Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Here. Use My Photo!

Last week I provided some advice on what to do when someone asks permission to republish one of your images (See "May I Use Your Photo?").  I think we're all in agreement that when you've captured that once in a lifetime shot and the advertising agencies are pounding down your door to reuse it that it only seems fair to be able to have money for new camera gear at the end of the transaction.

Why then do so many of us go charging blindly forward to freely hand over our rights to that once in a lifetime shot when we see the words "Photo Contest"?  Often times our desire for recognition from our peers makes us blind to the legal fine print in the contest disclaimer.  While not all photo competitions are disguised evil, property stealing monsters looking for free marketing materials, I have seen a fair number who's contest rules pretty clearly state that by uploading your image your providing that organization with unrestricted use of that image.  It's not just photo contests to be on the watch for either.  Ever read the "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" for Facebook?

    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos ... you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post ...
In other words, post an image on their servers and you may soon become the unpaid poster child for everyone's favorite social network.  No thanks.

So, while we all get our feathers ruffled when someone tries to "borrow" our prized photography works, we may be unwittingly turning around and giving it away for free. 


At the end of the day the thing that is important to remember is that the images you've created are yours as is the right to determine how and when they are used.

Have any interesting stories around image rights? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Until next time, keep click'n.


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