264: Supreme Court Rules: Can You Copy a Photo?

2023 IP Podcast - Episode 264 - Supreme Court Rules Can You Copy a Photo - rectangle

with host artist Miriam Schulman

Today I’m talking about the controversial recent Supreme Court rulings on copyright infringement. From the blurred lines of transformative use to the importance of respecting artists’ work, I’ll dig into the legal and ethical considerations that creatives need to be aware of. But as we’ll see, sometimes even the law can leave us with more questions than answers. 

In this podcast, you will discover…

  • The implications of the recent Supreme Court rulings on copyright infringement.  
  • The world of transformative imagery in art and photography.  
  • How government decisions influence art and copyright laws.  
  • The significance of respecting artists’ work and adhering to copyright laws.  

Respect other people’s work, because it’s not just their creation, it’s their livelihood. – Miriam Schulman  

Links Mentioned

  • Check out iStock or Adobe Stock for legal photo licensing.  
  • Use free photo sites like Unsplash to find images for personal or commercial use.  
  • Purchase a standard or extended license for specific photos on Adobe Stock.  

You cannot just take a photograph off of the internet and paint it. You can’t. It’s not legal. It’s never been legal. -Miriam Shulman 

In the world of art and creativity, there’s an unwritten code of conduct that encompasses respecting the work of fellow artists, regardless of the medium. Photographers are artists too. You don’t want people copying your paintings and the same thing should be true for photographs. 

It’s important for artists to recognize the boundaries set by copyright laws and ensure that their own work doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. Respecting other artists’ work not only builds a sense of community among creators but also fosters a more collaborative and innovative environment.  


About the host, Miriam Schulman

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

After witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, What Women Create, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Check out my best-selling book with HarperCollins Leadership, Artpreneur, how to make money from your creativity, wherever books are sold. When I’m not in the studio, I split my time between New York City and a farmhouse in the country. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies

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Other Episodes You Might Like

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238: An Artist’s Guide to NFTs with Capucine Jenkins and Miriam Schulman

Listener shout out of the week!

Don’t miss out on this one!!🤩
I’ve been hooked on The Inspiration Place podcast by Miriam Schulman ever since my friend introduced me to it. Seriously, I can’t get enough! The episodes are absolutely captivating, and the quality of the content is top-notch. As someone who’s been in the art business for a solid five years, I can’t help but wish I had stumbled upon this gem right from the start. This podcast covers a wide range of topics, including killer marketing strategies that really pack a punch. Miriam Schulman dives into the importance of investing your time wisely when it comes to marketing, and gives some great advice on how to make your art website more appealing to art collectors (Episode 24). I’ve already taken so many of Miriam’s fantastic tips and put them into action, and the results have been amazing! This podcast is an absolute game-changer for anyone in the artsy crowd. I can’t stress enough how much I recommend it to all my creative pals. It’s like stumbling upon a gold mine of knowledge. Don’t miss out on this one! Meital Regev, IG: @meitals_coffee_art

~ Meital’s Coffee Art

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3 thoughts on “264: Supreme Court Rules: Can You Copy a Photo?”

  1. Thank you for bringing this up. I used to DRILL this law into my high school art students! They could use a “source” to include say an elephant in their composition, but they had to include that source when they turned in their drawing or painting. If the elephant was still in the compositional space as the source with the same colors etc. they would not be able to turn that work in for a grade. Most of the time I had them check off compositional sketches to be sure they were on the right track before they got going to far along;)

    Unless a person has had some formal art training they may not know this bit of information. There are so many self taught artists out there which is why I see this all the time on Instagram! There are also plenty of non-artists stealing images all the time. I just cringe when I see images clearly not taken by the person posting, with no link or credit to the photographer or artist.

  2. Whether I search images on Pinterest or Flickr, I always ask the photographer for permission. They have been very generous and gracious, and almost all have simply asked to see a picture of the resulting painting.
    Just a little decency and courtesy can save a lot of headaches later. Plus it’s just good policy.
    I also mostly use my own photos, so I pretty much have no problems with infringement.


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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