Who Owns Your Photo Once It’s Posted On Facebook? Copyright Cheat Sheet Download

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Many Photographers Add Watermarks To Their Images. That Does Very Little To Protect Them. Download This Free Copyright Cheat Sheet. This Cheat Sheet Does A Great Job Of Explaining Exactly How When And Why Images Are Copyright Protected. I found this one super interesting.

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109 comments

In Canada, the rights are owned by the photographer UNLESS a person is hired to take photos and then the rights go to the
person that hired someone…..it has been tested in court and this decision was upheld under the Copyright Act of Canada. This matter arose over possession of wedding negatives and original files

Not correct. Photos taken before Nov 2012 are not subject to the new law which reads
“In the case of a private order for a photograph or image made by an individual for non-commercial purposes, the person who makes the order has the right to reproduce the photo as he sees fit, without the photographer’s authorization. This person has the right to authorize anyone to do the same. He may print as many copies as he wishes, distribute them, or publish them on the Internet without limits.”

What If someone who scans your photo that you sold to them for
10 bucks 10 years ago and posts it on FB.
That sale is one time rights for that individuals pleasure for the family album.
So it’s still my Image.

What If someone who scans your photo that you sold to them for
10 bucks 10 years ago and posts it on FB.
That sale is one time rights for that individuals pleasure for the family album.
So it’s still my Image.

This article misrepresents issues. You own the copyright if you snapped the photo unless you were working for a company and your agreement states they own the copyright. The monkey case they use is complicated by the fact that the monkey took the picture without the photographers knowledge or intent. How can it be his “art” if he did not know or intend it to be made.

“You own the copyright if you snapped the photo unless you were working for a company and your agreement states they own the copyright.”

Close. Change that to serving as or the functional equivalent of an employee of a person or entity OR an agreement transfers the copyright. (a few narrow exceptions in the Act not included).

“we will see who has the last laugh. .. I own my photos”

Other than a DMCA take down notice you will need to file your claim in Federal District Court. You will be bogged down in world of grave inconvenience and expense 99+% of the time.

John A. Henneberger why I do understand your point and respect it sir, my point is simply this, I’m the guy that would knock on there door to talk about my photograph, to me it’s about the principal

Principles don’t matter to a civil court. However ‘right’ you may feel about ownership of your images, you’re probably in for a lot of surprising heartbreak in a civil court. Peoples feelings and emotions are not even considered. Posting images on FB automatically forfeits your right to ownership.

Yes but I’m a southern boy raised on principles, southern boys don’t always go pouting to a lawyer, some of us tend to deal with things differently. And I’m positive that the felling and emotions of a photograph stealing low life would come into play if they had there and there business character put in question in public forum, I have no issues dragging someone through the mud publicly in public forum or in person if there with in an hours drive.

Americans note that Canadian laws are different. You can only transfer ownership in a written agreement with actual signatures. You do not have to register images. You get full protection. Keep your RAW files.

so if i click “hide ads like this” am I going to loose all chatter about cameras… or am I going to loose all the mind numbing overdone questions with poorly written articles that go for clicks be happy to stop getting things from you guys 🙂

Actually it does protect us. I have seen the wrath from people who like a photographers work put on someone who attempts to steal their art. It is not pretty and most of the stealers will all of a sudden take down the stolen work, or leave Facebook all together. So, it does protect us from that.

Not to mention, I never put my best work on Facebook because of the risk. I may have the same photo on my web site, but the version I put on FB is second best, at best.

Would love to read this article but can’t open it. Keep getting this message
“Your access to this service has been temporarily limited. Please try again in a few minutes. (HTTP response code 503)

Reason: Fake Google crawler automatically blocked

Important note for site admins: If you are the administrator of this website note that your access has been limited because you broke one of the Wordfence firewall rules. The reason you access was limited is: “Fake Google crawler automatically blocked”.

So many people still misunderstand copyright and Facebook. It’s simple really. On this site specifically, you are giving other users the right to use everything you post (photos, writings, etc.). You are not giving away your copyright, which is yours according to federal law. But for the Jpeg version you post, you’re giving anyone the right to download and use it for free, for whatever purpose, and also to send it to others to use. Everything on here is a freebie.

Michael Hamilton Read my comment again Michael. I did not say they superceded your Intellectual property rights (in fact I specifically excluded that). What FB does is require that you give away rights to use everything you post, not the copyrights to that content. This is actually spelled out in very simple to understand language in FB terms of service. I recommend reading that. If you post on FB and someone uses your image, and you complain, it makes you look rather foolish, since you in fact agreed to exactly that.

Posting on Facebook only gives Facebook the right to post or allow others to share your photo. People may link and share your photo on FB, but not anywhere else. The granting of license is for FB, not for their millions of users.

John Lister Read it again. Unless you strictly limit who you share your posts with, people on FB can share it. The only way for you to be protected is to somehow be certain that nobody shares it, and then delete it. If your setting is Public that doesn’t apply, anyone can use it. And even with those limitations, FB itself can use it and license it to others to use, worldwide and without royalties to you. I just don’t see how anybody could think they’re not giving freebies away on FB with those terms of service.

For me BTW, it’s not a big deal. I consider FB to be Creative Commons, for all intents and purposes. It’s not strictly CC of course. But since I don’t know where the image will end up, whether one of my friends shares it or FB does, I upload only low-resolution, small Jpegs. The copyright is always mine, so only the version I share is the one I’m giving away.

Michael, you’re wrong regarding FB’s terms of service & also regarding content posted there to be a CC release. FB may use subscribers’ content, but there is no inherent or implied Royalty Free use for other subscribers. The creator of original content owns the copyright regardless of posting to social media accts. Posting images to FB is NOT equivalent to simply giving your work away for any published use by anyone with the tools to scrape your image. BTW, when & where have you studied US copyright law?

Steven Wittenberg Also, the big picture is clear: What you post on FB is for all intents and purposes Creative Commons, that is unless your sharing settings are extremely limited. For nearly all users, it makes no sense to share large image files or pieces of original writing (like poems that may eventually go into a collection). And then get all upset when you find someone using it? It makes absolutely no sense to me.

“On this site specifically, you are giving other users the right to use everything you post ”

That’s incorrect. Rather, FB is given a usage license, not other users of FB. The usage license allows sharing on FB and such but that is deemed as FB use. Other users of face cook are not permitted to just copy other’s posted images and use them on different websites ect.

That’s a pretty childish argument. So you’re telling me if you’re teaching/showing someone how to take a picture and THEY take it with your camera and your direction and it turns out awesome that you’re gonna be childish and selfish enough to take it from them. Personally I wouldn’t consider it mine just cause I told them what to do and they used my camera. They still took it, it’s theirs. That’s really petty.

It might not protect, but it shows who took it. Plus you can resize the image so it can’t be stolen a blown up. Besides everyone knows which ones are mine. Everyone has a different style. So it really doesn’t matter anyway.

The file itself doesn’t matter. Just as owning a negative didn’t mean ownership of the image on it. But in almost every instance, bother are owned. As to rights, it has to actually be a transfer of copyright. Rights include lesser things than ownership. Mostly licensing.

I once entered what looked like a reputable photo contest, by following an ad on Facebook. The link took me OFF of FB onto the contest website where I uploaded my image. Next thing I know, someone recognized my photo in a stock image library and lets me know about it. It happened about a week after submitting to the contest. I complained, and they were very good about the ‘mistake’ they made, and they removed my photo. They claimed no connection to the contest website, and that someone uploaded my photo, claiming it was theirs, but I doubt that very much.

The photographer ALWAYS owns copyright. Even if the photo is stolen, copied, shared, redistributed… Those things may not be right, and people may not stop, but the photographer is the only one who legally owns that photo. And, yes, sadly, it may cost you more to go to court over it than it’s financially worth.

Only spill is when there’s a conversation which makes your “famous/viral image” fair use: monkey vs. Photographer. Nobody wins and the winner doesn’t know, nor cares that it won.

Internet group contracts do not null and void original copyright and consent! Even if you have been fooled into joining a site with small print!!!

The creator of original work is always the owner. Even if he contracts out usage!

Are you talking about fair use or for profit? Exceptions only come into play after the original ownership has been determined.

Which means it always goes back to The Original Owner and their usage intent!

“Are you talking about fair use or for profit?”

Not fair use because that only allows others to use the image under the related criteria. The owner is still owner (whether the creator or not). Not for profit because that is mostly irrelevant. I am referring to works for hire which include, among other things, employment. (Not necessarily an employment under the common understanding of what employment is) http://copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf

Work for hire is a corrupted usage that is now being found to cross the line. If you are a work for hire employee, then you are not the photographer and creator of the original work. Unless you have it in your work for hire contract that you retain origin rights. I

But that’s not what copyright is about.

If you are a contractor or a freelance employee then copyright still applies.

Copyright is about the ownership of the image. Not just the pushing of a button.

Sending out bad info is what’s confusing those who don’t study or work professionally in the vast industries of image making and capture.

And while states and even countries may play differently about such art… The images still belong to the creator!

Spraying anything else is simply uninformed nonsense!

“Work for hire is a corrupted usage”

—Its not even a usage at all.

“If you are a work for hire employee, then you are not the photographer and creator of the original work.”

—Yes you are but you don’t own the work.

“Sending out bad info”

—My “info” is correct.

“while states and even countries may play differently about such art.”

—Copyright is pre-empted by federal law. Its not a matter of state control.

“Spraying anything else is simply uninformed nonsense!”

—I represent clients in intellectual property legal matters and copyright matters in particular. With all due respect, I’m not the one presenting incorrect information.

True. Facebook in fact claims that it has the right to any images posted on it.

That’s fine… if I ever post one and they use it and don’t pay me (unlikely right now but could happen), then I’m going to make sure I put up a (small) notice where Mark Zuckerberg parks his car that explains that any car parked there becomes property of the landlord, and encourage the landlord to seize it.

I’ll make it happen… and then I’ll laugh when he tries to do something about it.

None of this will occur of course but it would be nice.

Once you take a photograph it belongs to you. You own the copyright — with or without the silly logo some of you use. And if someone uses one of your images you posted on FB what are you going to do — sue? Sue for montetary damages? How much is that picture of yours worth? I hate to break this to you but likely it’s worth nothing in a court of law since you would have to prove how you were damaged by the use of your picture? Exception? Sure, use one of Annie Liebovitz’s images in a commerical setting and the user has a serious problem.

This is why i dont PLASTER all my hard work on Facebook. I work to hard at what i do.. I will post a low rez teaser… I see so many plastering them on Facebook for INSTANT self gratification.. then get mad cause they see them being used in ads, and other things… yeah so hows that working out for ya!!!

I’m curious though. Who has the right to license an image to Facebook? I would assume that the only person with a legal right to license an image would be the original owner of the copyright. So, for example: Lets say that I post an original image onto Facebook that I do NOT own the copyright to. Do Facebook’s license terms still apply?

Another scenario that needs to be discussed is when someone illegally uploads a photo, and the a business Page on Facebook shares that post. I have a client dealing with this issue in court. If you share an image, even with the full belief you are sharing a legally uploaded image, you are violating the original copyright. This is true for all social media sites. So be careful what you share, as it’s your responsibility to determine the legality of the original upload, regardless of how many times it has been shared.

Who can fake an original raw file like Nikon’s NEF, especially if the all the meta data and date is on it? If someone scanned or took a shot of the photo, the date would still be later than the original raw file. If the original raw file is not posted then how would a thief know when it was taken or what the original meta data was?

Love the “Who Ones the Photo?: Cheatsheet. The only improvement I would suggest is adding Canada!
Does anyone know what the procedure is for registered photos in Canada??

LOL Who cares? There is so much crap on line. If you have images that have value because they are in galleries or museums, or they create thousands of income dollars, why would you devalue it by placing it online and risking that value? By not placing that “valuable” image online, this issue becomes moot.

I have never seen so many wrong answers in one post before. I have gone through this beforre with FB and others.It may be a bit tedious, (understatement) and at times somewhat confusing. If you really care about this issue you should first read the actual copyright law. If you wish you can contact the people in charge of that office and ask them to explain anything you dont understand. They were most helpful in answering your questions. First you are not required to actually file a copyright on your photos per say. It is assumed to be immeadiately in force when you as the photographrer snap the picture. It does however add credibility and appease the old boy network if you ever have to go to court. As others have said use watermarks and add as much metadata as you can to your photos. This makes it easier to not only prove it is your work but also shows intent as someone has to physically remove them to use them commercially without your permission. It establishes intent. Third, as also has been said before dont put your best work on FB or similar sites. If you want to do something like that use a more professional site like Smug Mug. Also decrease the resolution to where the pic will not hold up if blown up. As far as FB is concerned they are granted a limited liscensre of use for this site. The people who use this site are also given a limited liscense to view and share photos hear. They are not however granted off site use or even using your photos in a derogatory way without your permission. FB has been very good about getting offenders to take down such photos. Nowhere and I mean nowhere is anyone given casrte blanche to do whatever they want with your pics. The more troublesome problem is when you search and find dozens of products with your photos on them being sold. Not only copyright infringement but out and out theft. Who knows how much money an artist looses because of this kind of thing. So far Amazon has not appared to address this issue although they are well aware of it. I forgot to mention always shooting raw and jpeg but never post from the raw photos. If after finding a site has stolen your pics the first thing you should do is issue a letter to cease and desist and send it registered if possible. I would add that you also send them a bill for what you think is appropriate for lost income. The second step is to notify the offending parties web provider and threaten to include them in a lawsuit if they do not do something about it. You are well within your rights in naming multiple parties. To those of you who say dont put them online I say BS. You are not the one doing anyuthing wrong. You should not have to suffer because of someone elses dishonesty. I would follow the already mentioned actions though and perhaps leave off your best work. Face it no matter how good a photographer you are that once in a lifetime pic is uasually that. Personally I have chosen to go after the offenders. Just avoiding the issue just jicks it down the road for the next person.

I apologize for my bad typing and misspelled words. When I am typing my brain tends to do that these days. Yes I recognize the errors but after the fact.

I was told no attorney will take your case unless you filed with the copyright office before posting on social media. Alan Hess a professional concert photographer told me he files copyright first before posting on any social media.

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