→Various Iconographers - for a future article: new section
Actually I do know several iconographers who have copyrights to their images. It is best to check and see if you can locate the writer if he or she is a modern one and ask permission. I don't mind people using my work for chuch bulletins and so forth. But if a person or a church is trying to make money off of reproductions of a living iconographers work, then you have a problem. It's not that iconographers mind the work being used for prayer and such, but if other people are attempting to make money of what you are doing, it can make a hard life even harder. That is why a lot of modern iconographers do copyright their images. It is a careful balance of doing work for the glory of God, but having to make a living off of it (which is difficult}. All icons are built upon the work of God essentially and the best icons are still sums of all the previous writers. I don't think copyrighted the image is a way of negating this. But in modern times when someone can photocopy your work so easily, and try to profit from it, you have to ask whether they are trying to spread icons, or trying to make money off of it even though they didn't do any work. Supporting the current icon writers by buying an icon from them or one of their reproductions ensures that we will continue to have people willing and able to make icons. On the otherhand, finding a beautiful icon and being unable to locate a copy, well I'm sure that in the end, money and copyright issues aside, the most important thing is worship and veneration, and no iconographer would probably be unhappy to know you venerate with a copy of his or her work.