Is it fair? Why some of you use stock photos for watercolor paintings if it's forbidden?

“To confirm Creative Market is a marketplace for original from scratch digital work. If your portfolio is based on using references of other existing artwork/material of which you do not own the full copyright, this work would not be accepted for the marketplace.
To best set yourself up for success both for opening a shop on Creative Market, please ensure that your portfolio contains 100% of your own from scratch work that is not referenced/derivative of existing media on the Shutterstock website”.
I was lucky to get this answer from the support before I started posting for sale my watercolor animals. It’s clear we aren’t allowed to sell watercolor paintings created by using public domain or microstock images as a reference. So why so many sellers still sell derivatives here? Why are they allowed?

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I think the language you got from CM there is pretty confusing. I believe they are talking about basing your actual product(s) on another creatives work; as in, using someone else’s ‘100% created from scratch’ (for your above example above, watercolour animals) artwork that can be found on Creative Market or another stock website and creating yours based on that. Using reference and stock images is fine to show ‘previews’, or as examples of how an action or brush set might work…provided you have purchased the correct license to use for commercial use and allows for modifying the file. This file obviously wouldn’t be for sale/distribution and is not an actual ‘product’, merely illustrating the effect of your product.

You can’t really apply copyright to ‘reference’ material (if it is used exclusively as reference)…however if you are creating a product that is based on and derivative of another creative’s work, then that is absolutely an issue and just scabby, bad form.

But you’re right, I see a lot of derivative work on here, particularly in fonts. Granted, letterforms have to have some semblance of consistency: an A needs to look like an A, however if you jump into the ‘serif’ category for example, the amount of fonts in here that look like knock-offs of each other is mind-boggling, right down to the colour and composition of preview images. I’ve seen another shop sell a font that it almost identical to one of mine, and again the preview images seem to be entirely based off it, the only difference is the colour scheme.

Copyright is a tough and very wide minefield to control, but it does seem that there are a lot of people getting away with what can only be described as plagiarism.

Hello :slight_smile:
May I ask in addition to this topic:
if I use stock material, like pictures in my Magazine layouts (only in a preview of course), is this allowed? And would you mention the file nr in the document/templates to honor the creator or help your costumer if they want to buy these pictures? What is common here? I kindly appreciate some help as I’m new to this Contributor platform. Thank you very much

Hello and welcome. :blush:
In the preview, you can use stock material just be sure the photo license covers it. And you should mention in your product description that the images are not included only their source’s links. You can then add a document with links to those images. What I see is common, that sellers use free image websites like Unsplash, so it’s easier for the buyer, they don’t have to pay extra to get the same look. So for transparency, I would also clarify that the images are from paid or free resources, so they know what to expect. I don’t know if this is a good business tactic for paid images, but I like to be fair. :blush:

Annabell thanks a lot for your valid information, will do that of course and be super transparent, everything else would not be my business goal.

I’ve read an article once about the fair use of reference photos. What I remember is basicly you shouldn’t copy the whole composition of the photo, but if you only use the photo to see how that animal looks like, that’s fine. I believe since these are isolated animals it’s the later. If you would want to sell an art print that is a painted copy of a photo, that’s a no.