« Thirty-Fives I Missed | Main | Wicked Idea »

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yes I put a couple of nice piccies on Flickr and a commercial organisation has been using one for advertising.

I don't know whether this is the website that is seeking to divest people of their rights, but it would be nice for people to ask... Personally, I was quite amused to see my photo, and it is enough, I point my camera for fun, not profit.

However if that is the sort of site that you are referring to, I won't be putting anything else up...

Admittedly the few pics that I posted happened in 2011, so I am not that assiduous, but you make a very good point Mike.

So. Why didn't you identify the perp? (Sorry, I'm sitting in court waiting to photograph the arraignment of a bad guy.)

Of course that practice is unethical, and disclosing the organization's name would help discourage it. How about it?

Yes sir, damn right!

Actually, bearing in mind the principle that cock-up is generally more likely than conspiracy when things go wrong. it's certainly possible that this is merely pig-ignorance on the part of [org]. Too many people don't understand the concept of a non-exclusive limited licence for all those necessary publishing purposes. But I'm guessing from the tone that [org] is big enough to employ proper lawyers and get its legal language right. Could still be cockup, basically a pig-ignorant middle manager who didn't even bother to think, let alone check.

The chief and worst culprits of conspiracy over cockup in this field are academic publishers, who manage 35% profits and 5% pa growth by requiring transfer of copyright in scholarly articles written for free or on the public dime (as I think you might say) and then charging libraries huge and ever-increasing fees to get access to them, keeping the rest of us from reading them at the same time. But that's entirely another rant!

I'd include the name of [org.] -- after all, they're putting this in their terms of service; they should be willing to stand by it and defend it.

This tweet thread sprang to mind when I read your post as an example of an appropriate response.


This is the response a firefighter at the recent tower block disaster made to The Sun, (an awful, muck raking, bigoted and all round awful British, I shudder when calling it a newspaper) when it asked to use an image of the helmet worn by a firefighter.

This is shoddy and reprehensible, but it is not clear to me how it is unethical as long as the terms of the agreement are stated clearly and up-front, which they seem to be here.

This looks like the mandatory rights that you must sign away in a scummy new StreetPhotography.com web site that was sited in Dpreview:

"When you upload or post content to our site, you grant the following rights:
a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide license to access, reproduce, distribute and publicly display your content, in whole or in part, to secure, preserve and make it publicly available, and to make derivative works based upon your content in order to use your content in other media or formats, or to preserve its public access and in any associated promotional or marketing materials solely in the use of, or promotion of, our site and/or its users.
for third parties visiting our site, a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide license to access your content subject to these terms including those set out in how you may use material on our site"

In other words, we can sell your photographs.

Well,you can't blame them for asking (demanding) Exclusive Worldwide Rights.This is where education comes in. ASMP did a great job in this arena.Simply put,you can't surrender rights you don't know you have...Ignorance is NOT bliss.

Ethics? You wanna talk about ethics?
I got your ethics right here...



I thought that Disney owned all copyright for everything for the next 1000 years.

I would declare war, Mike - submit 'shopped photos of spectacular weather events.


The company I work for has an employee photo contest with minimal prizes. All entries become the property of the company to do with as they will across the universe for eternity. Nope, you read that correctly -- all rights to entries are surrendered forever everywhere.

Good thing they didn't think to use the term multiverse...

According to Dutch law, this (surrendering one's copyright) would even be impossible. 'Auteursrecht' ('author's right') is untransferrable in the Netherlands. My photo, novel etc. can never become your photo or novel. As the law says, it is my 'mental property'. I can sell a license to you to do whatever the contract I have signed permits you to do - including the limitless exploitation of my work of art or whatever, but it will always remain my work. Now in actual practice people who make things covered by 'author's right' can be exploited just as shamelessly as is possible under American law, but still I think it is a good thing that what we have here in Holland is not defined as copyright, but as the unalienable right of the maker. (Needless to say, most people, including many photographers and writers, don't know this and so sign contracts that are essentially unlegal and would not survive in court.)

Sure, go ahead and test my 4 years of Latin, 60 years ago.

[I only know it because it is Dartmouth's motto. I figured it would be easily Googleable for the same reason. --Mike]

Right you are!, but give them credit for one thing. They are up front with their statement. Unlike with some buyers who use extreme legalese to hide their unethical seizure of rights.

I would say they would be a great target for a photo bomb. Get some crafty programer to write a generic script to upload many photos fast. Then fload there submissions with photos of brick wall tests or lens cap high iso noise tests.

Agree. Photographers are their own worst enemy, giving away rights, underpricing their work, fighting against each other... All seeking the sirens' song of promises for greater riches in the long term, if only they will sell their souls for the short term. Time and again, and always, the promises are empty, the riches no more than sow's ears, and the photographer, as a class, the poorer for it all. Pity us all.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have very similar terms and conditions, except that you can change privacy settings and thus disable viewing from other people than your 'friends' (which sort of defeats the whole purpose of uploading photos). Of course, nobody changes default privacy settings, neither do they care to read the terms of service. Yet some users complain about their photos being utilized by other people without permission. Fools, I say.
Social networks are strange places indeed.

One reason I can think of for not disclosing "org" is because it would be singling them out, when this seems to be a much more widespread phenomenon.

Maybe there should be a public web site where photographers and other creators can log/list examples of these kinds of unpaid rights grabs. I say that and at the same time I doubt its utility. It's not as if people don't already know about these things (well, a lot of people anyway), and it might just be another site lost in the web maelstrom.

Perhaps an already existing photographer's association type information web site could host such a section. Maybe some do and I never noticed.

Google finds a few sites that have this kind of language on them, including this post. 😃

The first search phrase I picked out of the verbiage returned only about sites (one of them TOP), one of which is "obviously" (to me) the one Mike is complaining about. So if you care, take 30 seconds to do the research! (Mike would have named them originally, or by now, if he wanted them named here, so I'll make his decision about approving this message harder by not naming them directly. :-) )

Some imagers are just so pleased to have their shots shown that the the showing is compensation enough. For those of us who earn our nickel as Photographer's this alternate value system, with its ubiquitous expression, haa upset the apple cart. Any online business presence depends upon volumes and market-savy "flexibilities" and exploit them at ever-increasing efficiencies. There is no going back.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007