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Now UK passport images are a no no it would seem ...


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I have just received an email from the copyright team informing me that two of my images have been removed as National Archives have complained that the covers and inside pages of UK passports are covered by copyright. Both of my images that have been removed showed the cover of my passport, not the main focus of the images and in context and I have replied to the copyright team to that effect. There are currently 10,933 images on Alamy, many showing the passport covers and nothing else ... I guess they will be busy removing those for some time to come ! Not sure why they are not allowed if only part of an image and in context but there we go .... if you have any in your portfolios, they may well vanish soon !

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Huh, I have a few of those too. Mine are also in context, and a small part of the images. Please post the response from the copyright team.

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Most of mine the passport is part of an image not the whole image .. all are being removed. I guess Alamy are just covering themselves although I would have thought that they could be used for editorial use regardless.

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I've had the email, half a dozen removed - some of the stuff I was doing in lockdown when I'd finished scanning all my archive stuff & running out of things to do... 

Tempted to reupload with a "censored by HM government" sticker over the coat of arms.ūüôā

Not Alamy's fault obvs, they have to comply if someone has raised an issue, though I would have thought the passport would have been allowed for editorial use. After all, govt has made such a song & dance about how important the colour of them is....

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Had the same email also, Alamy had removed one of my lifestyle images explaining that it had infringed upon the National Archives, so I did a quick 'UK passport' search and found around over 50 pages on Alamy of UK passport images. So It looks like Alamy are having a purge on this particular theme then if contributors here are all receiving similar emails who have Passport related images, but I don't blame them if it's only going to possibly cause any future infringements.

 

Maybe Alamy could suggest a workaround/guidelines for certain lifestyle/editorial images and so forth, outlining what would be usable and what wouldn't be usable.

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34 minutes ago, GP Essex said:

Not Alamy's fault obvs, they have to comply if someone has raised an issue, though I would have thought the passport would have been allowed for editorial use. 

 

Did they have to conform though ? Unfortunately, unless Alamy informs us as to what's been going on in the background, we can't know ... did they come to our defence and say that images should be allowed if the passport is not the main part of the image and are in context or did they just capitulate ? The problem is where does this sort of thing stop as most images outside of wild animals, flowers etc contain something that is covered by copyright of some sort ... what would happen if, for example, Ford informed Alamy that their car designs are copyrighted and all images must be removed ... would Alamy just comply and remove all 111,688 images that contain a Ford car ?

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Also hit by this with three passport images and one comparing Scottish and English currency (the latter probably fair enough). A quick search shows 10,445 similar images still available at Alamy. I'm not really sure who National Archives are or what their rights are to intellectual property. The only other images of mine that have been removed were of billboards advertising a government scheme to help with house buying after a complaint by the builder Persimmon and Alamy unnecessarily caved.

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Posted (edited)

Oh, I see, they have their own Image Library, "You can purchase high quality reproductions of images from our collections using our image library."

 

https://images.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

 

Looks like it might be another 'NT' style protectionist gambit

Edited by Harry Harrison
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Posted (edited)
On 22/05/2023 at 19:29, Joe Gaul said:

I'm not really sure who National Archives are or what their rights are to intellectual property.

Well, they're, er, the National Archives, formerly known as the Public Record Office at Kew. They're evidently claiming Crown copyright, which undoubtedly applies. But I think it's a bit unusual for it to be invoked by the State against its citizens. Also, although it's not necessary, there's no copyright notice.

Edited by spacecadet
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I don't have any passport images, in fact it reminds me that I haven't seen my passport since I had to take it with me to vote (!), but wouldn't this mean that even if they are copyrighted they could be used in context anyway as Martyn has suggested above, so perhaps taking up no more than a third of the image and marked for editorial use only as with public art. Maybe Alamy could produce some helpful guidelines.

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No email here but I have several photos with passports in, one as the isolated subject on a white background with two passports. All editorial. I guess I'll just wait to see if/when they get removed.

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14 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I don't have any passport images, in fact it reminds me that I haven't seen my passport since I had to take it with me to vote (!), but wouldn't this mean that even if they are copyrighted they could be used in context anyway as Martyn has suggested above, so perhaps taking up no more than a third of the image and marked for editorial use only as with public art. Maybe Alamy could produce some helpful guidelines.

 

Even if they are copyrighted I don't see why they couldn't be used isolated. Otherwise the millions of photos on Alamy of isolated signs and logos belonging to billion dollar companies like Shell would be no bueno, I'd have thought. Does taking a photograph actually infringe copyright?

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I guess this is going to be a long process for Alamy having so many stock images on sale right now, and indeed below is just one of those used images I have just spotted 

in the Guardian online.

 

24th May 2023 - Guardian online 

 

True Images -  Passports  https://www.theguardian.com/money/2023/may/24/my-travel-insurer-was-inhumane-after-my-father-in-laws-death - 2BBFTFE

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

I don't have any passport images, in fact it reminds me that I haven't seen my passport since I had to take it with me to vote (!), but wouldn't this mean that even if they are copyrighted they could be used in context anyway as Martyn has suggested above, so perhaps taking up no more than a third of the image and marked for editorial use only as with public art. M aybe Alamy could produce some helpful guidelines.

You've just reminded me that I must look out my passport as it should have 3 years left on it. It wasn't in its usual place. Wasn't needed for voting in the local elections as Buckinghamshire didn't have any, plus I have other compatible ID. Not all the country voted.

Edited by sb photos
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47 minutes ago, sb photos said:

You've just reminded me that I must look out my passport as it should have 3 years left on it.

Haven't seen my paper driving licence since it came back from being endorsed just over 3 years ago. There's a pattern developing here. Tried to renew it online, each time it wouldn't accept my card so, amazingly, I had to start at the beginning again. Gave up after the third attempt.

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9 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Haven't seen my paper driving licence since it came back from being endorsed just over 3 years ago. There's a pattern developing here. Tried to renew it online, each time it wouldn't accept my card so, amazingly, I had to start at the beginning again. Gave up after the third attempt.

 

Government departments aren't infallible with regards to taking payments. Years back I tried to pay HMRC with my debit card, and their system froze. Same with different browsers and a different Mac. Tried the next morning, just the same. I then used the online help and received an email back stating that their system could not accept card payments that were in a certain numerical range. Previous years no problem. I then transferred the cash straight into their account, and still do now. Normally you wouldn't expect such a bug in a government department system, so anything is possible. Online computer systems never develop problems, do they?

 

My green paper driving license dated back to the 1970's and was getting tatty. I was glad to exchange it for a card when I reached 70.

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4 hours ago, Cal said:

Does taking a photograph actually infringe copyright?

It certainly can. Whether it does depends on the facts. And the courts, fortunately rarely.

There are numerous exceptions, but they probably don't cover the sort of set-up images we're talking about unless the inclusion of the passport is incidental. (CDPA s31 (1)).

Alamy takes a very conservative line because any infringement in the actual Alamy listing would be extremely minor. The publication following licensing is the real issue. But NA is obviously trying to remove that possibility.

As another specific example, a photograph of a sculpture or building in a public place cannot infringe UK copyright. (s62(2b))

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