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Question

So I've heard different answers to this question. If you buy a commissioned piece, or an original can you resell it? Or give it away?
What if you purchase a print and sell that off? Should you be required to ask the original artists permission? I personally don't think so. It's like when you buy a computer from bestbuy, I don't ask bestbuy if it's ok for me to give the computer away or to sell it to someone else. I'd really like to get more insight into this though so all responses are appreciated!
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Comments

nambroth
Nov. 20th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
Everyone else is correct. Let's use an example... Think of art as a music CD.
You can sell, give away, or use the CD as a frisbee. It is yours.
You cannot legally make copies of the CD to give away, or sell, in any way. But the single, physical CD that you bought is yours to do with as you wish, including selling it. By selling the CD, you are not selling the RIGHTS to the music on the CD... you are only selling the object.

The same with art, as greenreaper linked with the first sale doctrine link. The actual single physical art you can sell, give away or use as toilet paper as you please. The moment you make a copy of it, via electronic or physical means, and redistribute it is when you are going to run into problems. You own the physical art, just not the RIGHTS (which for simplicity's sale means the ability to reproduce or distribute it in any means). The only time you own the rights is if the artist grants them to you, and this is nearly always done via written contract and is quite costly.

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