…all those beautiful copyright free images?”
That’s a question Megan Hicks asked. I will try to answer in two parts, the “where” part and the “copyright-free” part. Be warned, each part is considerably longer than my usual daily 100 words!
Part I: Where?
In dragging the Net to learn as much as I could, I have found some illustrator “fan sites” that have been immensely helpful to me in coming to understand the illustrator’s own world and the place of each in the pantheon of artists—and in availing me of images. I’ve been back to these sites again and again!
Art Passions: “Fairy Tales are the Myths We Live By”
Artsy Craftsy: Fairy Tale Art and Illustrations
JVJ Publishing pages on illustrator’s biographies
Tulane University Library: Once Upon a Canvas: Exploring Fairy Tale Illustration from 1870-1942.
In addition, almost every artist has a few loving fans who cherish their work and their life stories and who have created enlightening Web site or blog entries about them. Google your artist’s name the regular way for text information. For thumbnails of their works, click on “Images” (instead of “All”) in the top menu, and feast your eyes! Click on an image to see it larger and link to the site it came from.
Of course, there is also Wikipedia. And, if you are a member of Pinterest, there are even more images available to you. (I am not, but I was often directed to there for a quick glimpse before the black curtain arose.)
I love fairy tale illustrations, and I am doing rapid, daily, internet research to learn more about their creators to gather the 4 images and create the 100-word texts I have used each day for the April 2016 A to Z Blogging Challenge. I exhibit them in order to share my great pleasure in them, primarily with other lovers of classic fairy tales and traditional stories. Each alphabetical exhibit is my attempt at an homage to a beloved illustrator.
Part II: Copyright Free?
Let me say that the works which appear on my blog are not necessarily copyright free. Some are clearly in the public domain, produced before 1923. Some may or may not have had their copyrights renewed after 1964; I don’t know. Copyright protects the creator or copyright owner from commercial use of their work. I have taken the images from other internet sites; they are of low resolution and are not usable for commercial purposes. The creator or owner of the work still holds the copyright.
If a work is still under copyright and the copyright holder objects, s/he may use the email address in the sidebar to let me know and I will remove them; I will also reply with my mailing address so that s/he may send written evidence that s/he owns the copyright for a particular image and forbids their display on a non-commercial site. Otherwise, I shall reinstate the images at my convenience.
I believe that my use of these images is “fair use,” and that they are being “fairly used” by the sites from which I took them. In fact, several of the sites, whose owners have searched and thought about this issue a great deal more and far longer than I have, state that site visitors are welcome to use them with or without attribution to them. The source list above is my way of publicly attributing them and thanking them.
Some additional enlightenment:
Wikipedia explains copyright (amid additional dense text):
“Most jurisdictions recognize copyright limitations, allowing “fair” exceptions to the creator’s exclusivity of copyright and giving users certain rights. The development of digital media and computer network technologies have prompted reinterpretation of these exceptions, introduced new difficulties in enforcing copyright, and inspired additional challenges to copyright law’s philosophic basis.
“The statute does not clearly define fair use, but instead gives four non-exclusive factors to consider in a fair use analysis. Those factors are:
the purpose and character of one’s use
the nature of the copyrighted work
what amount and proportion of the whole work was taken, and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”
From Art Passions: In Bridgeman vs Corel Corp . . .
“The court determined that museum reproductions, whose purpose is to duplicate the original work as precisely as possible, do not involve enough originality to be copyrighted as a derivative work. In other words, a museum reproduction of fine art in the public domain is itself public domain, and unauthorized duplication of the reproduction is not copyright infringement.”