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Monday, 5 January 2009

Copyright images

When people use other people's images without permission, it is likely that they are infringing copyright and committing an offence.
If an image doesn't have a copyright symbol on it ©, or a watermark, it doesn't mean that you are free to use it as you like. Do some research, check out the website's copyright policy, find out who the owner of the image is, and ask them for permission to use their image.

So, who owns the copyright? If you took the photo, chances are, you own the copyright to that image. There are of course, a few exceptions to this rule.

You can buy the rights to an image or indeed, if you ask nicely enough be granted permission to use an image. The likelihood of being given permission will also be affected depending on what you want to use the image for.
Example 1;
Using someone's image on your blog to promote their item/shop/website. You are very likely to be given permission to do this as it will benefit the owner.
Example 2;
Asking if you can make copies of someone's image for commercial use. You are less likely to be given permission, but the owner may offer to sell you the rights to the image.

What should you do if someone has used your images, without permission?
Contact them. Send them an email or leave them a comment. Depending on the severity of it, you may also want to contact a lawyer.

Is there anyway I can protect my images?
Have a copyright policy in place. This can be in your shop or website, on your Flickr account, wherever your images are. You can also register for a copyright. Holding a registered copyright will help you if you ever need to take anyone to court over an infringement.
Adding watermarks to your image can also deter people, but these can easily be taken out by anyone who is good with photoshop. They can also look pretty terrible.

Should I really be taking legal advice from a blog on the internet? Are you a lawyer?
No and no. I am merely providing some information which I have found helpful when dealing with people using my images. I suggest you do your own research and seek legal advice if you need to.


2 comment(s):

twinklyspangle said...

excellent advice, mon cherie. Has something happened?

KMCdesigns said...

Year, just one more to add to the list! :)