After the CATS session looking at copyright, it re-enforced the point that you cannot use something without permission.
There are millions of photos and videos available on the internet, but unless a free licence is issued by the owner, then any organisation that uses them without express permission can be liable for it’s use.
An example of this is the recent story reported in the Daily Telegraph , regarding the EU document that has been sent to every house in the UK, campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU. The document contained a photo of Felixstowe docks taken by Mike Page. Mr Page complained as the photo was used without licence, and has accepted a donation to charity as way of recompense.
I have always been of the belief that you cannot use something without permission. At the end of the day, you can’t walk into Asda or Tesco, and take something to use without expecting to pay for it at the checkout.
Another incident of using photos without permission comes from America, where the Donald Trump campaign for President used a photo of an American Bald Eagle. The photo was used on promotional marketing materials that were available for purchase.
The copyright owners were willing to settle the case privately, but the Trump campaign were unwilling to do so. This has turned into a full legal battle where the photographers are seeking damages for copyright infringement.
These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg, and the issue could potentially get worse over time unless journalists and also the general public are made aware of the issue.
There are many ways in which internet content can be kept legal. The first one is to simply ask the owner of the content if it can be used. This could result in a flat refusal, or permission being granted for non-commercial and/or commercial use.
Photos and videos can be purchased from commercial companies where you have a licence to use, providing you stay within the rules of the licence.
Another option is to use the creative commons licence, where a photographer has expressly given a licence for content to be used, but again this licence must be strictly adhered to.
A final point, which is one that involves common courtesy, is to always credit the owner of the photograph. Their hard work enabled the photo, so their name should be mentioned to recognise it.