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Thread: Fair Use: Funny and Joke Photographs, and Copyright

  1. #1
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Fair Use: Funny and Joke Photographs, and Copyright

    We have recently seen an increase in the number of joke, humorous, parody posts which often include photos that the member posting did not take (received in emails etc)

    I have sought legal advice on this matter and there are conflicting views, but the common-sense approach that I have been advised to consider, is that, as these images are readily available in the public domain, do not have a copyright, watermark, EXIF data or any other identifying marks that imply ownership or restricted usage, that they can be posted under Fair Use .

    FAIR USE allows people to use images and written works without compensating the original writer/creator, as long as they act in good faith and do not profit from reproducing the work.

    Therefore if the above applies (ie no owner identification) then we will allow these posts in the Off-Topic forum only. In all other cases members are reminding not to post work they have no right to.

    It is the responsibility of the member posting the photo/image to ensure that the above is adhered to, and that they have taken reasonable action to ensure any copyright information does not appear on or within the photo/image file.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Good advice Rick.
    Cheers Peter
    Canon 7D...Canon 40D...Canon 24-70L 2.8...Canon 70-200L 2.8...Canon 17-85...Canon 50mm...Speedlights....Tripods...Filters... Battery grips.... And heaps of other stuff


    There are always two people in every picture.. the photographer and the viewer.

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    Sounds pretty clear Rick, simple guidelines to abide by

  4. #4
    It's all about the Light!
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    This means we can post joke/humorous photos from emails etc. as long as we have no reasonable way of determining the (c) owner to get permission.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Thanks for the info Ricki.
    Thanks for looking....Cheers,
    Julie-Anne / Julie / Jules / Julesy / JAS

    MY ..... MY BLOG..... Feel free to look.
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    I was actually just wondering that last night when I got some in my email that were actually quite good. It makes sense to use your approach, especially when they have been circulating for so long, nobody probably even knows where they originated.

    Mind you it's interesting how many people don't have the faintest idea about copyright for photographs! Had to give my parents an education session a while ago, they were surprised by what I told them. I'm sure there are many others out there like that. Quite a few people seem to think if it is on the web it is a free for all!
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    This means we can post joke/humorous photos from emails etc. as long as we have no reasonable way of determining the (c) owner to get permission.
    Not really as I could copy a funny image that I saw on Image Shack (meaning I could of contacted the owner to get permission), send it to some one via email, then it does the rounds ending up at your inbox, you have no way of finding its owner, but it has one, so you should only pass it on if you know it is in the public domain, and how could you know that


    Linking to an image where the owner placed it is the safest way

    Cheers David
    c&c always welcome, both good and bad, provided it is constructive.
    Feel free to edit my images (hopefully for the better).
    Nikon D40x, SB600, 18~55 & 55~200 kit lenses, Sigma 105 Macro and an understanding wife

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    Although I have no doubt that you gained the advice and opinion from a legal, can I strongly suggest that you refer to the copyright council - www.copyrightcouncil.org


    The Fair Use amendment which went before Senate Committee in May 2006 was not accepted. And although there is a misconception that Australia has adopted the American Fair Use policy, it did not.

    "There is no Fair Use in Australia".

    There is a very limited Fair Dealing - this is a quote from the Copyright Councils information sheet G91PDF on "Fair Use - Myths and Misconceptions"

    "Key points
    • Australian copyright law allows “fair dealing” for certain purposes, such as research, criticism and reporting
    news.
    • The US fair use provision has a broader, but less certain, application because it is not limited to use for
    particular purposes.
    • The Australian government has considered whether Australia should change its Copyright Act so that it
    includes a fair use provision similar to that in the US Copyright Act. In May 2006, however, it decided not to
    do so."

    Although this is the territory of no black and white but all the land of grey - the best legal information that specifically pertains to Australia is www.copyrightcouncil.org

    They will answer - by email - specific questions - as per the original reason for this post
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    Yaicks. I feel this is a step in the wrong direction. It is not that, if you cannot determine the owner, it is in the public domain!
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    I'm not disagreeing with that sentiment. And I'm not sure I see this as step in the wrong direction. As, thats what the position has been for decades. And yes, typically that does not take into account the ever changing electronic media. So on one hand I can see how it would all make sense. And on the other its so simple for those who want to bend the existing laws in the US, to throw their hands up and deny all knowledge that an author has just missed a payment for one of their images used by a large multi national for an advertising campaign without any cost or payment. Two notable companies have recently dodged being sued trying to hide behind the Fair Use policy. But I'm merely passing on my opinion of the actual position of Federal law, in Australia, and highly recommending clarifying via the Copyright Council who will give the correct advice.

    Suffice to say that I did a random check of the images posted here, and of the 10 images I picked completely at random, not one of them identified the photographer/author either by way of the metadata or more obviously by the easily removed copyright/logo. So those images are effectively fair game. An interesting debate really isnt it ?

    PS I urge everyone to apply your metadata to your images. And its worth noting that most save to web options strip that metadata.

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    Any image that fits this must not contain copryright data in or on it. We have in the past removed some due to this.

    The mods and I keep a close eye on it, and it is generally stuff that has come across via 'spam' style email (from friends etc) that we have mostly seen before it was posted to AP anyway.

    Just cause we have the above, does not mean that AP is a free for all.

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    Metadata is stripped or modified easily, one should not rely on the availability of it to determine if an image is in the PD or not. In addition, copyright is not connected to branding an image one way or another. Again, and I've stated such before, images are not cattle - one should not need to rely on image-mutilation in order to raise ownership.

    Please note that in a large number of cases, a lot of work has gone into creation of these images. Often more so than in regular images. Also note there are people making a living out of it.

    @rick: I'm not suggesting all images are now "free" for all, but I do feel but it is a step in the wrong direction on the road to educating on IP, ownership and copyright which you mentioned to be so important a couple of days ago.

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    I think if we clearly say how we came by the image and that we do not know who it belongs to, but would just like to share it with our forum friends, then it should be Ok. No one is making a profit from it or falsely claiming the image as their own.
    Odille

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    This rule is basically to cover joke photos etc ONLY. They must be posted in the off-topic forum and have no identifying information.

    It is not a free-for-all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Any image that fits this must not contain copryright data in or on it. We have in the past removed some due to this.

    The mods and I keep a close eye on it, and it is generally stuff that has come across via 'spam' style email (from friends etc) that we have mostly seen before it was posted to AP anyway.

    Just cause we have the above, does not mean that AP is a free for all.

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    (removing comment that is not relevant, I misunderstand the forum)
    Last edited by Jorge Arguello; 01-06-2010 at 3:29pm.
    Regards.
    J. Arguello.

    Constructive Criticism (CC) is alsways welcome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Arguello View Post
    Hello:

    Based on the goal of this forum, it would be easy for everybody if we only post photos that had been taken by us.
    This way we keep the goal that this forum is trying to aim: improve our pictures.
    Sorry, but this thread details when and how they can do otherwise. Although Ausphotography is about photography, it is also nice to have off-topic threads and a few laughs along the way. So I have no intention of stopping the occasional joke post based on the guidelines in this thread

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    So if we posting something humourous made up out of our own work would we be reqiured to remove copyright before posting?
    Cheers Craig
    life is like a video some moments are worth capturing other parts need deleting or editing

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigPauli View Post
    So if we posting something humourous made up out of our own work would we be reqiured to remove copyright before posting?
    No! You cannot remove copyright from anything! The discussion is about things that go around the internet with no discernable ownership (copyright), and how they can be posted on AP. If an item has identifying copyright ownership (other than your own) you cannot post it on AP.

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    I agree should only be ur own pics!!!

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