an art instructor who charges for his courses is using one of my photographs in his class. all the students including himself have painted the photograph and he has posted his painting on his site. I did not give permission to any of these people to paint my photograph. this is my most popular photograph which I sell in many shops in the area (I live in Canada). Is there any infringements of my copyright in this case? thank you for any information on this

  • This is a photography group, not a legal advice group. Perhaps the first thing you should do is read the course description to see if you've already signed over copyright to materials generated in the course. – Carl Witthoft Sep 23 '16 at 11:24
  • sorry if my questions was out of line. I saw other questions on similar issues so I guess I made a wrong assumption. as to my already signing of the copyright, no I did not do that ,thanks – LEONA ARSENAULT Sep 23 '16 at 11:29
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    @LEONAARSENAULT check out this other site: Law. It's like our site, but about all things related to law. We're just photographers here (or people interested in photography). I'm sure some one could answer the question from experience, but I think you get much better answers over at that other site. – null Sep 23 '16 at 11:35
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    This question probably should have been migrated to Law.SE. For future reference, or followup interest, OP has subsequently asked over at Law.SE. – scottbb Sep 23 '16 at 15:24
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it now lives on law.SE. – inkista Sep 23 '16 at 18:55

A good place to start to gather some information about this issue is the Wikipedia entry on derivative work, i.e. creative work that includes important elements of some other copyrighted work. Most of it covers US law and concepts common to several countries, but there's a brief section at the end that covers Canada specifically.

For some clarity (and perhaps a way to discuss the issue with the art instructor in question), consider how a painter would respond if a photography instructor had his or her students photograph a painting. A photo that includes all of a painting and little else might be more likely to offend the painter and infringe his/her copyright than a portrait of someone that happens to capture the painting hanging on the wall in the background.


By UK law that would be an infringement of copyright if the work is clearly recognisable. If no permission was given (or maybe it could have been implied) you could ask for a fee, for the painting images to be removed, or you could sue which would most probably involve you paying some court fees upfront (and these could be claimed back if you win). Research your local laws.

  • Depends. A painting of a picture of the eiffel tower may not be. This is really tricky. A painting of a photo is per definition not a reproduction (as close as possible), compared to a photo of a painting. This is very complex, legally. – TomTom Sep 25 '16 at 9:17

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