In our previous blog, we defined some of the basic terms of photo licensing. Part I explained the three different photo licensing options: rights managed, royalty free and flat fee. So check out that first post to learn some of the very basic terms associated with photo licensing and copyright laws.
Copyright laws can often be confusing, and we don’t expect everyone to understand every nuance, but we would like people to understand how these laws (and ignoring them) gets back to the photographer.
David Hoffman, a professional photographer, explains his frustrations at being more published than ever, but receiving little to no compensation for the photos he’s finding all over the internet. Hoffman describes how it is really destroying the photography business. In the past, photographers could go in-depth on a story and spend months or years on one project. These type of journalist/ photographers would further their project from the money they made on past pictures. Now photographers can’t afford to spend that much time on something, because they’ll receive half the income they once did, even though their projects are reaching more and more audiences.
Last year Hoffman took a case to court in the United Kingdom where the judge set a precedence in copyright laws and the photographers they affect. The judge determined that “innocence is no defense”. While this is mostly to be used against companies that lie and say they didn’t understand the copyright laws, this also affects those who truly didn’t know they were doing anything wrong using photos without a license – they could get in real trouble.
That’s why we write blogs like this. We want to make sure people know how and when they can and cannot use photos. Odds are when you run into a photo of your favorite band on the internet, then someone had to (or should have had to) pay a license for it. It’s probably a good idea to just avoid using it unless you can get in contact with the original photographer.
It’s been theorized that pictures are an expression of self that is the most valued form of connection. This explains sociologically why we as humans are drawn to picture centered sites such as Pinterest, Flickr, and You Tube. Pictures are popular.
Newscom, part of Mainstream Data, has been a witness to the growing popularity of using photos. As the largest multi-agency photo library in the world, Newscom licenses photos to publications for editorial use. But we also often find our images used without permission on a variety of websites – and we ask the administrators of those websites to take the photos down.
Photographers want their pictures to be used, they just have to be done the right way. With a site like Newscom, it makes licensing the photos from the photographers as hassle free as possible.
We invite everyone to learn more about copyright laws so that everyone can continue to enjoy and share the photos on the right side of the law.
Photo: Fashion show photographers. imago stock&people/Newscom. Find it on Newscom.com: imagostock324404