Sunday, September 15, 2013

Get Permission Before Using Someone’s Photographs

News to Know
by Amanda Causey

As a reader of Lake Wedowee Life magazine I’m sure that you have noticed the beautiful photographs we have throughout the pages of every issue. We love sharing these images on our website as well as through various social media platforms. We also enjoy publishing beautiful photographs of Lake Wedowee that others have taken…with their permission of course.

Photographs are one of the many things protected by law from being copied or published without the owner’s consent. That means it is against the law to use a photograph someone else has taken for your own personal or business purposes without their consent. That is an infringement of the copyright law.

What Is Copyright?

Federal copyright laws are in place to protect original works of authorship.

A work of authorship can be literary, artistic, musical or even dramatic. Copyright begins as soon as the original work is created, and applies to both published and unpublished works. So in other words, as soon as you click the shutter on your camera (or for many of you, your cell phone) you’ve got a copyright.

Why is this important?

Well, that’s where things get tricky. Some people are in the business to sell their photographs and get really upset when one of their pictures is used without permission. There are numerous reasons people protect their copyrighted work. But for most people it boils down to two sides. There is the artistic side of the work being stolen and the monetary side of the copyright holder being paid for its use.

Most of the time the general public doesn’t have to worry about copyright laws. But, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always ask permission before using a photograph that does not belong to you. And if you are given permission, give credit. (A simple mention of the copyright holder’s name works in most cases.) Someone else has worked very hard and took the time to create the photo.


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