Can I use that picture?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Dr Croubie, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Interesting (and very simplified) flow chart here.
    Of course in practise it depends in which country you, the image, and the creator are located, and the various fuzzy legal definitions of 'fair use', but it's a good rough guide from which to start.
     
  2. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I would disagree that it is a "good rough guide". For example: "safe to use the image without permission (if the creator has died and no one owns the rights" - If the creator has died, then the rights would be transferred to the inheritors of the estate and would still be enforcible for 75 years from the time of death.

    "it is generally considered acceptable to redistribute an image [found on Facebook, Pinterest, & blogs] that was originally intended to be publicly viewed by the creator" - Complete an utter hogs wash !! The likes of the BBC have been caught out several times after misappropriating images they have sourced from social media sites. The comments about "fair use" and "parody" is a contentious area (review Cariou v Prince and consider the consequences of defacing an image and claiming it as your own).

    The safest course of action would be: Ask for permission, and if in doubt, do not use.
     
  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That is the most ambiguous flow chart of Copyright I have ever seen.
    The plot that specifies you cannot use an image because it closely approximates the work or idea of somebody else ('Was the picture you created an original idea?') is completely false in its blank precept. Think about this: if you photograph the Opera House from the same point, at the same time and in the same light as photographers in front of and behind you, what claim do you (or they) have to copyright of that image in its likeness or form? Answer: none. Even in the landscape context, one photograph may be exactly the same as that from another photographer, simply because there was no alternative vantage point. If a photographer walks up behind you and photographs the same scene as you, again, there is no case to answer about an idea in the creation of your image being 'original' if it looks the same. Where a photographer can claim originality to his or her own idea is where there are specifies introduced into the photograph that clearly differentiate it from others (e.g. modelling, commercial) and those that do would easily be considered infringements on that photographer's intellectual idea. In any case, dealing with copyright infringement is best not left to doubt or speculation, but a counsel specialised in that field of law. And I certainly would not rely on that flowchart to guide me in making any decision.
     
  4. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Well that was one thing that stuck out for me too, what happens to copyright after death? For novels and music, and I think even films/screenplays, I "heard" that it was 75 years after death of the originator (hence anyone can play Mozart freely as much as they want, but not The Beatles). Does that also apply to images? I'd presume that I'm not allowed to sell prints of Ansell's work for profit?

    But the difference between the BBC using an image or me sharing it on bookface is that I'm not using it for a commercial use. The Beeb may be technically 'non-profit', but it's still 'commercial'.
    The 'intended to be viewed publically' line makes sense to me though: if I post something on bookface and set privacy to 'anyone', then 'anyone' can share said photo all around the internets for all I care. If, however, I share something and set it to 'friends only', then only my friends can see it and they can't share it within that platform. If one of them then takes said image, downloads it to their filesystem, re-uploads it to bookface or facespace, or nitwit or wherever, then that's them pretending to be the author and going against my wishes of 'friends only', that's the illegal part.

    Actually, I'd say the most contentious bit is the 'is it impossible to find the original author?' bit, that's the kind of line that keeps lawyers employed.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The fact alone that the legal situations strongly vary countrywise makes that chart useless.

    It is not even stated on which legal system it is based.



    However the ease of (mis-) use of photographs internationally actually necessitates an guide.
     
  6. Wallendo

    Wallendo Subscriber

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    I have had to deal with this several times over the last year. About one year ago, I found my mother's Wedding Portrait taken in 1958. I scanned and restored it as well as I could, and would like to have high quality prints made. Most reputable labs refuse to print copyrighted material. My preference would be to track down the original photographer and have new prints made from the original negatives, but this has not been easy.

    More recently, I was given a photocopy of a portrait taken of my grandmother in the 1920's. I have done the best I can to create a usable image, but printing may be an issue. Depending on when the photographer died, this photo may (or may not) be in the Public Domain. Google searches have been fruitless, other than an photograph of his studio taken in the 1910's.

    Most likely, I could use either of these photographs with impunity. It is extremely unlikely that the descendants of the photographers in question would recognize either image and take action. But many professional labs will refuse to print them. Unfortunately, in most cases, the law doesn't make provisions for abandoned or orphaned works.
     
  7. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Buy yourself a good printer. You're already doing everything else.
     
  8. lecarp

    lecarp Member

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    Better file this one under.
    But if its on the internet it must be true!
    And then delete.