The Ethics of Photos in Posts

On Thursday of this past week, my Photojournalism class touched on the ethical issue of using photos that someone takes and when they post them onto the web, i.e. on Facebook, Flickr, blogposts, and so on can possibly be taken from these online sites and be used out of context.

In #en3177 yesterday, we talked about inserting photos into our blog posts and on Wednesday of this past week, we talked a bit about Creative Commons and use copyright laws in regards of the use of photographs.

If I understand what Professor Morgan was saying, is how that businesses like it, but not always, when someone reposts an advertisement of theirs because that is more marketing for them and marketing that will reach a slightly wider audience.

All though I am sure businesses are happy when this happens, my Photojournalism professor was saying how that when someone who doesn’t work for a company and their photographs are taken and use as an advertisement, their is a possibility of a lawsuit coming up and that the photographer might end up losing the lawsuit.  The professor then mentioned how that in order to make sure that the lawsuit would be harder to lose, that the photographer should at least have some sort of photo/model release is signed.

I was looking through Photojournalism: The Professionals’ Approach, sixth edition, by Kenneth Krobré when I cam across page 393 where there is a table that shows where you can shoot anytime, shoot if no one objects, shoot with restrictions, and shoot only worth permission.  Granted, Krobré’s book focuses on photographer’s who work for newspapers or magazines; so I am not 100% sure on what the rules are exactly for ‘civilian’ photographers that take photos for personal reasons or for blogs.

I did google it and a Digital Photography School website had led me to Bret P. Krager, Attorney at Law webpage that had information on photographer’s rights.  On the webpage, Krager provides a download for anyone.  Granted, the download was created from what I can tell in 2003 and it doesn’t cover digital media.  Yet, from my understanding is that once you take a photograph, you own the copyright.

I will admit that I am not I am not aware of every single law about digital media and posting pictures to a blog, but I believe that as long as you cover yourself in some from of a physical release form, you know your rights, and have a copyright mark – © – on a picture, then you should have covered yourself enough.  But since I am not a lawyer, who know’s how right I am.


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