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A lot has changed in our industry over the past 20-years in terms of using other people’s images. But one thing remains, crediting the originator and getting permission is still the right thing to do?

by John Fox

I admin Facebook’s ‘Abandoned Sutherland & Caithness’ community. One member has recently contacted me, somewhat naively it must be said, lamenting the fact that people have pinched pictures she’s posted there and not acknowledged her creativity and the image’s origin when reusing or posting elsewhere.

Whilst I commiserated with her I also said:

The only way that you can guarantee that your work will not be stolen, or used without your permission at all, is to never post or upload your images anywhere on the internet.

Watermarks are frequently used by photographers who want to get their name out there and/or who aspire to prevent the theft or unauthorised use of their intellectual property, and that’s entirely understandable. 

But a watermark does not stop anyone from stealing their image, nor can it guarantee that their name will gain greater exposure if their images are shared. Rather, watermarks only degrade the quality of their work as they are most often not designed correctly, and are an obstruction to the pleasure of viewing the image itself.

Issue raised, it prompted me to look to see if there are any Facebook guidelines on reuse of images, or guidance for group administrators on this sensitive issue. I’ve not been able to find anything suitable.

Can you help?

Does anyone have any suggestions for communicating of information about re-use (sharing) of images posted in an online community such that it actually changes mindsets and behaviours?

I’ve got Facebook’s T&Cs on posting copyrighted material covered, but they don’t tackle sharing. 

You can contact John at john.fox@me.com and on Twitter at @x333xxx

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

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