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Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2018 at 2:50 PM
The commercial blogs and some news sites try to get your content for free. Don't fall for it.
I fell for it once, and immediately regretted it. I don't remember the blog, but I'd gone to a demonstration and snapped a few photos.
The blog asked me if they could reuse the image. I wasn't thinking, and said yes.
What I should have done was asked for payment.
Rates for editorial photos at Getty Images are between 5 and 9 for one image, depending on the resolution. You see these on websites and smaller papers all the time "Getty Images". That means the publisher bought the right to use that photo, and the photographer got paid some fraction of that.
The blog was making money off my work, and I wasn't getting any of that money.
The blog didn't need to send someone out to cover the event - they just copied tweets and made a web page. So, I spent to get there and back, and while I had fun, the blog got the traffic, and made money.
So, what to do in the future?
One possibility would be to post to this indymedia website, and add a note that they can buy the image for around 5, maybe more. My camera isn't good enough to reliably capture great photos, but it's good enough to get decent low-res 10Mpixel photos, and 90% of the work is getting into the right place at the right time.
What is Editorial Content?
Editorial content has a special meaning. It means any image related to a specific event, or connected to a some editorial content that's relevant.
So, if the story is about the June 30th demonstration for children, then, photos about that event have special Fair Use protections against some kinds of claims that might otherwise exist.
These claims could include the right not to be photographed -- once you are in public, you can be photographed. They also include the copyrights associated with words and artwork that appear on signs, and also in the background.
Normally, logos and art are covered by copyright, so a photographer cannot just sell an image of a painting or even a logo or sign - but in the editorial context, it's allowed.
As long as the image is used in an editorial context, Fair Use applies. If the images are taken, and reused for non-editorial or commercial purposes, then all those protections go away. The publisher is liable for copyright infringement claims.
Also, any people in a non-editorial photo need to give permission to allow their likeness to be used in a non-editorial manner. (If you are an attractive or unusual looking person, do not sign a model release and allow yourself to be photographed for some money. Your face could end up plastered on ads all over the place, and you wouldn't get a dime for all these uses. Get their card, and get an agent, and then become a model.)
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