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A customer showed me an unremarkable angel figurine she had commissioned. Now that I've seen it, is it possible for me to make her another angel that is not derivative?

Two people in the shop did not see the original. If I only give them dimensions, would it be safe to let them do the sculpture?

I know the original artist only by reputation ("unpleasant", "litigious").

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There are no copyright issues in making an angel

Angels have been depicted in art and literature for hundreds of years. What an angel looks like is clearly public domain.

Making an angel that looks like that angel is a derivative work

If your angel copies whatever it is that is distinct and unique about the other angel, then that’s making a derivative work and needs permission.

TL;DR

Making an angel is not copyright violation. Making that angel is.

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  • read: "An angel is a Scene a faire" and "That angel is an expression of the topic."
    – Trish
    Sep 30 at 22:18

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