Can an illustration from a Children's book be drawn by an artist (muralist) on a wall of a public building without asking the artist's permission? I think that some things, like songs, written before a certain year are in the public domain and therefore allowed to be used -- does the same apply to artwork? Specifically, I'd like to paint a scene from Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are for a public library and need to know if this can be done. Thanks.


It's still under copyright, so you'd need to contact the publisher for permission, although if the artist (or in this case the executor of the estate Lynn Caponera) still retains the rights to the work sometimes going straight to the them can be a better option, especially in this case as it's for a non-profit and for a library in particular.

The library also might have certain rights for reproduction, they generally pay a bulk fee to publishers but outside lending I'm not sure what that covers, so I'd check with the library manager (either branch or regional depending on who handles legal and licensing) as well.

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