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Really annoyed!

1. theoverberg2 November 2013, 19:52 GMT +01:00

When I go to great pains to ensure that there are NO identifying logos or company brands on my photos why do the mediators reject images saying "company brands" when all the bloody label says is "apples" ?????????????????????????????????????????

2. weirdvis3 November 2013, 8:48 GMT +01:00

Because some of the packaging has a leaf logo on it. It is a copyrighted mark even if it's a generic one rather than a brand. This constitutes a legal issue which means such an image cannot be accepted. Either clone out the logo or blur it to make it unrecognisable. End of problem.

3. wolliballa3 November 2013, 22:29 GMT +01:00

@weirdvis: In some cases I am with you (if the logo is a 'prominent' piece of the picture), but if keeping it strict, we end up uploading just bushes, bees and flowers.
'Labelling' is used on nearly every goods: clothes, cars, all sorts of purchased goods. And the real stuff, where the design is part of the label (e.g. some 'fruits', cars), is recognizable anyway..........

4. weirdvis4 November 2013, 1:35 GMT +01:00

wolliballa, I don't make the copyright laws. If there is copyrighted material such as a logo or a brand name in the image (and in this case there was) RGBStock can't accept it unless the photographer obtains a property release from the copyright holder. No stock site will accept such an image unmodified unless they have a section for editiorial material which is governed by specific copyright laws. It is unlikely that RGBStock will head down this road because of the legal landmines. We are not a pay site who can afford a legal team so it is simply not in our best interests

In this day and age people can be very litigious about what they perceive as misuse of their intellectual property. Therefore the RGBStock admin team will continue to keep its legal policy strict. It will be our heads on the block if we don't, not yours or Mr. theoverberg's. I can't afford to be sued for breaking the law and I don't suppose you'll contribute to the punitive damages awarded against me if I am.

If the site is sued for such a transgression then that will be the end of RGBStock. That is what you are asking of us. Do you consider that a reasonable request? I'm afraid I don't. Also RGBStock's database never has and never will consist of purely bushes, bees and flowers any more than SXC did and does. The same rules about legal issues apply over there too.

In my own gallery there is an image of a Mercedes car. It is recognisable as a Merc but the logo on the radiator grill has been obscured. This is acceptable. Obscuring the logos on the bags of fruit is also acceptable.

I hope you understand that decisions of this nature are not taken either arbitrarily or lightly. They are a legal requirement.

5. coolhewitt234 November 2013, 15:15 GMT +01:00

It's a very complicated system depending on your place of residence.

6. weirdvis4 November 2013, 18:12 GMT +01:00

Cool, you highlight the problem nicely. Which is why stock sites have to be very careful and very conservative in their approach. :0)

7. Abyla5 November 2013, 11:36 GMT +01:00

A hard job is that of image approvals....

8. coolhewitt237 November 2013, 14:45 GMT +01:00

Photography is a difficult hobby or job. You always have to be aware of your surroundings on the street. I've never really understood the need for a property releases for buildings. Since buildings are always visible from a public area.

9. Abyla7 November 2013, 20:45 GMT +01:00

Neither me, but things are that way and we need to understand what weirdvis says.

10. micromoth8 November 2013, 6:35 GMT +01:00

@8, 9: I'm no expert, but I can see why a property release could be needed for certain buildings. If an architect/company develops a new building in a distinct new style, then there is an intellectual property rights issue. As the new style is distinct, it may come to represent or be associated with something in the mind of the general public, and hence the company and/or architect may wish to make use of its marketing appeal. They might patent it as a brand, as it cannot be mistaken for anything else. For example, the London Eye would have fallen into this category when it was first built. (Though this is now an arguable point, as further "Eyes" have been built elsewhere, for example in Brighton, and therefore it is no longer distinct as it could be mistaken for one of the others.) An architect/company could be very annoyed if an image of their distinct building was used for something from which they would not profit or to promote something with which they wouldn't agree, and this might result in a lawsuit. Another problem is that many buildings incorporate a trademark or logo, which are themselves protected under law, so cannot be used without permission. Fortunately many buildings are not individually distinctive, as they fall into very widely used styles, and they do not incorporate trademarks etc., so are very unlikely to need property releases. IMHO.

11. weirdvis8 November 2013, 9:23 GMT +01:00

One of the most recognisable constructions in the world is the Eiffel Tower. Daytime images are acceptable but we could not accept night time images of an illuminated tower because the company or individual responsible for designing the light show copyrighted their work.

We can accept images of a city's skyline containing buildings that are copyrighted. We cannot accept images of those same buildings on their own. Logos are out. Images of Times Square, for instance, displaying all those advertising logos, cannot be used commercially. They are for editorial purposes only.

Unfortunately the laws of copyright can be abused legally. There was a case fairly recently over an image of Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament in the background. A very famous London scene. The scene itself cannot be copyrighted because its architects are long dead but a Photoshopped image of the same scene can. Someone copyrighted a creative idea - a black and white image with a red RouteMaster "London" bus driving across the bridge - taken from the opposite embankment. They weren't the first to produce this particular type of Photoshopped image but they were the first to copyright it and successfully sued another company for putting a similar (not identical) image on their souvenir goods packaging.

This means that no one can distribute for commercial use a similarly Photoshopped scene of Westminster Bridge and Parliament with a London bus on the bridge. Crazy? Of course it is. A very basic creative idea, not even an original or clever one, was effectively copyrighted and is aggressively defended. It is stupidity on steroids.

12. Gramps13 November 2013, 15:17 GMT +01:00

It's a real pain trying to accommodate the laws of the land in whatever location you're at. For instance; here I can sell a photograph of anything I can photograph from a public area but it is the use that it is put to that can be the problem and the release that I apply to it. If I sell a photograph and it is used as editorial material it may be fine but the same photograph could end up in hot water if used for advertising. Strange to say but it's up to the buyer to obtain the relevant permissions not the seller. If I, as the seller, tell the buyer that I do not have permission for them to use the content in the way that they require but they still buy the material and use it, it's the buyer that can be sued not me as the seller. That's how it was last time I looked :0)

13. weirdvis14 November 2013, 9:48 GMT +01:00

Phil, yes. It's a case of caveat emptor. The photographer is not responsible for what the buyer does with the image.

Not yet anyway...

14. coolhewitt2318 November 2013, 14:21 GMT +01:00

I recently watched a show called Shark Tank. A person wanted to create a business model from people taking pictures with their phones and selling them. The business creator failed to get an investor due to the risks of copyright. In my opinion copyright laws are currently outdated. The terms of public area and private area need to be redefined because a place isn't private if anyone can go there.

15. xymonau19 November 2013, 12:11 GMT +01:00

It is if it's private property, and even if I threw open the gates of my house to all and sundry, I would want to dictate what you do on my premises, including taking photos.

On public ground you can legally take photos, unless official signage forbids it. However, there is always a price to pay if a law enforcement person gets their knickers in a knot.

Someone I know of was a tourist in the US and he took a photo of the Mississippi and a steamboat. He was harassed by police officers constantly asking him what he was doing and why - taking a photo of the Mississippi for his absent wife. He said it went on for thirty minutes, as I recall, until a friend of his who was meeting him there arrived and rescued him. Unless the US government has new weaponry attached to Mississippi steamboats now, the whole charade was an illegal abuse of power.

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