for most (but not all) satellite images, we in the US have already paid
for them. and we are continuing to pay every April 15. with the rise of
private satellite launches this will continue to get muddy. but from the
sound of it, you went to the right source. if in doubt (or your client
is panicking) there should be a copyright information page somewhere in
the site you visited.
>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?
Principal Scientific Assistant
Div. Vertebrate Paleontology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
NY NY 10024
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