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Posts tagged ‘copyright’

Ethical and legit practices for using content you find online

Since the very beginning of writing and art, there has been a concern over the ownership, intellectual property rights and usage of work that has been put out there for public consumption. And since the digital age of the Internet, things have gotten much more complicated.

In college, I studied journalism and part of my schooling dealt with media law and ethics. Oddly enough, the answer to many of the questions and issues that we discussed was simply “it depends.”

So, just for kicks, here is my personal perspective on this matter.

If the content is from social media…

One of the primary purposes of social media is for the content to be shared. Whether is be on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest or something else, it seems to me that the content owner who posts his or her work is essentially granting permission for others to share it. If they do not want this to be the case, they can make adjustments to indicate that the content is private or not meant to be shared.

If the content is from a random blog, site or search…

I suppose the usage of these items does depend on many factors. I suggest you use you intuition.

If the content is specifically marked…

If the content states that it should not be reproduced or reposed, if a Youtube video is disabled from embedding or if right clicking on an image is disabled, clearly the post author does not want this to be spread around.

Best ways to go…

For photos or video:

Start out with your own images or videos, if you don’t have what is necessary, look into public domain, royalty free and stock content. The next best thing to do is seek out content that is clearly intended to be shared via social platforms.

For writing: 

Create your own or seek out people who will create content for you. Another option is to use content from article marketing sites like Ezine Articles.

When it comes to giving credit:

Crediting is often not necessary for public domain, royalty free or stock content. If it is a condition of usage, give proper credit. Same goes for stuff from article marketing sites. If it seems like sharing is acceptable, crediting the source in some way is always a good idea. While Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest pretty much automatically do this for you, not all platforms have such a feature. In that case, you can do something like tag the author or literally create a byline.

 

Why I don’t believe in sitting fees and other conventional aspects of the photography industry

Obviously, I love working with photography. But even so, there are some aspects of the industry that I could do without. So, as a person working for myself in the field, one of the benefits of doing so is the ability to abide by my own philosophies rather than those of someone else.

I don’t believe in sitting fees.

Many, if not all other photographers I know, have some sort of sitting fee for their studio photography work. These fees basically mean that no matter what occurs during the session or what the client decides to purchase, he or she is required to pay a fee for simply booking a session at all. Honestly, I see this as a bit of a rip off to the buyer. Sure I understand that the photographer needs to have some assurance of income. But, I believe in taking a different approach. Why not, as a photographer, require a minimum purchase for sessions? This can be a win-win for everyone as that the you are guaranteed some income while the buyer will at least get a minimum of a finished product rather than just a bill.

I don’t watermark the photos a client buys.

If someone hires me to shoot photos for them, I figure they deserve the shots free of my self-promotional efforts via watermarks. Not only do watermark from your local studio shots make for a bit of an annoyance but they also often come across as a less than appealing aesthetic effect in the final images.

I don’t shaft clients or collaborators out of usage rights. 

Whether I am working with a local high school senior or a professional working in the modeling industry, I never demand exclusive ownership right to the works I create. The way I see, it regardless of what copyright law may or may not say, both parties have some ownership over the intellectual property produced in a photo session. Sure the subject would not have photos without a photographer. But at the same time, the photographer would have no photos without a subject.

I allow shared usage of the photos between myself and the subject(s). Of course, I don’t want a model going out and selling photos I took of him or her but I do allow them to use them for portfolio purposes and more. This of course, would include posting shots in online portfolios as well.

I have few qualms about my photography being spread around the Internet, with some exceptions of course. The way I see it, so long as the shots are credited to me, it’s free advertising and more exposure for my work.

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