Let that sink in for a minute or two....I need to take a deep breath and a long sip of coffee.
The first moment you allow something you have created to be used by others without attribution or compensation, #It'sOver. That's precisely what the Eastern District of Virginia told us recently. Unless serious measures are taken to right it's course our industry is doomed. I guess the same could be said of anything worth doing in life. To be fair, this particular situation is applicable only to the United States. Other countries are governed by variations of copyright law.
I understand that any creation shared online is likely to be misappropriated. It's happened to me so many times that I've lost count. As creators we simply have to pick and choose what's worth the trouble of fighting. If you are a weekend warrior it's hardly economical to fight some newspaper or organisation outside of your jurisdiction with mortgage or rent money. If you lose a few vacation images here and there the impact on your life is minimal. However, if creating is your trade the need to get active is the most important thing you can do for your business.
I'm not against allowing the use of certain images/video without payment or credit....this credit thing is novel (for me) as I could care less. Won't change my life a little bit. In fact I get emails all the time requesting images for whatever reason. If the request is sincere and non-commercial in nature I typically agree. Especially when it's for something I appreciate or identify with.
However if someone is getting paid as a result of the image then it's a whole different ballgame. I've said "NO" only to find the image or video being used anyway. I have zero problem with getting heavy when those situations occur. None of this covers favors for friends etc. I'm talking about major organizations who increasingly think that cropping out watermarks/logo and other identifying ownership features makes stealing ok. Infuriating.
For a long time I didn't place logos etc. on my images because to my eyes hey take away from the impact of an image...and in some cases these watermarks can look a little tacky. Now I'm considering that approach again...
If you have time check out this video by Tony & Chelsea Northrup "Stealing Photos is Legal? Fair Use Laws in Action"
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