Recently I’ve had to remind a couple of people about the way copyright works.
It’s all too easy these days to post an image on Facebook or a blog that you found somewhere, but it’s important to remember you need permission from the person that owns that image to do so..
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the picture, and yes that includes if you’re a model on a photoshoot (paid or TF makes no difference), the copyright belongs to the photographer.
You can’t ignore this stuff, it’s important!
Here’s an interested blog article about the issue: http://www.blogher.com/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-using-photos-your-blog-my-story
You should probably read this too: UK copyright Law Fact Sheet
An extract from the UK Copyright Service website:
“Fact sheet P-16: Photography and copyright
Who owns the copyright on photographs?
Under law, it is the photographer who will own copyright on any photos he/she has taken, with the following exceptions:
- If the photographer is an employee of the company the photos are taken for, or is an employee of a company instructed to take the photos, the photographer will be acting on behalf of his/her employer, and the company the photographer works for will own the copyright.
- If there is an agreement that assigns copyright to another party.
In all other cases, the photographer will retain the copyright, if the photographer has been paid for his work, the payment will be for the photographer’s time and typically an allocated number of prints. The copyright to the photos will remain with the photographer, and therefore any reproduction without permission would be an infringement of copyright.”
As you can see, that’s really quite clear. In all cases, the photographer, or photographic company own the copyright. It doesn’t matter who’s in the image, the person who took the photo owns the rights unless there is a signed agreement to transfer the copyright.
It is the photographer’s right to be credited as the author of the photograph, and you should always do this unless they specifically tell you otherwise.
If images have a watermark or logo on, this MUST be left intact. To remove or mis-attribute a photographer’s copyright is a very serious issue, and will be treated as such. For example, I caught a national newspaper using my images without permission once, and it cost them a LOT of money.
To give you an idea how serious this is, for a small image used on a website you could easily end up paying in excess of £1000 per image in penalties. I know this as I sent the bill to the newspaper and they had to pay it.
One UK photographer was awarded more than £5,000 in damages for the use of a single image, and there are cases documented online where photographers have received tens of thousands in compensation (example). In one famous case a photographer was awarded $1.2 million when a company used photos they had posted on Twitter!
Here’s my page with my licensing / copyright information, I have asserted my rights to be identified as the author of all my photographs, I expect to be properly credited where any photograph is used, and I expect anyone I work with to read this page!