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A Question for People Who Know About Icons

I feel like this is a very silly question. I'm searching some icon tutorial community FAQs, but it's slow going, so I was hoping perhaps one of my knowledgeable friends knows.

When you're finding images to use as icons, what are the legalities of using pics found on the web? I see icons with just about everything, so are icons pretty much public domain? What if I want to use a particular artist's work?

For instance, I'm wanting to make some Easter icons, and I found some lovely pictures of Jesus. Can I just save the pics and use them, or do I really need to try to contact the artist and get permission? Which would suck if they didn't answer right away, especially given it's Easter weekend. And what about pictires of Jesus taken from church's websites or old paintings? Or logos from my church (ie: the Unity dove)?

Thanks in advance for helping!

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
kali_kali
Apr. 14th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Some artists don't like their art being used by other people (I think Amy Brown is one of these people, not sure), but if it's just things taken from old old artwork, or things like that, I doubt anyone is going to notice or even care. You're probably fine. If you want to credit the original place where it came from, then put in your userinfo something like "Unity Dove icon taken from my church's website *insert website here*. But really, most people don't care, since it is just a little bit of someone's work, and you're not making a profit from it.

You could also do a search to see if you can find some Christian icon communities - they'll probably be able to point you to appropriate icons.
ahavah
Apr. 14th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'd be happy to put theebsite in the comments. But I got some lovely pics through an email and i don't know the artist. I suppose I'll try to find out, but if I don't I guess I won't feel bad about using them for icons.

I'm not really looking to find icons at the moment, though. I'm trying to teach myself how to make them. :)
dorianeldritch
Apr. 14th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
I'd always thought something like an icon would fall under "fair use" in copyright law, but i could be wrong. If its an artists work I would keep the artists name on the icon(theone time Iused a mini of a print it had the artists signature so i figured that covered it) If someone sees it who has never seen that artists work before its free advertising;-)

I have a program that came with my scanner that allows you to resize pictures, and to add text to them and thats what I use to make icons. I would love to figure out how to make teh flashy ones that change thru a series of pictures tho, that rocks;-)
ahavah
Apr. 14th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC)
Fair use - awesome! Yeah, I didn't figure people were writing Warner Brothers and getting permission to use Buffy or something. :P

I want to make the animated icons, too, but I don't have the right software. I really want to get Photoshop, but I'm broke. I'm attempting to download The Gimp right now and see if that works, if I can get a free trial of WinZip so I can unzip the files! Blarg me and my computer ignorance. I have such great ideas for icons, though; seriously fantasmic ideas. I joined the icon_tutorial group, and I'm learning a lot reading through the archives and FAQ there.
fierceawakening
Apr. 14th, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
The Gimp is lovely stuff, but it takes a while to figure out how to use.
ahavah
Apr. 14th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
I just got it downloaded! Woo hoo! Now to slowly but surely figure out wtf I'm doing...

I have my icon masterpiece in mind. I may not sleep until I figure this thing out.
fierceawakening
Apr. 14th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
Most people are actually breaching copyright with some of their icons. It's not a huge deal though usually because, like kali_kali said, you're not making a profit.

Also, I think if you alter them (not sure to what degree) you have some protection, but I'm not sure about that.

When I iconned this little guy, for example, I asked permission (by emailing the artist), and got it right away.

Many of my icons are my own. I couldn't resist iconning a few things that aren't though... :P
ahavah
Apr. 14th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Right, that's what I thought. I'm hoping no one would care too much. I'll try to get permission, but not stress myself over it. If they want to write and ask that I don't use it, fine by me. :P
fierceawakening
Apr. 14th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
er, I eman when I iconned THIS little guy. The glowy thing is mine. :)
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