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  1. #1
    UncleBob is offline Junior Member
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    Reproducing photographs from the Internet in newsprint?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Illinois

    A local "newspaper" (I'm using that term very loosely, as the "newspaper" is more of a local tabloid) has started taking photographs they've found on the internet (typically via MySpace) and publishing them alongside articles.

    I contend this is copyright infringement as they A) Do not have the copyright holder's permission, B) Do not give credit to the photographer, C.) Are selling the reproductions for a profit.

    Am I right? If so, what legal recourse would one have against this newspaper?
  2. #2
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Do you know if the newspaper obtained a license to use the photos or was granted permission by the photographer to publish the photos?

    If no license was obtained and no permission to use the photos was granted to the newspaper by the copyright holder (and the photos were not in the public domain, taken by a newspaper photographer or a photographer hired by the paper, or obtained through a news service, or otherwise legal to publish), then the photographer/copyright holder who feels his works have been infringed could always attempt to sue the newspaper for infringment.

    But, just because a photo is not accredited to the photographer who took the shot, and just because reproduced photos are available for sale, does not necessarily mean that the photos appearing in the paper are infringing on anyone's rights.

    Whether there is any action here to pursue would really depend on a whole lot of particulars of which we know nothing.
  3. #3
    UncleBob is offline Junior Member
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    Hey!

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Basically, what has happened, is this newspaper has gone onto MySpace, taken photographs (of individuals, usually themselves or family) that users have uploaded and published them in newsprint alongside an article/articles dealing with the subject of the photograph.

    No permission was obtained - or even requested - in most cases (and I say "most cases" because I'm familiar with one case personally (via a co-worker) and I know no permission was obtained/requested and I've read some stuff posted by others who have also had the same thing happen to them). In fact, the subjects of the photographs/articles typically are upset that the photographs were ran (although this is more because of the article accompanying the photograph, not because of the copyright infringement).
  4. #4
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like a charming newspaper.

    If the newspaper is operating as you say it is, publishing purloined photos and writing questionable articles about the people pictured in the photos, I imagine there will be a long line-up of people looking to sue them (for infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation. . . ), if the paper has not been sued already.

    If your co-worker is concerned with the newspaper's content, the co-worker should take a copy of the paper to an attorney for review.
  5. #5
    UncleBob is offline Junior Member
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    It is such a wonderful little paper.

    Thanks for the advice. I had already suggested to the offended parties that they speak to an attorney if they're really interested, but some seem to think differently in regards to the rights associated with photographs and the Internet.
  6. #6
    UncleBob is offline Junior Member
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    Whoopsie...
    Last edited by UncleBob; 04-24-2009 at 02:22 AM.
  7. #7
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Ah, yes. Many many people still believe that if material is on the internet, it is free to use - so they freely use it.

    They often learn otherwise, however, when presented with an attorney's cease and desist letter, or when served with a complaint, informing them they are being sued.

    And thanks for your email address, UncleBob. Journalists tend on the whole to be a very nosy group . But you should probably remove the address from your post, as I believe posting email addresses could be against FreeAdvice policy.


    (I actually should probably read the policy . . . .).

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