• Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
If you are new to being a stock photographer and just starting out in your newfound career, or a company that is just recently discovering the huge savings in using stock photos in your print or online publications, there are quite possibly many things that you are yet to learn about, and some of them concerns legal issues. One of the unknown issues that you can get involved in when taking pictures for a stock photo collection is about architecture. You may have taken a picture of a building or landmark and not know that it is being protected by copyright or trademark, and this could get you in a lawsuit that will cost you a great deal of money.
There are many structures that are under copyrights that may catch you unaware. Technically, it’s the architectural designs of the buildings that are protected and not the buildings themselves. If you took a picture of such a building and sell it as a stock photograph, the holder of the trademark has every right to sue you so you should always double check if taking a picture of a certain building can get you into trouble or not, and the internet could be a great advisor.
Not only are the photographers the ones on the line, because the same applies to businesses that unknowingly uses images that violate copyrights in their own projects like for advertising and marketing. It doesn’t matter if you paid highly for the material, or where you got it; if the stock photographer who took the picture did not get a property release, then the photos that you have are illegal and a complaint may be filed against you. Buildings are not the only ones that can be copyrighted too, because in many cities around the world, there are a great many statues, monuments and other public artwork displays that are under trademark. Since they are mostly government commissioned displays, they can be considered public domain but in some other cases, the copyrights are still held by the original artist regardless of who was the one to commission it.
Fortunately for everyone, stock photo agencies do their best to filter the photos that are being submitted to them and reject the ones that are in violation of copyrights, but probably due to the sheer volume of files that they are getting, some still manage to slip through. There are many websites in the internet that are kind enough to put up lists of copyrighted buildings for everyone, so the people who are involved in stock photography does not have to deal with so much hassle with settling cases in court.
A few examples of copyrighted buildings are: the night time light display of the Eiffel Tower, although daytime photos of the landmark are still allowed to be sold. The Hollywood sign is also under copyright protection. The Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building in New York City are also trademarked locations.
Be sure to check out a building or landmark online before taking a picture to avoid troubles later!
• Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
If companies are always going to hire professional photographers to take pictures for use on creating brochures, postcards, and basically any product that needs images, the cost would have been too large and if there are any good alternatives they would surely go for it. Online stock photography websites are the place to go through to acquire photos now, and many companies and photographers are trading benefits to each other. There are however, limitations as to how extensive you can use the pictures that you buy or sell on online portfolios, so read on to know the common licensing information about stock images. Licensing reserves original works only to the creator’s name, meaning that credit goes where it is due. Almost every photo distributed online is protected by some form of copyright that will prevent the unauthorized usage, redistribution or modifications to the product for a set period of time.
For image licensing, there are four main types that are commonly used for the individual who generated the photos to have control over their works and choose how people can obtain or purchase it. One is Rights Managed copyright licenses, where the picture that you acquired from a stock portfolio becomes exclusive to you or not depending on the agreement, and you can only use your purchased product for one project. New licensing agreements will have to be made for other uses and it could be expensive depending on the size of the image as well as its usage.
Another copyright license is Royalty Free which will allow you to use the photo for more than one project, and you only have to pay for the image once. RF images allow the user to utilise it for as many times as needed and for no limit in terms of time. Even though these kinds of photos can be used more extensively, there could still be some kind of restrictions that you must be aware of by reading the guidelines of the website where you obtained the photo. Again, the prices of these images vary depending on size and resolution, but some of them could be found and attained for the very low price of free.
Yet another licensing technique is the Creative Commons license which is usually used by artists to publicize their works for free and is used just to prevent the costless photos to be “stolen” by other people and receive the credit for the products, or even sell them as their own property. Flickr is one such website that offers hosting for creative commons photos and is home to thousands of free pictures that can publicly be viewed and enjoyed by internet users. Lastly, the photos whose copyrights have already expired or were not copyrighted in the first place are referred to as Public Domain, and such photos have been used by individuals and even government websites over the internet with confidence of not committing any violations. Licenses may be confusing, but understanding them will surely help you in the long run.