Recently I played around with some lighting and macro shooting of some of my (beat-up) Matchbox toy cars from the 1970's. The results were pleasing to my eye and I had visions of making my millions by selling these images.
The Matchbox brand is now owned by Mattel, and my pics are obviously identifiable as being of those toys, even though the style is on the creative side rather than a straight pic.
My assumption is that without a blessing from Mattel that I could not legally sell my images. Is that valid?
If I need permission, how do you approach multi-nationals such as Mattel? (and are they typically amenable to such things?)
Currently I am in the US and had intended selling here, but a website knows no geographical bounds.
After reading If my photo is “copied” through a painting, is that a legal? I am of the feeling (in the US) that if my pics are considered a derivative work of the original designs, then they would stand alone as separate works.
That raises the (most likely very subjective) question of:
Are different lighting and camera angles sufficient to create a derivative work of an object?
different I mean wildly dissimilar to anything the original designers used to depict their designs.
Finally I am well aware of
talk to a lawyer, and I am only asking this question in terms of getting a general idea of the issue.
A comment from Chuqui has made me realize I might have been accidentally confusing people with the terms I was using. When I said
commercially I was thinking in terms of selling
fine art prints rather than to magazines, stock services etc. In my mind making money off something is
commercial. It may be that my personal definition is not correct.