Friday, March 15, 2013

Copyright Infringement?

Here is a novel idea:  Why don't we all copyright any and all images of our faces or bodies and thereby prevent anyone from using that image without our permission?

This idea occured to me this morning when I heard that Desmond Howard is involved in a lawsuit with someone who took his picture in 1991.  The photographer waited until 2012 to copyright the photo?  And now he complains because others have used it?

I spoke a little about copyrights last fall when I mentioned that our Township was threatened with a lawsuit by a builder who said he had copyrighted all images of the great blue heron.  Really?

I only paid attention to the news story this morning because about one month ago I was notified by Pinterest that I had posted a picture of spaghetti that supposedly was copyrighted.  That right.  Spaghetti.  They removed the image and I did not protest.  One recipe more or less on my pasta board is not a big deal.  But the original page from which it was pinned says nothing about copyright. 

I was not even going to mention it in a blog.  Then a few weeks after that incident, I saw a recipe for cinnamon roasted nuts.  I went to the blogger's page and read that the picture was removed.  The blogger had been 'threatened' with action by a woman who said 'I took that picture, not you'.  OK.  But it was nothing more than a bowl of nuts and and the blogger did not claim credit for it. 

I followed the thread of comments and someone posted this:

Fair Use. Here’s a quote from the US Government’s copyright website:

“Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
The nature of the copyrighted work
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work”
So for the sharing of a recipe that simply for educational purposes, Fair Use would most certainly apply, which allows someone to use copyrighted material that’s freely available on the Internet without obtaining permission from the owner.

No one is going to win an award or make any money off of either of these pictures of 'nuts and noodles'.  I am very appreciative of Pinterest.  I usually figure if an image is out there I do not have to worry about being sued.  It just seems to me that, logically, if I am willing to put something out in the great Internet stratosphere it is there for the taking.  If not, then only sell your image and don't put it online.  But that is just me. 

I have been asked for permission to use some of my daylily photos.  Fine by me.  And I assure you that if you want to use a picture of any food I have prepared, just refer them back to my blog when you do.

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