Legal wrangle highlights copyright issues for photographers
PHOTOGRAPHERS are being urged to protect their online photo albums as the Government plans to relax Britain’s intellectual property laws.
The issue is being highlighted following a recent case in which the Photographers’ Gallery in London found itself at the centre of a legal wrangle when it was accused of using a photograph taken from a photographer’s Flickr Photostream.
By law, a photographer owns the copyright on photos taken, unless the photographer is an employee of the company the photos are taken for, or is an employee of a company instructed to take the photos.
In all other cases, the copyright of the photos remains with the photographer, and any reproduction without permission is an infringement of copyright.
However, Britain's intellectual property laws are to be reviewed to "make them fit for the internet age," Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced.
Peter Stevenson of specialist photographer insurer, Infocusinsurance, said photographers must be protected in any changes to copyright laws.
“Photographers have to be on the ball to ensure their photos aren’t being used without permission. If you’re using online photo albums that anyone can access, make sure you have a copyright line.
“Check your insurance package covers you if you have captured anything in your shot accidentally that is copyright, for example, another artist’s work. Many people still don’t realise they can’t use photos they pull off websites. It’s vital the photography industry is protected as using photos without permission dilutes their value.”