CEASE & DESIST ⬅️ mis-use professional photographs on social media, in print or elsewhere and you may find one of these letters in your 📬. Fail to comply with that cease and desist letter and you may find yourself in court ⚖️ – being SUED for violation of copyright. That’ll wake you up quicker than ☕️, won’t it? 😬
Now, let’s talk for a hot minute about how to avoid all that unwanted drama: EDUCATION.
Social media has created a lot of gray area and spread a lot of misinformation over the years – particularly when it comes to the proper use, sharing and crediting of professional photos online. So, let me break it down for you: if I create the photograph, then I own the rights to that image and should be credited appropriately. You may not edit, crop or sell that image without my permission. Violate any one of these things without a prior written agreement in place and you may have violated copyright. (17 U.S.C. 201 if you want to wade through the legalese)
Wow. Yikes. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of posting a professional image without credit? or cropping it from a vertical to a square? Or adding an Insta-filter to your favorite wedding image? Go ahead 🙋🏼♀️ no one can see you and even if they could, you’d be in good company because this practice, these violations, run RAMPANT on social media. All because PEOPLE DON’T KNOW BETTER!!!
A part two on this topic will be coming in the future, but before that can hit the web, I need your HELP…
Clients / Vendors: What questions do you have about copyright and image ownership? How can photographers better communicate with you about proper image use?
Photographers: how are you educating your clients / vendors on proper image etiquette? Are you respectfully reciprocating by tagging vendors in your images? Leave a comment below and let’s talk!