I have been criticized several times over the years for making “Furry Fanzines” free to download. Often they say I am violating the artists copyright. After the recent MFF and speaking to 3 different furry publishers turns out what I have done is 100% legal, because I am not charging anyone to download.
I know that really doesn’t make any sense, which is the reason why I asked ALL 3.
The answer is simple EVEN the artist does not have a 100% claim on their work. Which is the reason why they won’t try and reprint material even from artists who have made their work Public Domain. It seems whomever they use to print their work, whither they be dead or alive also have a copyright claim, and so does anyone that helped them. Even if it was someone sorting their work, they also can still make a claim. You can thank Disney for that.
Unless their like some artists who made their work available only on CD, and had no one helping them they have a 100% claim. Otherwise no, they don’t fully own their own work.
Even 1 off works such as Col. Pud’s Single Shot is not solely owned by the artist who created it. In fact it is nearly impossible how many people have a copyright claim on that one work. Even saying if they died, their closest relative owns the claim whither they know it or not.
This as it turns out isn’t a grey area, it’s a legal swamp.