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Posted (edited)

Got e-mail today from Alamy Copyright Team. 

 

"This an email to inform you that we have removed some images in your collection.

This is in response to the increase in the number of complaints we have been receiving from mural artists chasing infringements of their work.

We have an ongoing process in place where we actively sweep for street art and murals to identify images that could be problematic. As this subject continues to be a hot issue, we’ve removed the following images from your collection to prevent any potential issues; (5 images identified)...Please understand, we are doing this to help protect you from any third-party issues, we're working with a huge number of images so please bear with us during this ongoing process."

 

Those images removed were of Mission murals in San Francisco. All were marked editorial only. Although I feel Alamy has every right to remove images, I still think they would've made good editorial photos. For example one of the images had only text: "Housing is a Human RIght!" Now, if that is the message the artist wanted to tell, I believe it would have been much more efficient to have that mural on newspaper rather than visible only to people passing Clarion Alley.

 

I have uploaded quite a lot of street art images and some from museums too. If all shall be removed, I'll probably have half of the portfolio left. :) 

 

Anyway I knew the risks, can't blame anybody else.

 

 

Edited by JaniMarkus Hasa

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I know one of the MS has specific regulations regarding San Francisco (as in Definite No) as the city is more protective of street art copyrights. 

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Posted (edited)

Since Alamy can't be aware of what local copyright regulations forbid or permit in every single country in the world, they usually apply the UK law, and primarily the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which, at article 62,  allows taking photos of buildings and sculptures "situated in a public place or in premises open to the public" but  doesn't permit the same for graphic works (as defined by art.4), including murals, even if they are exposed permanently in open spaces and/or on a building facade.

Edited by riccarbi
  • Upvote 1

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53 minutes ago, formerly snappyoncalifornia said:

This is good information on the topic - https://alj.artrepreneur.com/6-copyrights-street-art/

Point of information - you may not be able to legally sell a photo of the mural, but, if the muralist doesn't own the wall, you can legally PAINT OVER IT!

 

 According to article, "if a journalist writes an article about an artist, the newspaper will want to run a photo of the art along with the story. This use is both commercial and educational in nature, so what is the result? In this case, even though the newspaper is a for-profit business, the use here is for “criticism, comment, [or] news reporting,” and is specifically authorized by the law."

 

All my images with any artwork are clearly marked |X| Sell for editorial only. But yeah... Alamy can do whatever they wish, it's their agency. I only lost the time used with KW and captions. I took the images years before I had even heard about stock agencies. I shoot what I like and I like street art.

 

Fun fact: with search for "Mission murals" you get 424 results, but the first image is mine. I'm usually on page 12 or something. There is actually 5 of my images on  the first page - I suppose three of those will be removed at some point.

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These days, here in Vancouver, walls have a habit of disappearing as the city is basically being torn down and rebuilt by real estate developers. As a result, I have images on Alamy of street murals that no longer exist. I'm not sure what to think about those. I assume that the artist still owns the copyright to their artwork even though the murals themselves are no more. 😶

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In view of all of the above I would ask if there is a copyright issue in photographing and selling as stock, photos of food product boxes etc that quite clearly have artwork. Presumably of course most producers would not baulk at what amounts to free advertising. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Futterwithtrees said:

In view of all of the above I would ask if there is a copyright issue in photographing and selling as stock, photos of food product boxes etc that quite clearly have artwork. Presumably of course most producers would not baulk at what amounts to free advertising. 

Difficult, but I would guess that in the vast majority of such incidences, the graphic artist was either employed directly, or has done a job of work for the company selling the product and has relinquished copyright to the business. The issue therefore is with the company. I world guess that - as long as there's no obvious misuse of a logo - most businesses would have little problem with this, as it only adds to promotion of their product. I'm prepared to be corrected, though: IANAL and all that.

Edited by losdemas
Auto-correct error

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Just had my remaining mural shots viewed with search term "San Francisco Mission District mural [PH]". No zooms, though. 

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