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Cindy Shaw <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 13 Aug 2008 11:46:41 -0700
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Thanks, Britt and Frank - this is pretty much what my understanding was, but good to have it confirmed.

On the same lines - what about satellite imagery used to drape over terrain models? Does that need to be credited?


---- Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
> Cindy,
> Most Federal government material is free of copyright concerns, if it 
> was paid for by the US taxpayer.  However not all material handed out by 
> Government is Government produced/paid, so one must be careful about 
> sourcing the material.
> If you have images of NASA installations and machines, pulled from 
> government sources, with no other credits than NASA attached, then you 
> are on pretty Solid Ground.  However, even NASA asks for a photo 
> credit.  If you have done an image that is not an exact copy of a NASA 
> photo, you can tell the editor to not worry.  If you have done an exact 
> copy of the view in the photo, then there may be some concern about 
> crediting the source material, but not a copyright issue.  It might be a 
> bit of a gray area on what is appropriate. After all, some other 
> textbook company could use the same source material and produce an 
> identical image without impinging on your textbook company's copyright.
> You might point out that textbooks reproduce images from NASA all the 
> time for publication. They do give credit however.  But if you are 
> combining these images into a new picture, and there are no copyrights, 
> then the concern about credits becomes less and less. At some point it 
> becomes fair use. And at some point if you create an image that as a 
> whole is unique new creation, it has enforceable copyright.
> It could be your editor wants a satellite and dish that is realistic 
> looking but in the details is not something that exists. But that opens 
> the possibility of creating something that could not exist and will not 
> work, then it is sci-fi.  Another grey area to worry about.
> Britt
> Cindy Shaw wrote:
> > Hi all, 
> >
> > I'm doing some Earth science textbook work, and have to do an illustration that incorporates a space satellite and a satellite dish on the ground. For both, I used NASA photos as reference. The client seems to be very picky about having things appear "realistic" - so I even took pains to make sure the satellite itself was appropriate for the content. 
> >
> > The comments from the editor came back asking if I had "traced" photos for the satellite and dish (I did not) - but they do look realistic, which is what the client wants. She said that "tracing photos" is not allowed due to copyright issues.
> >
> > My understanding is that government stuff, like NASA, NOAA, etc. - is in the public domain - so even if I HAD traced them, I would have been OK in doing so, as long as the finished product does not duplicate the photo. But even if I did want the object to look like the photo, I would be OK in making it look like the photographed object. 
> >
> > Is my understanding correct on this? What IS the policy on using govt photos as reference. Are they indeed public domain? What if I did want to use an element that was part of a govt. photo in an illustration? Could I do so?
> >
> > Thanks much, 
> > Cindy
> >
> >   
> -- 
> _______________________________________
> Britt Griswold/WMAP Project
> TRAX/Maslow Media Group
> NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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