Copyright law is confusing! Once you think you have an understanding, a new situation presents itself. The changing media landscape we are in provides a lot of challenges. Blogs are quickly changing as well. Today, blogs are not much different from traditional media publishers. Blogs are funded, having advertising and sponsors. As a blogger, I prefer the term publisher. Since that is essentially what we are doing; publishing content online for an audience (I really liked this article on Man Repeller discussing this topic).
Why is all of this relevant to photography copyright? Photographers are noticing the change as well. Blogs are publishers, and will be treated like publishers in traditional media when it comes to using photography. Here are some resource links and some interesting facts that apply to blogs:
- Photography Copyright law (and copyright law in general)
- A two Part Series on the Topic on Ken Kaminesky’s Blog: Part One and Part Two, plus this resource link
- A Photo Editor is a great resource for following trends in the photography industry, with some interesting conversation in this post about copyright
- Photo Law
Did You Know?
A photographer can come after you for using an image that has been on your blog for 4 years and make you pay the fees for 4 years of usage? Here is a case where the blogger had to change out ALL the images on her site.
If you don’t have written permission from the copyright holder, publishing an image is violating the copyright.
Search engines make it easy to see how many times an image has been published and where. Use this link to check the images on any website. You can see where that image is used, and the exact URL. Use this to see if your images are being used without your permission or to check if you can find the copyright owner for an unknown source.
NOTE: I am not a lawyer. Therefore, you shouldn’t regard the contents of this article as legal advice. Instead, it contains my opinions on proper copyright etiquette. My background is in advertising and I am married to a photographer.