If you find an image online that you would like to use in your project, you need to reach out to the photographer before you use the image to ask for their permission. What else do you need to do? In this video, author Richard Harrington discusses the importance of reaching out to a photographer for permission to use their images.
- If you don't find the type of image that you need in a stock photo site, or you stumble across a photograph or image that you really like online that you want to use, contacting the artist or the photographer is a good idea. Here are some pieces of advice that you'll want to follow. First up, make sure you engage the other party before you use the image. Don't do this afterwards, as it doesn't alleviate the legal problem. Reaching out after you've given the presentation or after you've printed 20,000 copies of a book will get you into trouble.
Make sure you have a clear expectation on how the image will be used and communicate that to the other party. For example, I've been contacted by people wanting to use images for noncommercial use or for a non-profit. And in some cases, I've allowed them to do so. Other times, I've had people reach out, and they wanted to use a particular piece of content I've created, and they were only going to use it for a very small project. As such, I reduced my fee, so it was reasonable for them to use it.
But if I'm contacted by a large company working on a big-budget project with lots of copies of something being made, well, I'm going to charge more. So, people will expect that you let them know how the image is going to be used and maybe even share some ideas about the scope or the budget. Usually, an agreement that you put together will have a duration attached as well as limitations on use. The duration may say that you're allowed to use an image for five years or two years and that maybe it's only for the first printing of something.
Again, trying to solve problems after the fact can get much more expensive. So, be sure that you avoid any sort of copyright violation. Now, if you find out, after the fact, that you have violated copyright, maybe somebody on your team dropped an image in that they didn't have rights to, or you find that you used something and you thought that you had proper clearances, don't be confrontational with the artist or photographer. Typically, folks are pretty reasonable. And if they inform you of a violation, they're hoping to reach an agreement, so you can properly license things.
What I recommend is that you bargain and that you work with them in good faith. Mostly likely, you'll be able to reach an agreement. However, if you are not able to reach an agreement, you're going to need to take steps to remove the offending copyright violation and make sure that you don't get yourself into further trouble.
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- Resizing images
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- Adjusting images with online image editors
- Adjusting images in a PDF file with Acrobat Pro
- Intellectual property rights