Copyright: Must royalties be paid to a singer to make him into a poster?

Must royalties be paid to a singer to make him into a poster?

The right to the image is protected by the law on copyright, which prevents anybody to freely reproduce a photo or drawing of a person without his authorisation. The Art. 96 of the regulation provides for this by saying that “the portrait of a person cannot be exposed, reproduced or sold without the authorisation of the same”.

It is true though that it cannot be reproduced exactly and there is always a creative form by the person drawing it and, in fact, a new creation is made, but the judges feel that the law is applicable every time the subject resembles the person and therefore can be easily recognized. The exception to the prohibition of reproducing famous people is in the case when this is justified by their notoriety or for scientific or cultural purposes, but even in this case not for commercial use. If we want to reproduce and sell a poster, authorisation for it will have to be asked at the singer to be replicated.

The only solution to follow would be of making an abstract drawing, which does not immediately remind of the singer, but this is not this particular case. Once gotten the authorisation, in order to protect us from infringements by other parties, we will deposit the drawing at the SIAE or, if necessary, register it as a design or model.