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  1. #1
    TDF Member wonderiter's Avatar
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    A copyright question

    I have various professional prints taken of me at sporting events that I would like to scan and use on a website that I am building. The sort where a photographer attends an event, takes loads of photo's then you can choose to buy them. What is the copyright position on these photo's? I don't know who took them.

  2. #2
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    As I understand it, unless you paid the photographer for a licence to use the images for a website then he/she still hold the copyright and you'd need permission to use them. A bit tricky if you can't remember who the photographer was...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stig View Post
    As I understand it, unless you paid the photographer for a licence to use the images for a website then he/she still hold the copyright and you'd need permission to use them. A bit tricky if you can't remember who the photographer was...
    Correct - the photographer always retains the copyright UNLESS
    a) they were working "for hire" (as in paid for their hours) at the event whereby the event owner would probably retain the copyright (as the photos were shot for them)
    or b) the photographer specifically sells the copyright to someone else

    This is especially true for commercial use (as the OP proposes).

    @wonderiter It might be worth looking at stock photos - they can often be fairly cheap.

  4. #4
    Established TDF Member Decosnapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilwood View Post
    Correct - the photographer always retains the copyright UNLESS
    a) they were an employee at the event whereby the employer would automatically retain the copyright unless there was a specific clause in their contract transferring the rights to the creator/individual.
    or b) the photographer specifically transfers in writing the copyright to someone else

    This is especially true for any use.
    Pretty accurate but with some corrections in bold italic.

    Work for hire tends to be an American term and relevant in US law. Never seen it used here in the UK WRT contracts that transfer copyright but many times on US contracts. Presume we are talking UK law and not US/other?

    And there isn't any definition or clause that makes any distinction between commercial and non-commercial use. This is important as some folk see use on a non-commercial website appear to be a get-out-of-jail-free card. It isn't but can mitigate damages. I had a successful claim slightly reduced on this basis in the High Court. But only slightly.
    Last edited by Decosnapper; 30-04-2019 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Spotted a little inconsistency.

  5. #5
    TDF Member wonderiter's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I'm not interested in stock photo's because it's a personal biography that I'm writing so I want to make sure I don't end up with problems.

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    You could conduct a "diligent search" for the photographer if you really wanted to use them: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...for-applicants

  7. #7
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    Be very careful about photos: I don't use any photos on our club documents / website unless they've been taken by members (and have permission) or I'm sure they've come from a "royalty free photo" site.

    The reason for this is that about 12 years ago, someone in our club made a PDF file of the club magazine. This included a small article on a type of fish, which had a very small picture of the fish (which I guess they'd jsut found on a google image search). The PDF was archived on the club website along with all the back issues of the newsletter. Roll on 8 years and we get an email from Getty images providing evidence of our copyright infringement and a bill for 600. Thanks to some very good advice from Simon (he's usually on the sending side of these type of notice) and confirmation of our non-profit status from BSAC, and Getty agreed to waive the demand, with a stern warning that they wouldn't be so lenient next time.
    The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

  8. #8
    TDF Member wonderiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickpicks View Post
    Be very careful about photos: I don't use any photos on our club documents / website unless they've been taken by members (and have permission) or I'm sure they've come from a "royalty free photo" site.

    The reason for this is that about 12 years ago, someone in our club made a PDF file of the club magazine. This included a small article on a type of fish, which had a very small picture of the fish (which I guess they'd jsut found on a google image search). The PDF was archived on the club website along with all the back issues of the newsletter. Roll on 8 years and we get an email from Getty images providing evidence of our copyright infringement and a bill for 600. Thanks to some very good advice from Simon (he's usually on the sending side of these type of notice) and confirmation of our non-profit status from BSAC, and Getty agreed to waive the demand, with a stern warning that they wouldn't be so lenient next time.
    OK thanks. You can't be clearer than that.

    I wonder if sharing school photo's etc on facebook or history forums also infringes copyright

  9. #9
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderiter View Post
    I wonder if sharing school photo's etc on facebook or history forums also infringes copyright
    Technically, yes, but I can't see a school photographer from years ago chasing you for sharing your 1980s school photos.

    My kids' individual school photos come as digital downloads, which the licence pretty much says you can do what you want with (share, print many copies). The year group ones are only available as prints (tyrs to avoid one parent buying it and emailing it to all the others).
    The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

  10. #10
    TDF Member bletso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickpicks View Post
    Be very careful about photos: I don't use any photos on our club documents / website unless they've been taken by members (and have permission) or I'm sure they've come from a "royalty free photo" site.

    The reason for this is that about 12 years ago, someone in our club made a PDF file of the club magazine. This included a small article on a type of fish, which had a very small picture of the fish (which I guess they'd jsut found on a google image search). The PDF was archived on the club website along with all the back issues of the newsletter. Roll on 8 years and we get an email from Getty images providing evidence of our copyright infringement and a bill for 600. Thanks to some very good advice from Simon (he's usually on the sending side of these type of notice) and confirmation of our non-profit status from BSAC, and Getty agreed to waive the demand, with a stern warning that they wouldn't be so lenient next time.
    Yes, Getty is particularly bad. They have search engines that scour the web for the millions of photos they have in their holdings and send out ridiculously high extortion demands. One has to be very careful in using pics off the web.
    An independent diver


 
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