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Celebrity Photo

Posted on 2011-02-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a photo of a deceased celebrity that is for sure 100% in the public domain.  Can I sell this photo, or do I need permission from the deceased celebrity's estate?
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Question by:hrolsons
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Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 250 total points
ID: 34963342
Generally, the site from which you procure a 'public domain' photo will indicate any restrictions.

BTW, a photo does not belong to the person in the photo, but rather to the person who actually TOOK the photo.
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Assisted Solution

by:Merete
Merete earned 250 total points
ID: 34967664
Hi hrolsons, once you have the photo in your hands and it doesnt contravene any privacy laws or infringe on any family privacy  then you should be just fine to sell it.
But if you copied it off another domain that already paid a release to have it hosted then you maybe in for a fight.
Look to the bottom of their page and see if they have >>All Rights Reserved << 
Take this site which does host dead celebs they request Reprints/Permissions via pay per  and also post their terms and conditions.
http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/22/top-earning-dead-celebrities-business-entertainment-dead-celebs-10_land.html
All contents of this Website are: Copyright © 2010 Forbes.com
http://www.forbes.com/fdc/terms.html
http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/27/top-earning-dead-celebrities-list-dead-celebs-09-business-entertainment-intro.html
So I would definately recomend you look to the source of your photo first.

If you bought it and now own it then off you go.

How to Sell Celebrity Photos
http://www.ehow.com/how_5159345_sell-celebrity-photos.html
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Accepted Solution

by:
hrolsons earned 0 total points
ID: 34970855
I think I found this to pretty much cover it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 34975608
Not really in my humble opinion, lets say you took a photo of this person while alive now passed on, the fact you took the photo gives you the right to sell it, there in lays the difference
how you obtained the image from which source, the previous owner how did they acquire it and sell it or give it away?
Whom do you want to sell it to ? a publishing magazine or just openly on the internet via ebay or other?
I dont see it as a problem on ebay or other, I have tons of records with images of great artists and can sell my reocrdfs without contravening the artists copyrights of his image on the front cover.
Or even the records.
Obatinung money for it is really the only issue here and I dont see it as problem really.
Who is this artist in your image if I may ask?

You say it was on a public domain? you may have looked at this
This article is about public ownership of creative works. For use in relationship to public lands,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
But your photo is not a works. It comes under a different clause/class
In the end the best avenue to take is the rule of thumb, If in Doubt Don't.
regards Merete
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 34979662
By "dead celebrity" do mean you have a photo of the celebrity lying dead on a mortuary "slab", in bed, on a bathroom floor with white powder in evidence, at the wheel of a crashed car, or whatever? !!!

If so, then (in falsetto voice and with rhythmic squeaky grunts):
You're Bad, You're Bad, You Know You're Bad, You're Bad, You Know It - (grab crotch and spin) - Ooow!!! :-)
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Author Comment

by:hrolsons
ID: 34980176
No, not dead in the photo.  :)
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 34981076
Oh my goodness BillDL  "you're Bad"   ( Grins ) that's funny.
 Michael Jackson might roll over laughing
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Author Comment

by:hrolsons
ID: 34988773
Not sure how to award points on this one.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 34989796
hrolsons
Did any of our comments answer your question and or assist you?  Put Accept on that assist on anything else..
 If nothing helped you to decide you're welcome to just close it out / delete it hrolsons
The main thing with any questions here at EE is the Exchange part
EE is a database of answers for members to look up and find solutions, points are just a bonus as we do this for free.
So your free to decide.
All the best Merete
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Author Closing Comment

by:hrolsons
ID: 35025240
Aside from regular copyright law, Publicity law is what I was looking for.
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