Am I allowed to create an original art print using various images found online and photoshop to manipulate the images?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2014

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Am I allowed to create an original art print using various images found online and photoshop to manipulate the images?

Who would own the rights to the art?

Asked on September 30, 2014 under Business Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You may only use online images which are in the public domain--and that is NOT most of them. Posting something online does not deprive its creator or rights holder of copyright--it's still copyrighted even though its online. If it is copyrighted, you can't adapt, modify, or "manipulate" it, since copyright includes the right to control all derivative works. Doing what you propose would likely result in copyright violations and potentially liability.

Typically, the only online images in the public domain are those stated to be in the public domain--unless there is some indication the image is public domain, do not use it.

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