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Commercial or editorial?


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With most images, it's pretty straight forward to determine whether one should be commercial or editorial. However, there's one particular image I have which is a bit tricky. There is property visible in the photo and I do not have releases. However, the main subject, a rotunda in my home city, is over 100 years old so there's the possibility that it may not need a release. While not a building, I believe that some modern building designs are protected by copyright. I assume that most older buildings and structures are not (unless it's a creative work like a statue.) Though the design of this particular rotunda is slightly intricate in some areas so I'm not sure if that could be considered creative. There's also a modern building visible in the photo though it's in the background and is partly obscured by the rotunda. I can't see any logos or anything like that on the building. I have heard that in some cases, modern buildings can be used in commercial images if they're part of a city skyline view. There's not really a skyline view in this photo but the building is definitely not the main focus of the image. 

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I'm no expert, but if something is owned by somebody and is prominent in the photo, I would regard it as requiring a release for commercial work.

 

Having said that I have had a photo sell for a marketing purpose that was clearly marked as having no release, hopefully the buyer/user carries the can?

 

Any lawyers out there?

Edited by Bryan
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I really think you are getting worried unnecessarily. There are a few well known examples of buildings where copyright is an issue but you can just about count them on the fingers of one hand. well, maybe two hands

 

You mention Statues. You are almost always OK there. The actual work of art is probably copyrighted but every time you photograph a piece of sculpture you are creating a new copyright in that photograph. Your angle and lighting makes your image unique. Basically, think 3D OK; 2D Not Ok. Many sculpture parks say " no photography for commercial purposes" but, say, A Henry Moore from a public space should be fair game.

 

As a photographer it is best to just clack away unless someone tells you to stop or you are in a pay-to-enter space. And don't assume that a security guard is in the right, though correcting them can lead to unpleasantries.

Edited by Robert M Estall
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When I have this quandry, I typically mark the images as containing property but with no release available and then choose an RM license. The RM license allows the buyer to make a decision for themselves as to how to use the image but you have specified that the image does contain property to cover yourself to some extent.

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2 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

When I have this quandry, I typically mark the images as containing property but with no release available and then choose an RM license. The RM license allows the buyer to make a decision for themselves as to how to use the image but you have specified that the image does contain property to cover yourself to some extent.

 

Or the buyer could also make the same decision for themselves if you chose RF editorial only with no release.

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1 minute ago, Bryan said:

Oops, that's a worryingly long list John, suspect that I may have contravened a few of them. Thanks for posting.

 

Sorry to have contributed to your ulcer. No doubt that list is just the tip of the legal iceberg.

Edited by John Mitchell
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6 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Sorry to have contributed to your ulcer. No doubt it's just the tip of the legal iceberg.

 

Just checked one of them, there's 850 contraventions on Alamy! Next one I checked 1550 " illegal" shots.

Edited by Bryan
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43 minutes ago, Bryan said:

 

Just checked one of them, there's 850 contraventions on Alamy! Next one I checked 1550 " illegal" shots.

 

Only one Vancouver building specifically mentioned in the list. There seem to be at least 100 RF images here that would qualify for RM or RF Editorial.

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5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

Potentially useful list here.

 

Hopefully, I'm not breaking any rules by posting the link.

 

P.S. Don't think Alamy has a list like this. Do they?

 

OMG - boot stitching? Movember?!  😱 I feel exhausted just looking at that list. :huh: At least Alamy has been a little more concise with their restrictions - so far. 

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12 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

Or the buyer could also make the same decision for themselves if you chose RF editorial only with no release.

Yes and no. I had one such image and Alamy asked me to go in and remove the editorial only stipulation so that the buyer could license it for commercial use.
Now I just do it the way Matt suggested.

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15 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

Or the buyer could also make the same decision for themselves if you chose RF editorial only with no release.

 

No.. at least not in my case.. If i licensed RF, the 'Editorial Only' box would be ticked by me taking the decision out of the buyer's hands. As RM on Alamy was always synonymous with "Editorial", I am happy not to click it for an RM license. 

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22 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Yes, RM is only released if it says so, the natural assumption is that RF is released unless it says otherwise.

I wouldn't think that assumption was 'natural'.

It's the way Alamy used to work, but presumably Alamy is actively trying to attract new buyers for whom this is a mystery (the same new buyers who found geographical restrictions too difficult to understand).

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7 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Royalty Free licences have always been fully released and cleared for commercial uses. Yes, recently Alamy have adopted an RF Editorial licence, but that is a new development. Historically, ever since the inception of RF in the 1990s they have had to be released/not needing releases.

How would new buyers know that?

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

 

How would they know what?

Unfortunately the way this forum has been set up means that threads don't carry forward in quotes, so you'd need to check back in the thread.

Clearly, I was talking about new buyers, not having been here since 1990, who would not know the history that on Alamy RF/RM had that relationship with releases, and would not 'naturally' make such an assumption. We don't come out of the womb knowing that stuff, as I observed on the RM/RF thread with reference to it not being clear on a phone whether a file is RF or RM.

 

Anyway, I have a life, so I'm off for the day.

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19 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

When I have this quandry, I typically mark the images as containing property but with no release available and then choose an RM license. The RM license allows the buyer to make a decision for themselves as to how to use the image but you have specified that the image does contain property to cover yourself to some extent.

+1

 

This is exactly the way to go, and don't worry so much about it all

 

Kumar (the Doc one)

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I've had an image of the Jacobite Steam train going over the Glennfinnan Viaduct removed from another site because I used the word "Harry Potter" in the keywords/tags. Warner Brothers objected apparently.

 

John.

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10 hours ago, Stokie said:

I've had an image of the Jacobite Steam train going over the Glennfinnan Viaduct removed from another site because I used the word "Harry Potter" in the keywords/tags. Warner Brothers objected apparently.

 

John.

I had 'Moulin Rouge' removed (the keyword phrase, not the photo) as I had 'Moulin Rouge-style dancers' in the caption and Moulin Rouge objected (not to my file, probably, it was a site-wide trawl). When I thought about it, I didn't think that was unreasonable.

Presumably if you removed 'Harry Potter' from the keywords, the other site would accept the photo?

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12 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Image buyers need to know the details of the licence they are buying otherwise they could end up in big trouble. But you do touch on an important point. When RF images become ingested into the buyer's catalogue of images available for reuse how conscientiously will the 'Editorial Only' restriction be observed into the future?

Quite possibly the same way that RM was observed by certain buyers, i.e. not at all.

 

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On 10/22/2017 at 13:09, John Mitchell said:

Potentially useful list here.

 

Hopefully, I'm not breaking any rules by posting the link.

 

P.S. Don't think Alamy has a list like this. Do they?

 

That is a pretty helpful list but I've always been amazed at the seemingly paranoia by some over publication of images.  Take for instance the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum.  They don't even want a tourist, with a travel blog, to publish a photo taken inside the museum.  Seems rather counterproductive, and silly, to me.  I would want the publicity.

 

Also, in Brazil, you need written permission from "IBAMA" to publish even editorial content of their National Parks.  How would they even know if that image of trees in a rain forest was from one of their parks?  

 

I totally get the commercial use issue but not so much the restrictions on editorial content.

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9 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

I had 'Moulin Rouge' removed (the keyword phrase, not the photo) as I had 'Moulin Rouge-style dancers' in the caption and Moulin Rouge objected (not to my file, probably, it was a site-wide trawl). When I thought about it, I didn't think that was unreasonable.

Presumably if you removed 'Harry Potter' from the keywords, the other site would accept the photo?

 

Yes, if I remove 'Harry Potter' from my keywords the image would be accepted, just not got round to it yet.

Incidentally it was on a POD site.

 

John.

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