Question about art photography prints
April 27, 2014 2:54 PM Subscribe
Is it violating copyright to scan a photo from an art photography book, have it printed at a larger size, and frame and display it on your wall at home? Is it ethically problematic? Would a reputable print shop do it for you?
posted by neat graffitist to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I realize that pro photographers usually sell official prints of their work, but for even a moderately well-known art photographer they seem to start at a couple thousand dollars, and often they don't seem to be available at any price, say if there was a limited edition that sold out. Whereas my method costs a few hundred dollars and works for any photo that's been included in a decent quality book.
Once you get much under $1,000, I'd rather buy a print directly from the photographer, and I've done that a few times. (In that case there's often not a book published anyway, though even when there is I'd pay more to buy a print directly.) But when it's a famous artist, I wouldn't feel that same sense of responsibility. Maybe I should?
Again, this is as much of an ethical question as a practical one. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure lots of people have and the FBI isn't kicking down their doors. But at what point does it become wrong, or cheating the artist? I mean, say I rip the photo right out of the book and tack it up on the wall. Nothing wrong with that, right? Now say I take a photo of the photo and blow that up...? What if it's in my office rather than my home? What if it's in the reception area of my office? Now we've crossed the line, right? But where was the line exactly? And is it different for photos and paintings? Will it be different when people can 3D print a perfect replica of a sculpture?