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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:45 am 
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Evil Emperor Palpatine
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If you Google: "Silhouettes vectorized" you will get a slew of sites offering images that can be enlarged or reduced in size.

Some of these, notably the images of eagles flying, are clearly derived from photographs. As the images are from all areas of the world it would seem to me that the person posting these images must have worked from others' photos. Does that mean they paid the photographer for the image rights? I don't think so.

I think they scan an image or steal one from a low res on-line source and then create the silhouette from that. I can't imagine it is very difficult with modern imaging programs, and it would be nearly impossible to get caught.

Just one more injustice from the world of the Internet.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:15 pm 
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The joy of digital media is that now we can make as many copies of our work as we want for free and send them around the world in seconds.

The pain of digital media is that now others can make as many copies of our work as they want for free and send them around the world in seconds.

Oh well. The software's well known and pretty easy, if you've got a subject that stands out well from its background. I've got the software as part of CorelDraw! suite, and very useful it is for all sorts of things. Not perfect, but still useful.

It's useless for lots of things though, it needs very clear separation to do anything automatically. If it hasn't got that, you'd be better off doing it by hand.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Evil Emperor Palpatine
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It seems obvious to me that these were made from photos:

http://www.crestock.com/image/125330-Ea ... rized.aspx

Otherwise an artist would not have allowed the profile of the head to be lost in the silhouette.

So, someone had to trace the outline manually by picking up points along the perimeter of the image and ordering the program to connect the dots. Is that sufficient artistic input to call the work your own? I don't think so.

In a notable case a few years ago Newsday, a Long Island newspaper was sued for having a photograph as a basis for a photo-illustration. The photographer won and received a large judgement. Newsday did not deny using the image, but claimed that the post processing was sufficient to make it an entirely new piece of art. "Not so", said the courts.

I wonder if the agencies that post this stuff for sale have any policy regarding these images in that regard.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Oh, I agree they're almost certainly from photos, though that's not to say that the vectoriser doesn't own the rights to the photos. I could do that pretty easily, I've got a couple of large zoo-type places within easy reach, I've got the gear, software and experience. Probably 15-30 minutes work per (good) silhouette even with my relatively basic software and limited experience.

One possibility though is that they're from multiple images. The derivative work legislation normally starts counting percentages, so I could well imagine an artist combining the talons from one with the wings from another and head from a third to make the best silhouette representation. Once you get into that territory, you could start getting to the point where it was legal.

Packard wrote:
I wonder if the agencies that post this stuff for sale have any policy regarding these images in that regard.
Normally yes - the liability very often passes on down to the image provider. (Though some abuse this from what I've seen.)

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