- If you purchased the text of the opera -- for example, in sheet music form or in a book -- and you are painting on the pages of text (or incorporating them a collage), you won't need permission. You can probably justify that under the first sale doctrine.
- If you are reproducing the text in a painting, we think you can probably make a strong fair use argument because you are using a small portion of the opera's text, you are not competing with or depriving the copyright owners of commercial gain, and based on your description, your use appears to be transformative -- that is you're making a new statement. if the words are obscured so that their meaning cannot be ascertained, we're not even sure you've infringed as your artwork no longer would be substantially similar to the opera text. Check out fair use rules before proceeding.
Home » fair use » first sale » opera » painting » public domain » Using Text of Operas ... in Paintings
Posted by Mr. Q at 6:00 AM Wednesday, October 26, 2011