The photographer’s guide to copyright

A very important new guide for photographers, and others concerned by copyright, from Photoshelter

Apart from having a talent for making pictures and selling them there are few things as important to a photographer as understanding copyright.

Any photographer’s business is entirely dependent on copyright, without it one could hardly make a business, let alone a living from being a photographer. Copyright is the lock and key for your products.

A rusty old lock and bolt at the medieval chateau

A rusty old lock and bolt at the medieval chateau

Yet, it is an area that is of ten poorly understood.

Those who understand the least of copyright are all the people who steal images on-line and publish on their blogs or sites. The principle is very simple: it is illegal to use any image without the express permission of the photographer. No reposting, no copying, nothing. It does not matter a iota if you write who’s image it is or if you link back to the source. You must have the permission of the photographer to use a photo.

It is amazing how many people don’t understand this. I had a discussion earlier today with a journalist (!) who had pinched a picture somewhere and used it (or them, it was two images) as an illustration for a text she published. “But isn’t it OK if I say where I found it and publish a link back to the source?” she asked.

No!

It makes no difference at all if you say where you found it and link back!

Musee des Automate Tomates, the museum of mechanical toys or perhaps the tomato museum. Town of Limoux. Limoux. Languedoc. France. Europe.

Musee des Automates or Tomates, the museum of mechanical toys or perhaps the tomato museum. Town of Limoux. Languedoc. France. Europe.

But I am digressing.

It is quite common that photographers don’t understand copyright very well either. Although it is a fundament and a pillar for their business.

So, the great guys at Photoshelter have come to our rescue! They have just published “The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright by PhotoShelter and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)“.

And it is FREE!

I have not read it yet but I am convinced that it is full of useful information, tips and guidelines. Thing that, if you are a photographer, will make your life easier and better. Just like all the other free Photoshelter guides they have published.

If you are a photographer you definitely should get it!

If you are just remotely concerned by copyright, you should get it!

If you are a blogger or on-line publisher, you should get it! (At least it will help you understand the photographers’ point of view and why you are on thin ice when you simply “find” a picture.)

Thanks Photoshelter!

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