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#1 back2glass

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 03:57 PM

Is it legal to make the bird girl statue? I had asked awhile back to your site about the legality of making pulic statues and was told that they have an implied copyright. I have always wanted to make the bird girl.

#2 Chantal

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 05:21 PM

The Bird Girl was created in 1936 by sculptor Sylvia Shaw Judson in Lake Forest, Illinois. The sculptor died in 1978.

Works published in 1923-1950 are in the public domain, unless copyright was renewed.

Upon closer examination, I have found, in Wikipedia, that the sculptor's daugher "holds the copyright for the Bird Girl, and has actively defended it by filing lawsuits against unauthorized reproductions, especially full sized replicas."

However, the sculptor's daughter died on Friday, Oct 13 of this year, at the age of 84.

It makes my poor little head spin! dizzy.gif

But I will try to find out all updated details.

#3 back2glass

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:37 AM

Thanks,
I would really like to know.

#4 Boris_USA

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 12:32 AM

QUOTE(back2glass @ Dec 11 2006, 08:37 AM) View Post
Thanks,
I would really like to know.


I would think the rights would be passed on with the estate. Dont think I would try making any derivative of that work, since I am sure they will also defend the copyright. Money has a way of making you do that.

#5 Chantal

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 09:23 AM

I am sure it is passed on.

Let me tell you about my adventures asking copyright permissions. I actually made the effort of contacting the people that grant the copyrights for likenesses of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis, and others. It was not easy finding the attorneys that handle these, but I did it. It's been over a year, and they've never got back to me.

Another time, I contacted a fellow about using his photo of an animal for a pattern. The reply I received had both me and my husband in stitches. Instead of telling me something like $10, which I was willing to pay, I got this whole long story about how it's the first inquiry of the kind he's ever got, and he's building some country home, and he wouldn't mind a trade to let me use his photograph in exchange for a stained glass window. What was funny was the length of the preamble and the amount of personal details in his request. Just give me a dollar amount!!! A yes or a no!

Still another time, I emailed a fellow to ask if I could use thumbnails of his book covers. People would click on the thumbnail, which would lead to his site, and his shopping cart. He gets a good link, traffic, customers, and I am not asking for a backlink in return, or commission. Good grief... he said "no" and was really tight-a****d about it.

I am tracking down the new owners of the Bird Girl copyright. But to be frank, as it happened the copyright holders of likenesses of the dead celebrities, I don't expect they will even acknowledge my request. In practice, these people deal with big money agreements. The old Bird Girl owners seemed to be protective of 3D reproductions of the statue. Probably because that's where the money is for them.

These are the words of the sculptor's daughter, regarding copyrights:

QUOTE("Alice Ryerson Hayes")
The book has made its author famous, and the photograph has made its photographer famous, but the two together have made the Bird Girl very famous indeed. She has become the icon of Savannah. The original statue from the cemetery is now in the Telfair Museum, but the image has been sickeningly commercialized. Bracelets, tie pins, dish towels, key rings, candles, doormats, etc. flood the shops in Savannah.

I am the holder of the copyright on the Bird Girl, so I was not happy about all these small souvenirs of Savannah. But my real worry was that someone would make a full-sized "copy" and sell it as the actual Bird Girl. By threatening a law suit, all full-sized statues were eliminated, all except one grotesque version called by its makers "Rebekah." They have been sold as such. You can see why I was shocked to see the Bird Girl referred to as "Rebecca" in the January 2001 newsletter! And I marvel at how the name arrived at the Cliff Dwellers?


In order to find the new copyright holders, I've been scouring the web for over two hours. As a last resort, I found an obituary that listed the names of her children. I have googled the names of the children. If they are the right people, several are established artists, but none has an email listed on their website. They all have rather common names, which doesn't help. One may be married to an author. I found the University where this author is affiliated.

I sent him the following note:

QUOTE
Are you Bob Perelman, husband of Francie Shaw, the woman who may have become the copyright holder of the Bird Girl statue, when her mother sadly died on Oct 13, 2006?

After scouring the web for 2 hours, you might be the closest I've come to being able to contact this Francie Shaw, if she's indeed the right one. I apologize if I am contacting you in error.

I need copyright permission for this webpage:
http://free-stainedg.../2birdgirl.html


So... you can all see... anything that's remotely related to copyright permission is a major hassle. I spent more time worrying about the copyright and tracking down the people, and explaining the process on the forum, than I did making the pattern! Had I not been under the mistaken impression that the statue was in the public domain, I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole.

#6 Mittens The Cat

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:44 AM

It sounds like a nightmare!

I would feel safe making the panel from pattern to display it in my living room window. The lady didn't prosecute the people making keychain replicas and souvenirs, only large size statues.

Meow...

#7 Chantal

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 12:27 PM

In a most amazing and unexpected development, I've actually received a response from Francie Shaw, THE current copyright holder.

It's nice when these things work out.

I know there are people out there that have very rigid opinions regarding stained glass copyright issues, and are ready to pounce and condemn without knowing any the particulars.

But the particulars are most important. For instance, had the Bird Girl owners not been actively renewing their copyright, I believe it would have lapsed into the public domain. They seem more acutely concerned with the production of copied statuary. And we all heard about Disney and Harley Davidson that guard any use of their characters or logos with lawyers pulling excitedly on their leashes. Personally, I don't like to find my patterns or text on other people's websites, but I hardly care about much else. Copyright issues are best explored with a cool head, an open mind, and with the assumption of good will.

In conclusion, I should be in a position to give a definitive answer about the Bird Girl very shortly. Watch this space!

#8 Chantal

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 07:47 PM

Update:

I have been told to expect an answer next week.

#9 Chantal

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 09:57 AM

Update:

Still haven't heard a thing...

#10 Chantal

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 09:16 AM

Still no news.

#11 Chantal

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 12:49 PM

Yay!

> You may have permission to post the design of the
> "Bird Girl" sculpture, to which I own the copyright,
> for free on a web site for amateurs. This design IS
> NOT TO BE USED COMMERCIALLY and credit must be given
> to the estate of the sculptor, Sylvia Shaw Judson.
> This is good for 2 years, through Dec. 31st 2008.

The copyright information has been updated on the Bird Girl stained glass pattern page.



#12 back2glass

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 12:58 PM

Thanks so much. Nice to be legit.

#13 SueCLT

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:59 PM

Should I paint on the features of the bird girl's face, or are they intended to be made with an overlay or plating or some other method? I've never done a face before.

Sue

#14 Chantal

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:58 AM

Should I paint on the features of the bird girl's face, or are they intended to be made with an overlay or plating or some other method? I've never done a face before.

Sue


You can omit the face, or use craft enamel paint from Wal-Mart.




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