For my design work, I sometimes create portraits to illustrate campaigns and other media. In an effort to avoid mis-appropriating someone's likeness, I tend to draw from a collection of unrelated found portraits and previous life-drawings to construct a "unique" portrait. I've always been anxious about accidentally appropriating the likeness of someone without realizing it. I'm currently living in Ireland. I'm aware that in the field of photography, any persons featured in a photo to be used commercially must sign a model release form in accordance with Copyright and Related Rights Act (Ireland), 2000 and Data Protection Act (Ireland), 1988.

My Question:

If I can prove that my drawing/illustration was "constructed" from a mishmash of various image references, surely I'm not a criminal? :P

P.S. I haven't posted on the Law stack before so apologies if I haven't provided enough background!

  • If you're using a "sterilized" depiction of a person (not taking personally identifiable/distinctive characteristics) you'll generally be fine. If it bares too much a likeness to a celebrity (unlikely) the celebrity may claim that you are using their likeness to promote a product or if it is viewed as something negative (like perhaps some random person resembling the user of an incontinence product ie: adult diapers) and it published specifically in the area they live, they may have a case. Short answer, if you can prove the likeness isn't deliberate, you should be fine. – Nicholas Psoras Jul 26 '16 at 5:05

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