Here is what I can offer.
The cover art is copyright protected and here is a thumbnail:
1.The artist be it photographer or pictorial artist, grants the right
for the label to use the artwork either in perpetutiy or for
a specific term. On the flip-side a label could hire a photographer
to shoot an image and own it entirely without ever going back to
the artist in question for clearance. In either case the image is
owned either by the artist or by the label.
2.Additionally, the original artist may grant a non-exclusive license
for the rights to the image.
That means of course that the artist is free to strike other deals
for that same image and that there is no grounds to contest
it subsequent re-use.
3. The only two albums you might not have a problem with are:
1. The White Album- The Beatles
2. Smell The Glove-Spinal Tap.
On Monday, August 11, 2003, at 04:24 AM, Don Cox wrote:
> On 11/08/03, Elliott Hancock wrote:
>> I have been told that album covers were never copyrighted. I am not a
>> lawyer and the person who provided the information is not a lawyer,
>> just a folklorist with an incredible memory who has very rarely been
>> wrong when used as a resource. It would be nice to have some
>> confirmation but I would settle for the true legal position on album
>> cover copyrights.
> Surely any design, artwork or photograph is automatically copyright?
> The only question is whether the copyright belongs to the company
> is the case if the work was done to order) or to the artist (which is
> the case if the photograph was taken independently and later published
> on the cover).
> Don Cox
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