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 Public Domain Celebrities

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PhantomofDoom

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Posts : 178
Join date : 2010-06-17
Age : 50
Location : Nebraska

PostSubject: Public Domain Celebrities   Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:09 pm

Here's a general question. Are all celebrities who are deceased considered Public Domain? I know most if not all Historical and US Government figures and institutions are fair game. What about dead celebrities?

I know Bettie Page (a personal favorite) has been used extensively, and even while she was alive. However that had to do with the fact the Government shut Irving Klaw's productions down and he went bankrupt. A large number of the negatives and films that weren't destroyed were owned by private collectors. These then were re-sold to various magazines of the time. Again, a number of THESE Men's magazines went under during the 1950's and early 1960's, so anything with Ms. Page's likeness became PD.

However, what about recently deceased celebrities? I know some bands for instance may use a stock photo of say Jerry Garcia. Is that legal? How recent does the celebrity's death have to have been before anyone can use their image? Or, are all celebrities "fair game"? I know you can parody a celebrity with their likeness, but what about selling merchandise with his or her likeness? Any input in any form is appreciated.
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Vagrant

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Join date : 2010-05-19

PostSubject: Re: Public Domain Celebrities   Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:20 pm

The issue with photographs may well be the copyright on the photo itself, rather than on the celebrity, so I'm really not too sure. I know that photographs are copyright to the person who took the photo, not the subject who is in the photo, which is where I see a source of problems.
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PhantomofDoom

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Join date : 2010-06-17
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Location : Nebraska

PostSubject: Celebrities   Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:23 pm

Vagrant: That is something I didn't even think of, but now that you mention it, it's another issue. Now I'm also curious about video footage.

Not that I intend to use any celebrities or anything but it's just a topic that popped in my head. Perhaps more users have input?

Thanks for the reply!
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