Image Manipulation & How To Avoid Copyright Infringement

In this ever-evolving digital world, the question as to what constitutes “original art” becomes even more open-ended. And one of the things causing this grey area is image manipulation. Today, many people have access to a computer and photo-editing software, which allows them to alter images, creating entirely new ones. But when a piece of art has been used to create another piece, can the new artwork ever be “original”? And will the law allow this?
In many cases, the law will look at whether a “substantial part” has been changed - but what is a “substantial part” and how can artists protect their work from being copied? These questions are largely open to interpretation as there are no clear-cut, defined methods when applying copyright law to these pieces. Some believe allowing for the adaptation of original pieces gives artists scope, whilst others feel as though the original artists/photographers are losing out.
This infographic looks at what legalities are involved in image manipulation, focusing on US laws whilst also taking a look at UK laws and other factors from around the world. It’ll discuss what aspects can be involved in image manipulation and how the laws are interpreted by different people. At the end, we’ll also take a look at some case examples, delving into how the law has or hasn’t favoured manipulated images.

Image Manipulation & How to Avoid Copyright Infringement2

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