Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [BirdingCalifornia] Photo copyright infringement

Expand Messages
  • Jim Greaves
    My understanding of copyright law is that use without permission may occur as long as full credit is given to the copyright owner, AND as long as the use is
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      My understanding of copyright law is that "use" without permission may occur as long as
      full credit is given to the copyright owner, AND as long as the use is not for profit, OR is
      for purely educational or illustrative purposes, AND no money exchanges hands (I suppose
      cost of making multiple copies for class handouts can be re-couped, and usually are in the
      form of lab fees). If I am wrong, then most of our college and many high school teachers
      should immediately be prosecuted every time they photo copy something to hand to their
      students! Probably a lawyer might better answer this, since I'm basing my understanding/
      knowledge on what I learned 30+ years ago in a First Amendment Law class... It is
      however obviously common courtesy to ask permission! Hopefully for all us
      photographers' sakes that will be done in future, but I don't hold out much hope that
      everyone will abide by that, or that they even agree with it. There are many I have met who
      think no one should "own" anything! That last aside notwithstanding, we would all love to
      be paid for our works, and ALWAYS want credit that is due, but often by sharing the way
      we do on these and other sites we give the impression we are either rich or fools, or both,
      or don't value our own efforts and work. I've had several photos similarly used in the past,
      and in one case simply solved it by sending an invoice and notice that I never gave the
      newspaper permission for the "new" use -- I was paid promptly, without question. It would
      be harshly unfair to assume because someone posted a photo on line, it is now open to
      use anywhere. We do value our work, but this game of birding often results in trade-offs,
      or unintended consequences, as some of it is "bragging" rights perhaps, wherein we show
      the results we got so others will see either that the bird was real, or can see what a beauty
      it is when seen -- and many of us (I too) "copy" the image to a folder for later "use", which
      is usually just to inspect it further for details that guides or descriptions may not show us.
      And, that is why I always attach a copyright or other notice on the photo -- so there is no
      question that it is MY photo and is therefore not subject to use without permission, other
      than that personal inspection later, offline (OR at least anyone with understanding of such
      credit notice on an image, ought to know what it means). Hope my 2 cents help -- Jim
      Greaves
    • Don Roberson
      This is probably inappropriate for this group. However, the law is not as Jim Greaves states. Rather, he attempts to state the fair use doctrine part of
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 1, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        This is probably inappropriate for this group. However, the law is
        not as Jim Greaves states. Rather, he attempts to state the "fair use
        doctrine" part of copyright law, and is only partially correct. Use
        of photos by teachers or anyone else can be a violation of copyright
        law, and profit or non-profit motivation is not conclusive. For this
        reason, I routinely get email requests from teachers around the world
        requesting to use my photos in a class project, and I almost always
        say "yes." But it is violation of a photographer's copyright to use
        the photo without permission.

        The "fair use doctrine" is summarized nicely on line at
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use_doctrine
        As to photos, it is my understanding from additional reading and on-
        line discussions that low resolution use of a photo in a scholarly,
        non-profit on-line project is permissible only if the maximum
        dimensions of the photo use do not exceed 200 pixels [e.g., 200
        pixels wide, or 200 pixels high, max], and if accompanied by credit.

        I think this thread should be closed at this point.

        Don Roberson
        Pacific Grove CA
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.