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Ellen

She Doesn't Own Oscar Pic ...

Guess Who Does

3/4/2014 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Ellen DeGeneres
does NOT own the picture that broke Twitter ... unless he signed his rights away, the owner of the famous Oscar pic is BRADLEY COOPER.

Here's the way it works ... the person who owns the now-famous photo is the person who actually took it ... NOT the person who owns the camera or organized the shoot. 

Cooper was the snapper ... so it's his.

And even if Ellen signed her rights over to the Academy when she signed her hosting gig, the Academy would have no rights to the photo, because Ellen can't transfer what isn't hers.

So unless Bradley signed his rights away to the Academy, he's the copyright owner.  Any use of the pic without his permission is a violation of the copyright.

He seemed down with tweeting it out, so Ellen is cool.  But any use of the pic on TV shows -- including hers -- would only be kosher with Bradley's blessing.  And he'd own the rights to any reproduction.

It all translates into cash.  It could come in handy if that "Hangover" money runs out.

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