Photostealers, Please Take My Images Or Why It Sucks To Fight Copyright Infringements From Overseas

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This is a sad story about image thievery (again), and why I think it is so common on the internet. It is coming from a personal perspective, but I think there is much to be learned from it about how easy stealing images is nowadays and how (despite the law is on our side) it is sometimes very hard to fight. Being a photo stealing story, it  obviously starts with one of my images being “borrowed”. I was considering my options. Each and every article on the web says talk to a lawyer, so I did.  He basically said: You can’t do anything and you will never see any money.
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10 Famous Landmarks You’re Not Allowed to Photograph for Commercial Use

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Having just returned from Paris, I spent some time photographing a few of the world’s most famous landmarks.

Some of these photos are just my personal vacation photos and will only be seen by me (and maybe my Facebook friends…DIYP readers…Facebook friends of DIYP readers…).  But, a few of them will end up being sold commercially as royalty free stock through my stock portfolio over at Stocksy United.

If you are a photographer, and especially if you are a commercial photographer (commercial in the general sense that you take photographs or sell photographs for money), you should be aware of the copyright restrictions for landmarks, buildings, architecture, art and other intellectual property.

Keep reading, because like this restriction on publishing photographs of the Eiffel Tower at night, there are more weird copyright restrictions for landmarks, buildings, architecture, art and other intellectual property than you might think.

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Shared a Night-Time Photo Of The Eiffel Tower? You Are Breaking The Law

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One of the most iconic places to visit in France (and in Paris in particular) is the Eiffel tower. And while anyone is free to take its photos by day or night, sharing a photo of the light-show that the tower is engulfed in is pretty much infringing on the copyright of the show.

torrentfreak aims a spot light on this weird copyright situation by explaining that some architecture and some landmarks are copyrighted.

Actually, the Eiffel tower official website states this pretty clearly:

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Getty Images Sues Microsoft Citing A “Massive Infringement” Of Copyrighted Images

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Getty Images has officially filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, accusing the tech giant of infringing copyright laws on millions of images from Getty’s online collection. On August 22, Microsoft unveiled the Bing Image Widget to the public, which allows anyone to embed images they find using Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine, using a simple code which is supplied by Microsoft. Once search parameters have been entered into Bing’s Image Widget generator, the code can simply be copied and pasted for use on any website, commercial or otherwise, and will display the images yielded from the search results.
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US Copyright Office: Photos Taken by Animals Have No Copyright. Nor Do Photos Taken by God.

Two weeks ago, the story of the selfie-taking monkey gave me what I had thought was the best article title I was ever going to get to right. I was wrong. This is the best article title that I’ve ever gotten to write.

For those who missed it, around the beginning of this month Wikipedia was caught in a bit of controversy for its ruling on photographs taken by a monkey with photographer David Slater’s camera, saying that Slater had no copyright to them since he wasn’t their photographer. In a update to the story equally as bizarre as the story itself, the US Copyright Office released a 1,222-page document establishing new policies and reaffirming existent stances set on copyright law; touching on the subject at hand, the Office basically said that a picture taken by a monkey is unclaimed intellectual property.

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The Ins and Outs of Using On-Line Photos

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A few months ago, a friend of mine was scrolling through a photography website when he saw something that made him jump out of his chair. There on the screen was a photo of his 6-year-old daughter– sitting on the grass under a stunning summer sky in her beautiful pink dress, having a tea party with her stuffed animals and three kittens. There were several problems with the photo. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, my friend had not taken or posted this particular photo of his daughter. In his original photo, the sky was overcast, the dress was yellow, and his daughter– who is actually dangerously allergic to cats– was enjoying a quiet moment alone. More importantly, however, the person who created this composite had never asked for permission to use the original. Needless to say, my friend was more than a little pissed off and immediately set to the task of tracking down the photographer and “politely asking” that the image be taken down immediately. It took a while, but the photographer eventually complied.

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Wikimedia: Because the Monkey Pressed the Shutter, It Owns the Picture

The two pictures above were taken by British nature photographer David Slater in 2011, when a black macaque walked over to him and hijacked his camera, proceeding to take numerous amounts of selfies. With the pictures going viral, they found themselves on Wikimedia’s Commons page, where they’ve been available as public domain. The problem? When David Slater requested the pictures be taken down, Wikimedia refused – the reason being that because it was the animal pressing the shutter, the photo didn’t actually belong to him.

It’s safe to say that Wikimedia might be going a bit bananas (I’m sorry.) here, because what they’re basically saying is that since the monkey took the picture, it owns the copyright.

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Can I Use That Picture? This Flowchart Helps You Demystify Copyright Law

UPDATE: the chart was wrong in in more than one way, we took it down. You can still see the original link in the article, but I do not suggest following its advice, you can read more about it here.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding copyright law and when it’s okay or not okay to use photographs that are not your own. Fortunately, Curtis Newbold, AKA The Visual Communications Guy, created this handy flowchart to help you assess when, why, and where you can use certain photographs. If you find yourself frequently questioning the legality (or morality) of resharing an awesome photo you came across on the internet, you may want to bookmark the chart for quick access.

The flowchart  (click here for a big version) makes it easy to understand the differences between Copyright, Fair Use, Creative Commons, and Public Domain–four topics which are often the source of great confusion.  On the flipside of things, the chart may also be useful to photographers who wonder about their own photographs and the purposed in which others may redistribute them.

[ The Visual Communications Guy via PetaPixel, lifehacker]

Protect Your Photos From Rights Grabbing

10269317_10152399728853397_554368261949275458_oOver the weekend, the team at VOTogs posted an article revealing a government organization potentially taking advantage of photographers via rather sneaky means. The Vivid Sydney arts and cultural event, headed by Destination NSW, naturally has a Facebook page (screen-captured with the lead image) where people can find all the necessary information about the event. This is all pretty casual, but what got the VOTOGs (and us) is that hidden away on the About page was a set of terms in addition to Facebook’s Terms in which it was stated that members of the public posting photographs on the Facebook page in effect gave Destination NSW the license to use said photographs in any way they saw fit, free of charge, for as long as they wished. [Read more...]

How a Band Responded in the Most Immature Manner Possible After Stealing a Photographer’s Work

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It’s a sad reality for small business photographers that there will be times where their work is stolen by others. Most of the time they’ll barely be able to fight it, either, and they’ll drop charges just because they can’t go on with them.

But its not everyday that you hear about that work being stolen by other artists.

That’s what happened to Rohan Anderson, a photographer from Australia whose work was just recently posted on the Facebook page of a band called The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Featuring one of the band’s guitarists, the photo was cropped, filtered, and put up on the page with nothing other than the caption “SHREDDER.” [Read more...]