Archive for April 27th, 2011

April 27, 2011

Crediting Artists

This is a great poster for bloggers – while there’s an effort out there advocating giving proper CREDIT to any artist or photographer whose work you use, the proper and legal way is to actually get PERMISSION! Too often that step is ignored!

(This is my first time using the reblogging feature from wordpress, since I didn’t get permission from wabi wabi or the creators of the poster so I’m basically linking to the post – and I’m walking out the door – if things are wonky, I’ll fix it later!)

image credit: a visual guide. A short while ago, chelsea fuss featured this typographic poster to bring awareness to the issue of image crediting in the blogosphere. (The poster was created by designers pia jane bijkerk and erin loechner with fonts designed by yvette van boven.) It’s great to have something definitive in one handy rectangle of space to refer to. When I started this blog, inspired as I was by this new wave of image-heavy blogs, I just tried to follow suit when … Read More

via wabi wabi

UPDATE:

On Wabi Wabi’s post, I left a comment similar to my statement above – that too often giving credit is assumed to be enough rather than asking permission, and it can still be theft even if you say who you stole it from!  Another reader commented that I was wrong, it’s not theft under the fair use act. I’m reposting my reply to him, as I feel strongly about this issue and it’s quite a muddy one!

Fair use is a widely debated topic, and I think that it isn’t always clear. I also think that blogging and sites such as tumblr are redefining fair use in ways that the law either is ignoring or will be changing to allow.

I admit, I’m not 100% sure about the blogging and fair use and I am not a lawyer – my knowledge is mostly from discussions among pro and aspiring pro photographers on forums (even there, not all will agree on how to interpret the law). But blogging does not always automatically comply with fair use and I have several sources to back that up.

I know that excerpts of work are allowed for reviews (IE, quotes from a book or a clip from a movie), but the work in it’s entirety would NOT be allowed, on any blog under any fair use law. How then, would showing a photographer’s image be allowed, when it’s the “entire body” of the work? (Assuming it’s a standalone image not a series.)

I feel that as a photographer, someone blogging my image full size without permission is not complying with fair use. If they took a photo of an art exhibition with my work in the background, it would be. cite:
http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=299

If they blogged my image then discussed it, it would then be transformed and probably considered fair use. http://heartifb.com/2009/03/30/fair-use-explained-more-on-copyrighted-images-on-blogs/

As for suing about fair use? Sometimes you win sometimes you don’t.
http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/9-c.html

I’m also reading another example – posting my image to critique it is probably allowed, but using my image to illustrate an article on a blog generating income? Different story.

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2008/09/10/fair-use-of-photography-on-a-blog/

Bottom line – sometimes it is theft, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s pursued by the copyright holder, sometimes it’s ignored. Sometimes the courts side with you, sometimes against you. Simply providing credit to the photographer doesn’t keep you out of trouble. Even if the courts agree with you, you’ll have a lot of legal fees to deal with. As the poster says, asking permission is the RIGHT (legal!) thing to do! (Or stick with Creative Commons licensed work!)