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View Full Version : Photo Usage, What's legal



T-Bird76
07-11-2006, 12:39 PM
So I was looking though some of my A.net pics and noticed one of my pics http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1039159/L/ was being linked by Wikipedia unbeknownst to me. So I was thinking is this illegal or not. They are clearly using my photo without my permission and they are a for profit company. Honestly I really don't care the link alone generated over 500 hits so itís a benefit but where does this stand as far as copyright and usage without permission goes?

Matt Molnar
07-11-2006, 01:20 PM
Are they using a thumbnail or are they just linking to it? Either way, a.net has published provisions for web publishers who want to text link (http://www.airliners.net/usephotos/) to specific photos, and for thumbnail links (http://www.airliners.net/ownsearch/) to specific photos. As long as they do exactly what a.net has prescribed, they are in the clear. There is probably something in the photographer agreement that allows a.net to use your photos for promotional purposes however they want, including allowing unaffiliated websites to link to your photos. Even if there is not, legal attempts have been made by people and businesses to bar certain sites from linking to them. To my knowledge all of them, including one by GM, have failed.

PhilDernerJr
07-11-2006, 01:36 PM
Some of you know that I have a strict stance on the usage of my photos.

The gray area comes into play with situations like the one that happened a year and a half ago or so. Someone went to some airliner database site, and saw that each aircraft used the three most recent Anet photos of that registration.

Everyone got angry and sent them emails demanding that they be taken down. We then learned that Johan actually made a deal with that site saying that they could do that. The question is whether or not the photographers have a say in that.

I forget the outcome, but it's an interesting topic.

Also keep in mind that there is a random photo generator on the site for other sites to use.

I don't know what the privacy policy is on JP and Anet for photo usage. Is there a link to something like that?

Matt Molnar
07-11-2006, 01:45 PM
Yep, I linked them in my post. :)

Text Links: http://www.airliners.net/usephotos/
Thumbnail links: http://www.airliners.net/ownsearch/

pgengler
07-11-2006, 03:51 PM
So I was looking though some of my A.net pics and noticed one of my pics http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1039159/L/ was being linked by Wikipedia unbeknownst to me. So I was thinking is this illegal or not. They are clearly using my photo without my permission and they are a for profit company. Honestly I really don't care the link alone generated over 500 hits so itís a benefit but where does this stand as far as copyright and usage without permission goes?

It depends on what they're doing with the photo, exactly. If they're linking to it, then they're doing absolutely nothing wrong. If they're using the photo on a page, and you didn't give permission, then it's probably what's called an "infringing" use. Wikipedia is usually pretty good about taking down material (text or images) that's copyrighted, especially when the owner brings it to their attention. This page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyright_problems) includes the steps on how to indicate that copyrighted material is being used; I'm not sure how quickly it'll be taken down, but it won't be longer than a week or so, most likely.

And now for the boring stuff:
I'm not a lawyer (just someone with a higher-than-normal interest in copyright law), but the terms at a.net look like a mess. Basically, it explicitely says that the photographer remains copyright, but then asserts that the site owner(s) have the right/ability to license the use of photos to other sites, without explicitely getting consent from the copyright holder (the photographer) to do so. Unless there's a page in the registration/upload process that I missed (and it's possible), there would probably be a very good chance of winning in court against a.net for that, if someone were so inclined. I don't advocate that (though I think a.net should clarify it in the terms and such you need to agree to), and this certainly isn't a legal opinion, just my thoughts on what I see there.

PhilDernerJr
07-11-2006, 06:31 PM
To me, linking a thumbnail to my Anet photo is not necessarily ok.

What if that site is profiting from my photo? That is blatant stealing...I don't care if I' getting photo credit or more hits out of it.

Though Wikipeida isn't making money directly form my photo, having my photo there makes their searches more useful and enjoyable for their public, therefore all the photos collectively, make Wikipedia money.

If I went to CNN and saw them using a photo of mine in a news article with my name next to it and the thumb linked to my Large Anet photo, I'd lose my mind and contact my lawyer immediately.

Keep in mind how large Wikipedia is. It wasn't as popular six months ago as it is now. It's now THE online information source, the second place that people go after Googling it.

pgengler
07-11-2006, 07:12 PM
To me, linking a thumbnail to my Anet photo is not necessarily ok.

Linking by showing a thumbnail with a link to the larger image is one thing; it's still not clear on whether that constitutes a "fair use" defense to copyright infringement, but it really comes down to the nature of the site showing the thumbnail. There was a case, still pending, I believe, in which a company sued Google over the thumbnails Google used in the Google Image Search; a court issued an injunction against Google prohibiting them from using those thumbnails, concluding that it wasn't "fair use" because of the revenue Google generated from the advertising presented on its results pages. That was back in February; I don't know if Google filed an appeal, or what, if anything, has happened since. ("Perfect 10 v Google", in case anyone's interested in the details). There was another decision, in a different court, with something of the opposite ruling ("Kelley v Arriba Soft").

Just giving a link to a photo as text (say, something like "Hey, check out this totally awesome picture (http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=5749832) by the greatest guy in the world!") is something different.

Short version: linking by using thumbnails, unclear; linking with text, okay.

Mellyrose
07-11-2006, 08:45 PM
Just giving a link to a photo as text (say, something like "Hey, check out this totally awesome picture (http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=5749832) by the greatest guy in the world!") is something different.


Aw man...shameless plug! :-P

pgengler
07-11-2006, 10:26 PM
Aw man...shameless plug! :-P

It's not often I get a chance to do it, so I figured I ought to make the best of it. ;)

Matt Molnar
07-11-2006, 10:30 PM
To me, linking a thumbnail to my Anet photo is not necessarily ok.

What if that site is profiting from my photo? That is blatant stealing...I don't care if I' getting photo credit or more hits out of it.

Though Wikipeida isn't making money directly form my photo, having my photo there makes their searches more useful and enjoyable for their public, therefore all the photos collectively, make Wikipedia money.

If I went to CNN and saw them using a photo of mine in a news article with my name next to it and the thumb linked to my Large Anet photo, I'd lose my mind and contact my lawyer immediately.

This would be a beef between you and a.net, not you and Wikipedia. The structure of sites like A.net makes it impossible to block sites from linking to your content. A.net could do certain things to regulate access...like force people to sign up for a free account before viewing photos, but far fewer people would view the content, and such a drastic reduction in page views could very well kill the site due to loss of ad revenue. The only realistic thing A.net could do would be to give photographers the option of disabling thumbnail links to their photos on third party sites like Wikipedia.

Honestly, though, this is simply the nature of the Internet. Hyperlinks are what make the whole thing work. If you want really strict control of your content, you should either not put it online, or publish it only on a site you control yourself. And ultimately, when you post a photo on site like A.net, the only entity making any real money off your photo is A.net.

Tom_Turner
07-11-2006, 10:33 PM
Tommy -

This issue came up in the A.net forum not too long ago...

http://www2.airliners.net/discussions/a ... /#ID223906 (http://www2.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_photography/read.main/223906/6/#ID223906)

One of my images was used on Wilipedia and it was used, without my knowledge with the wording below... same as the gentleman on A.net noted....

____________________________________________
Quote:
This image is copyrighted. The copyright holder has irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution of the author.
_____________________________________________

Needless to say, I had my photograph removed because of that language..otherwise I would have been far more tolerant of their usage.

The good news, is if I am correct, they seem to have refrained from using that language.. in fact the language I've seen on the images they've used lately has been far more reasonable.

Tom

Matt Molnar
07-15-2006, 02:23 PM
Starting a few days ago, Airliners.net now posts a "Link to Me" link at the bottom of the Photographer Information box beneath every photo. The link directs you to a page with instructions on how to link to that specific photo.