Dallas Portrait Photographer: Fair Use


My disclaimer: I’m not an intellectual property attorney or guru, the information shared in this post is public. This post will offend some readers. Sorry, not sorry.

I’m just going to come right out and say it— the number one reason images are taken from a proofing gallery is because the viewer doesn’t want to pay for them.
It is easier to take the images and justify it by claiming Fair Use. Fair Use is becoming a catch-all buzzword and people are hiding behind it to steal copyrighted works from social media sites and photography viewing galleries. I imagine some are sincere in thinking that they can take content (images) from an author and this post will help us all come to a better understanding.

You can find information on Copyright and Fair Use at http://copyright.gov . It is long dry reading and the truth is even some artist/photographers don’t read it so they aren’t able to help their clients understand . This magical loophole called Fair Use showed up on the internet radar seemingly providing an alternative to paying for the images. It’s on the internet so it’s up for grabs, right?

Fair Use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted work or portion of the copyrighted work into a new work you are doing for the purpose of criticism, news reporting, commentary, search engines, parody, teaching, library archiving, scholarships and research for the greater public or in the public interest. Are you promoting the progress of science or the arts? Is the new work you’ve created “transformative”? Is it a benefit in any way to society?
Wait! The reason you screen captured or photographed the images from the gallery have nothing to do with anything above? Not even a little bit? Then why did you take them?

A proofing gallery sent to you to make image selections is just that, a proofing gallery.
Why screen capture or photograph images from the proofing galley? No news reporting to the greater public? No research to cure an epidemic? Did you take the images because you don’t want to pay?
And please no more printing or posting images you’ve stolen from galleries that have PROOF or some other watermark or logo splashed across it. This screams “stolen” which is not a good look.

Giving the photographer credit won’t make taking the images Fair Use either. Either they meet the criteria described above or they don’t.

I’ve heard some say if an image is on social media Fair Use automatically applies; the creator loses his/her copyright since they posted it on the internet. Read the TOS (Terms of Service) for the popular social media sites; they do not claim copyright ownership when someone uploads content. Using such sites often require you to grant a right to non-exclusive sub licensing and that is not the same as transferring copyright.

Yes, please stop taking images from a photographer’s proofing gallery and social media site claiming it as Fair Use. It’s not. It’s stealing. It’s not okay.

Go ahead, Section 107-118 at http://copyright.gov

NJ Stevenson

By | 2015-08-10T13:27:43+00:00 August 10th, 2015|ClientNotes, News, Stuff and Things|0 Comments