings) for people to repoduce and use in commercial projects.

Clearly, Jason and others using the same approach are clearly breaking the copyright rules. However, the consequences are relatively minimal and he and others need not fear the immanent arrival of letters from lawyers. Unless the material being copied in this way is presented  in a way which defames the orginal and damages the sales of the original book from which the illustrations were taken, the damages would be assessed as being a percentage of the total sales of the work which infringed the copyright. In the case where someone sold an edition of 20 copies for $100 each, then the total sales would be around $2000. The infringer would only be liable for repaying damages for a percentage of this, so it would hardly be worth the time for a lawyer even to write a restraining letter. This has been done say in the case of the Hello Kitty, and some decks incorporating Disney and other such characters, but I doubt the Frida Kahlo estate would bother about a few tarot cards. Of course if this was being done by large publishers it would be immediately stamped on as the copyright lawyers would not want any predecent to be established in law by them not taking action.

In reality, people reproducing images from modern books as tarot card images, will probably get away with this, if they do small editions, and if they do not come to the attention of copyright and intellectual property lawyers. There is no difference in law between reproducing Frida Kahlo paintings, Hello Kitty and Donald Duck images.

 

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 01:16 pm
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goldenweb
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AdamMcLean wrote: I don't think Jason is right in his assessment of the copyright issues regarding the selling of images of artworks.


 

Having done some research on copyright for the use of art within images for book covers, I had my doubts too, hence the remark about sleeping at night. I did wonder whether the Candian copyright laws were significantly different from the ones here in the UK, but it seems unlikely. The real trouble seems to begins when profit is involved, or if the work is used inappropriately - I wonder whether the studio lawyers will do anything about that tarot based on the Charmed TV series...

Thanks  for the extra info, Adam.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 01:40 pm
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AdamMcLean
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Most major countries including Canada are signed up to an international convention on copyright and intellectual property. There may be very minor differences in the implementation in some countries, but not to the extent of allowing people to reproduce items which are clearly copyright in another country. Otherwise, publishers would use such loopholes to make money.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 02:06 pm
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BlueToy
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just a question. how would doujinshi (japanese fan art) fit into the whole copyright thing? i get the impression that they have an almost-legal status there, or at least, are tolerated. would it have made any difference had the creator of the hello tarot published his deck there?

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 02:39 pm
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AdamMcLean
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jasonlang wrote:
Strange as it may seem though, my idea of a Klee Tarot would itself be copyrightable and might prevent a musuem that owned the images from making a Tarot deck from its own pictures, unless it paid me royalties. 
  


I don't think you could expect this to be so. You would have to establish your exclusive right to use the term 'Klee' in a tarot title.  I think the only people who could do this would be the present copyright holders of Paul Klee's work, who would be his surviving relatives or a representative legal body such as a Paul Klee Estate or Foundation.

You cannot copyright a concept, only an actual work. Thus no one owns the exclusive right to the term "Celtic Tarot", "Druid Tarot", "Dragon Tarot", "Alchemical Tarot" or whatever, though each of the many examples of such decks are copyright.

 

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 03:06 pm
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tantricknite
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Copyrite laws do seem complicated.I have a question.It would seem to me that imagies like Disney characters would be protected as a concept as well since as cartoon characters their not fixed like an art painting.In the case of the Hello Kitty  the creator of that tarot took advantage of the popularity of the Hello Kitty and created his deck.His imagies didn't match exactly what maybe the originale Hello Kitty creators had produced but they were close enough so that their was no question that it was a Hello Kitty product.BTW does anyone know the outcome of that litigation?In regards to art it seems were dealing with fixed imagies.To reproduce the Mona Lisa exactly would be a copy rite infrigment but to slightly change it would not.Theres been some humorous spin off art based on the Mona Lisa and I don't think that would be infridgment.As far as what Jason is doing it does seem like a gray area.You could argue that by adding titles to the art imagies and making them into tarot he is altering the originale imagies just enough to get away with it.Maybe.I certainly don't have a problem with what he does and don't think he is "stealing" from anybody.This is certainly an interesting topic and I think Adam has a good grasp of this as he's in publishing.My comments are me thinking out load..........

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 03:27 pm by tantricknite

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 03:36 pm
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AdamMcLean
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tantricknite wrote: It would seem to me that imagies like Disney characters would be protected as a concept as well since as cartoon characters their not fixed like an art painting.In the case of the Hello Kitty  the creator of that tarot took advantage of the popularity of the Hello Kitty and created his deck.His imagies didn't match exactly what maybe the originale Hello Kitty creators had produced

In the case of Disney and other such characters these are also trademarked. So anyone redrawing images, based on Mickey Mouse, would be breaching the Disney Trademark, which is additional to their copyright.

Although anyone can make a 'Celtic tarot' as no one has (or would be able to) trademark the word 'Celtic', the Disney characters and Hello Kitty are protected in this way. No one can use these for commercial purposes except the registered owners.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 03:48 pm
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AdamMcLean
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tantricknite wrote:As far as what Jason is doing it does seem like a gray area.You could argue that by adding titles to the art imagies and making them into tarot he is altering the originale imagies just enough to get away with it.

I don't think it is a grey area at all. The main point is the reproduction of images taken from books, by an artist whose works are still in copyright. You could equally say that making a copy on DVD of a newly released film, and adding subtitles would be  a grey area. I would not like to be your lawyer if you were to do that.

Jason will get away with it because, he only issues small editions and Frieda Kahlo's or Paul Klee's estate would not be bothered very much over this. If some publishing company were to take this up and make a well distributed edition of such a deck without getting copyright clearance by paying the requisite fees, they would certainly get clobbered with an injunction. Jason and others, should not worry over much about such things. They are breaking the copyright laws but these are civil matters and with such a small scale of production they would never face any legal action.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 03:48 pm
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AdamMcLean
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Bluetoy wrote :

just a question. how would doujinshi (japanese fan art) fit into the whole copyright thing? i get the impression that they have an almost-legal status there, or at least, are tolerated. would it have made any difference had the creator of the hello tarot published his deck there?

 

The doujinshi are undoubtedly breaking the copyright of the originators of the manga or game characters they imitate.  However, copyright in most countries comes under a civil law rather than criminal law, so it is up to the injured party to take action to protect their interests. In this case I suspect that the Manga or game publishers feel that a group of people imitating their work serves to increase interest in the originals and does not damage their financial interests, so they let it continue. If some doujin created a clone of some manga character and managed to sell lots of copies and was making serious money from this, then you can be sure they would be served with an injunction. As long as the doujin remain fans and supporters and promoters of the original artwork, magazines or games, then I suspect they will be left alone.

It is not always in the copyright holders best interest to enforce their copyright, but if they risk losing money,or see their product undermined, then they will take action.

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 05:45 pm by AdamMcLean

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 06:52 pm
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debra
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Collage decks, I believe, raise slightly different issues insofar as something new is created with bits of something done by others, whereas putting a title on someone else's work (whether it be "Fool" and "Magician" or "January" and "February" or "Get Well Soon") recontextualizes the original but does not create something. It is interesting that some of the most well-known collage decks do describe the image sources insofar as they are known. (Kat Black's Golden and Sarah Ovenall's Victoria Regina come to mind.)

Perhaps copyright is rapidly becoming a lost cause for all but the big players with trademarks and a staff of lawyers on retainer. I suspect  that, should the owners of the images discover their use for commercial purposes (making tarot decks for sale), a "cease and desist" letter is more likely than a court case. 

It is a reality and an irony that the same technology that allows us to learn and share information, ideas and images so widely also facilitates the "theft" of others' work for profit.  It's one reason I don't buy such decks any more howevermuch I like the images.

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 07:19 pm by debra

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 09:35 pm
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tantricknite
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AdamMcLean wrote: tantricknite wrote:As far as what Jason is doing it does seem like a gray area.You could argue that by adding titles to the art imagies and making them into tarot he is altering the originale imagies just enough to get away with it.

I don't think it is a grey area at all. The main point is the reproduction of images taken from books, by an artist whose works are still in copyright. You could equally say that making a copy on DVD of a newly released film, and adding subtitles would be  a grey area. I would not like to be your lawyer if you were to do that.
That make sense.I think your analogy about subtitles fits preety well.  Mike

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 09:37 pm by tantricknite

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 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 10:22 pm
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gregory
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debra wrote: Collage decks, I believe, raise slightly different issues insofar as something new is created with bits of something done by others, whereas putting a title on someone else's work (whether it be "Fool" and "Magician" or "January" and "February" or "Get Well Soon") recontextualizes the original but does not create something. It is interesting that some of the most well-known collage decks do describe the image sources insofar as they are known. (Kat Black's Golden and Sarah Ovenall's Victoria Regina come to mind.)

Perhaps copyright is rapidly becoming a lost cause for all but the big players with trademarks and a staff of lawyers on retainer. I suspect  that, should the owners of the images discover their use for commercial purposes (making tarot decks for sale), a "cease and desist" letter is more likely than a court case. 

It is a reality and an irony that the same technology that allows us to learn and share information, ideas and images so widely also facilitates the "theft" of others' work for profit.  It's one reason I don't buy such decks any more howevermuch I like the images.
Funny you should mention Sarah Ovenall. She has a site with info about this.

Here.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 07:12 am
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goldenweb
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Thanks for that link gregory - incredibly clear and useful.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 11:27 am
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quid
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I liked what Sarah said: "But infringement is still infringement."

People can legally do many things, but for me it comes down to ethics--principles of conduct.

I don't care if you're copying single pictures from a book, or collaging a bunch of stuff you scanned in from old books that aren't under copyright law.

It is not ethical in my mind, nor do I consider people who do this creators. Have some fun doing it at home for yourself, but don't expect people to take you seriously as an artist or creator if you're scanning and collaging the work of others and selling it, however legal.

Interestingly, the root of the word "plagiarize" is "kidnapping" in Latin and "oblique, crooked, treacherous" in Greek.

Do your own work, don't kidnap the work of others.

Debra:

It's one reason I don't buy such decks any more howevermuch I like the images.

I no longer buy them either.


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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 12:12 pm
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AdamMcLean
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quid wrote: Have some fun doing it at home for yourself, but don't expect people to take you seriously as an artist or creator if you're scanning and collaging the work of others and selling it, however legal.




I think this is a rather hard line. All human art, music and science has an element of working with the material of previous writers and artists. If people had to produce entirely original material for their books, musical compositions or artwork, little at all would be produced. Most books are written by the author reading other peoples' books and often intellectually collaging the ideas from these sources.

Collage as an art form does have its limitations but surely it is a valid form. Perhaps we have seen so many collaged tarots in recent years that we feel the form to have become tired, but there are some substantial works of collage out there. Perhaps we should start a thread on that subject.

Jason Lang, among others, has had the idea of contextualising the artwork of various artists as tarot images and has pursued this through a wide range of source artists. This is surely a valid approach, and one I find quite entertaining. I suppose we could name these as a kind of 'tribute deck', recognising the artwork of an artist by seeing it through the filter of tarot. There are copyright implications for the work of modern artists which some people might find problematic, but this format is surely a kind of themed deck, paralleling those produced even by major publishers. Lo Scarabeo's Kama Sutra, Botticelli, Bosch and so on.

I don't feel I can immediately dismiss the  collaged, the  themed deck or the tribute deck. These all seem to me to be part of the wide tapestry of tarot art, however, I do share your enthusiasm for painted or drawn tarot images, and I try to reflect this is my choices for publication in my Art Tarot series. 


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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 12:28 pm
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quid
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Adam:

I think this is a rather hard line.

Well there are different approaches to collage. I rather doubt when looking at a piece of collage by Harold Town that you would be able to recognize the original pictures.

However, the same cannot be said about tarot collage.

All human art, music and science has an element of working with the material of previous writers and artists.

That's like saying that because you saw your parent die, you're going to die.

Nonsensical, it's a myth. I will never accept that approach to creativity. It does not hold up. It's the usual skewy logic people use to rationalize a lack of effort and imagination.


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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 12:48 pm
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AdamMcLean
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quid wrote:
That's like saying that because you saw your parent die, you're going to die.




 


Well I certainly am convinced that I am going to die, as all other human beings before me have died.


I will never accept that approach to creativity. It does not hold up. It's the usual skewy logic people use to rationalize a lack of effort and imagination.


Surely human culture is built on learning from others. Without learning from, copying, emulating, imitating others, we produce nothing. Surely all tarot art is derivative, and that is its strength, that it is a coherent tradition of artists working within a tight structure.  If tarot was full of artists producing entirely original works of imagination, we would not recognise it any longer as tarot art, as there would be no coherence or form.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 05:53 pm
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debra
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I've started a new thread for discussing collage decks: http://www.tarotcollectors.com/view_topic.php?id=238&forum_id=3

And another for discussion of creativity and posting particularly creative approaches:
http://www.tarotcollectors.com/view_topic.php?id=239&forum_id=3

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 06:04 pm
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quid
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AdamMcLean wrote: quid wrote:
That's like saying that because you saw your parent die, you're going to die.


Well I certainly am convinced that I am going to die, as all other human beings before me have died.



Yeah but you don't die from **seeing** someone else die. Likewise, you don't create art from seeing someone else do it. The impetus to create comes within an individual.

Tarot art is derivative, but you said "ALL human art, music and science has an element of working with the material of previous writers and artists." [emphasis mine.]

I don't support the theory that nothing original is created because it has ALL been done before. That's nonsense. No two people are the same and have the same genes, nor have they ever, thus creativity will not be the same.


And really, how would you know Adam, you haven't been alive forever or known every single person that has ever been alive. This sort of pronouncement is one that is often shopped around when speaking about art.

I find it entirely silly.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 06:29 pm
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debra
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(note: I'm putting this in the creativity thread, too.)

I have found with writing that it is a lost cause to focus on the "creating" side.  This is because, in my experience, whenever I am "creating" I feel a sense of satisfaction and "rightness" in what I am doing, although a second look often reveals that my work is not very good. 

Instead of talking about where creativity "comes from" I have found it more productive to look at how creative works are received by others.  For example, what may seem like "just another love song" or "just another RWS clone" to some may have truly significant and moving features to others.

I'm not saying that aesthetics are all "relative to the viewer" -- I don't believe that.  Rather, I think that holding up "absolute innovation" as a standard for true creativity comes at the work from the wrong end.  The artist's experience of creating may be deeply and profoundly satisfying, or frustrating and disappointing, or whatever...but it's the art we're looking at here.

Last edited on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 06:39 pm by debra

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 08:56 pm
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gregory
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Indeed. I have thought about a collage deck, and it would be very satisfying to do... And I don't think it would be entirely unoriginal. But to some extent all art IS derivative; unless you are someone who has never seen, heard or experienced the art of others, you cannot but have been influenced by it in some way, whether or not you know it, and whether or not that influence is direct. What you have experienced becomes a part of you.

That is not at all the same as saying that all creativity is ths same.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 13th, 2008 09:56 pm
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tantricknite
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quid wrote:Tarot art is derivative, but you said "ALL human art, music and science has an element of working with the material of previous writers and artists." [emphasis mine.]

I don't support the theory that nothing original is created because it has ALL been done before. That's nonsense. No two people are the same and have the same genes, nor have they ever, thus creativity will not be the same.


And really, how would you know Adam, you haven't been alive forever or known every single person that has ever been alive. This sort of pronouncement is one that is often shopped around when speaking about art.

I find it entirely silly.

I think the problem is using the word ALL as it suggests an absolute and as with everything their are exceptions.I would agree with Adams assement. The parodx is that the world around us seems to be goverened by both absolutes and by chaos.Or put another way it is the interaction of both random and non-random things that creates change.The artist takes that which is known and moves it into the direction of the unknown.The unknown is the restlesness of the soul.I believe that all things are interconnected to everything else even if the connection isn't obvious.Everything is evolving and the changes that happen have to come from something that previously excisted befor it.I don't think Adam is suggesting that "nothing original can be created because it has all been done befor".That statement by itself doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think it is our understanding of art that determines its validity.It's interpetation is relative to the viewer....

Last edited on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 12:55 am by tantricknite

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 12:19 am
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mythos
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Tarot art is derivative, but you said "ALL human art, music and science has an element of working with the material of previous writers and artists." [emphasis mine.]

I don't support the theory that nothing original is created because it has ALL been done before. That's nonsense. No two people are the same and have the same genes, nor have they ever, thus creativity will not be the same.


And really, how would you know Adam, you haven't been alive forever or known every single person that has ever been alive. This sort of pronouncement is one that is often shopped around when speaking about art.

I find it entirely silly.



 

I hear echos of logical positivism which is, itself, an untenable position when it comes to application to moral philosophy.  I think that there is a huge difference between searching through the works of others purely and simply to create a deck from which one makes money and says nothing more about tarot.  Morally reprehensible. Definitely lacking ethical validity.

However, if one searches through the artwork of others, has  'ah ha!' moments of creative thought when viewing the work, and resultantly uses portions of others work to develop a creative idea which reflects a unique and personal take on tarot, then you have art, not plagiarism.

We are each born into a time which carries with it social, cultural, philosophical, artistic, technological, economic, racial values and so on in which we are enculturated.  It is inevitable that these factors, whether consciously studied, or unconsciously experienced, are going to influence how we think about the world.  My 1951 year-born Australian working class milieu, influenced by my family's creativity and eccentricity ... it's interests ... and my education, every person I encounter, every book I read, every sight I see, filtered through my own personality and personal, as well as cultural, zeitgeist, is inevitably, going to put a different twist and turn on tarot than anyone else's.  Consequently, if I created a collage tarot deck of serious intent , using other's art that resonated with me, I am going to create something new.  Merely because I have taken from the old, does not mean that I am not creating something new and original.

It is inevitable that we are influenced by the past, but that does not mean that out of it, we cannot and do not, create the new.  Had it not been for physicists and philosophers working with Newton's Theories testing them until the point at which too many anomalies arose for it to continue to be valid (at least for 'off earth' conditions), then Einstein would not have had the background from which to make the great paradigmatic  leap forward into his Theory of Relativity.

The past is the foundation from which we build new and creative solutions, ideas, art, music, science.

Without it, every generation would truly have to reinvent the wheel.

This, is of course, my own opinion, not a demand-filled requirement for what anyone else should believe.  And, by the way, I have few collage decks.  I really don't particularly like them.  Some do collage extremely well ... like Kat Black ... but most, at least to me, reflect laziness.  Personal opinion only.

mythos:) (who fears being yelled at:shock:)

 

Last edited on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 12:26 am by mythos

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 09:35 am
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goldenweb
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mythos:) (who fears being yelled at:shock:)

I too have been burned too often on forums to comment, so the attached image is just my way of saying that without both Hokusai & kozyndan I'd have missed the smile prompted by the image below...:)    

 

Attachment: kozyndan.jpg (Downloaded 88 times)

Last edited on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 09:37 am by goldenweb

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 09:54 am
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AdamMcLean
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In case people may have gotten the idea that only Jason Lang has worked to create tarot decks out of the artworks of well known artists, I today received two of the wooden Tarots made by Endre and sold through Enchanted Oak.  These are the Edmund Dulac Fantasy Tarot and the John William Waterhouse Tarot.

 

Attachment: Dulac_fool_Waterhouse_temperance.jpg (Downloaded 88 times)

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 12:30 pm
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gregory
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Indeed. There are many. The Gauguin is another.

And there's the Fine Art Tarot, with 22 different works.

I'm sure I could think of more if I REALLY tried.....

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 03:02 pm
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OnePotato
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Just to state the obvious...

I think there is quite a bit of ground between putting titles on someone else's work and calling it yours to sell, and creating something ENTIRELY new, that is absolutely non-derivative and without influence of any kind.

There's also quite a bit of difference between these two extremes.

Why do we have copyright laws?
Is it just to stand in the way of the great artists who could be "re-contextualizing" other people's existing works?

Last edited on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 03:03 pm by OnePotato

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 04:12 pm
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goldenweb
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I wonder what J.W. Waterhouse would have thought about his vision of Circe being chosen to illustrate Temperance? :shock: It's one reason why that image can never work in a tarot context for me.  

Re. all the shades of grey between filching a piece of work and creating something entirely new mentioned by OnePotato, maybe they all boil down to whether the artist who uses those images has love and respect for the art and artists whose work s/he uses, or whether the motivation is simply a quick buck. 

 

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 06:13 pm
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debra
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To me, those Hokasai-ish bunny rabbits are akin to the moustache on the Mona Lisa.  Both work only because we've seen copies of the originals a gazillion times. http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=mona+lisa+moustache&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2

Google images of "the wave" and see it come up several times on the first page.  

The ironic/tongue-in-cheek/deliberately derivative aspect makes the ocean bunnies effective as an illustration (and would probably protect the artist from a copyright infringement claim, if the much-maligned wikipedia is correct.  See "fair use" , section on "Purpose and Character," the Barbie Doll case.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

In "tribute" decks the impression I have is this: 

IF I were an artist and could make images in this manner, here's what my Fool would look like. But I'm not an artist, and so-and-so the dead fellow was, so here's a cut from his image and I'll put the title on it.

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 06:43 pm
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AdamMcLean
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debra wrote:
The ironic/tongue-in-cheek/deliberately derivative aspect makes the ocean bunnies effective as an illustration (and would probably protect the artist from a copyright infringement claim,

 

Since Hokusai died in the mid 19th century his works are not copyright, only modern reproductions (such as photographs) of his works are copyright. Thus anyone can make a facsimile painting of a Hokusai original,(with or without rabbits) without infringing copyright. In fact, the rabbit-wave painting, as it was made in the last few years, is copyright, while the Hokusai original is not.

 

 

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 Posted: Mon Jan 14th, 2008 11:27 pm
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gregory
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Which ties in with what Jason said about his idea for a Klee TAROT being copyrightable....

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 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 12:47 am
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debra
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I doubt it, Gregory.  I think it's wishful thinking.  Suppose I type "January," "February," "March," etc. on the images of someone else's paintings and bind them together in a calendar. Should I claim copyright because I "created" the calendar?

The rabbit-wave painting has a claim to copyright because it is something new.

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