If I use another artist's art, or a stock image, and modify the artwork and re-design its use, how do I attribute the original artist of that part of the work?

For example, is it appropriate to attribute a stock image in the background of a design as "Background image by {artist name}"?

If there is confusion, for example attributing the modified work or entirety of design to the artist of only one part of the artwork, will that artist be legally liable for the entire piece of artwork/design at first glance?

How do I clearly separate attribution?


Whether or not attribution is required depends upon the license of any image.

Most (non-free) stock image outlets don't directly require attribution when using the images you purchase.

Many free stock image sources do require attribution. What form that takes is either stated in the license or left to your discretion.

If no license has been granted, you should not be using the artwork at all. Usage without direct permission is copyright infringement.

As for "modify the artwork and re-design its use" -- this might be an infringement upon copyright. It really depends upon specifics of the usage. In general though, taking someone else's artwork and modifying it does not make it your artwork with or without attribution. At best it makes in a derivative work. But I am generalizing. Without specifics it's nearly impossible to be definitive.

  • In this case, attribution is required and modification is OK. I am just not sure how to attribute different 'parts' of a design. – user1679669 Jan 26 '18 at 5:04
  • I'm not sure how anyone could provide suggestions without some specifics. Add a tag line, a photo credit, a footnote... there are many ways. – Scott Jan 26 '18 at 5:05
  • The method of attribution is not the issue. The wording of the attribution is. How do I word that "X is by Y artist" in the image, for each part of the image (if there are multiple artists), without overcrowding - for example - a footnote or tag line? Is there a legal precedent for the wording? – user1679669 Jan 26 '18 at 10:04
  • How can anyone answer that without specifics?? You are being very vague but asking for a definitive solution. – Scott Jan 26 '18 at 10:05
  • I am not understanding how that is vague. If someone uses part of an artist's work, modifies it, and includes it in an image with another artist's artwork - which is not clearly separated by "left" or "right" (as in a photo "from left to right, the art/people are...") - how does one attribute each piece of art? For example, "The table in the background is by {ArtistNameA}, the chair in the forefront is made by {B}...."? – user1679669 Jan 26 '18 at 11:17

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