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New to Copyright laws, need some help please

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:24 am
by supersonictt
Hello everyone,

I am currently building a tennis website for my students in my country (Jordan), and the home page will have a news photo gallery that will hold up up to 4 images, and these images will stay for no more than 2 days as these images have to be changed. The images are about current tennis tournaments (such as Wimbledon), and I found out that Getty Images and Corbis are excellent in covering these events as photographers are on the spot daily.

If you have a look at atpworldtour website, you will notice that at the bottom right corner of the images in their gallery has the copyright symbol with Getty Images next to it. Now my questions are:

1. Did atpworldtour purchase these photos? If yes, why is the copyright symbol and Getty Images next to it still there? If not:

2. Will I be legal to download the image from those companies (Getty/Corbis), and include the copyright symbol which refers to the company name and use them on my site?

Please keep in mind that the images I want are not going to be printed, distributed, altered or to be available for the site visitors to right click and save them (as the gallery itself disables this option), plus, as I mentioned before, they will stay for only 2 days maximum.

Getty and Corbis already called me and sent me an offers for images I want, but the price is really high, plus my website is a non-commercial one.

I am asking this just to be in the safe side before doing anything. And I noticed that like %90 of the websites have images from Getty with the copyright symbol and Getty Images next to it, or the photographer name/Getty Images, and that makes me wonder if all those website DO REALLY have the ability to purchase all the images they have on their pages.


Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:44 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Supersonictt,
First of all I am not familiar with the copyright laws in Jordan, so I will frame my remarks in terms of generally accepted (in international treaties) copyright principles. The second thing to think about is where your site is hosted. If it is in Jordan, then obviously Jordanian law will cover that as well, but if your host server is in another jurisdiction (such as the USA) then the law of the host country will be more important and tend to govern how you operate.
You asked whether ATPWorld purchased the photographs it uses on its site. I suspect that the images are all licensed from the various picture agencies such as Getty, and their licence will only allow them to display the images on their site and not syndicate them to third parties. The reason that the copyright symbol, and Getty's details, remain on the pictures is because this shows that images are protected by copyright and that Getty are the agency from whom licences to use the images may be obtained. It is generally a condition of use that any copyright notice is not removed, although this can be negotiable so long as Getty and/or the photographer are properly credited elsewhere. For instance in a book about tennis, it would be preferable to show the copyright details elsewhere than on the actual illustrations.
You should only use someone else's images (whether Getty, another agency or an individual photographer) with their permission. It makes no difference how long the images are up on the site or whether or not your use is for commercial purposes. The only exception might be if your country's laws allow copyright works to used for the reporting of news and current affairs under some fair use rules. However, as I mentioned earlier if your server is located elsewhere, those rules might not apply.
As Getty are already aware of your site, you can be sure that they will monitor your image usage to ensure that your are not using their images without permission, and they usually demand hefty penalty fees if they find infringement has occured.
If you find Getty's fees are unaffordable, try some of the other picture agencies. All the major sport picture agencies will have representation at the major events so you should be able to get very similar pictures cheaper from another source.
Whichever source you use, make sure that you get the correct licence. I suggest that for your purpose a Rights Managed (RM) licence would be better than a Royalty Free (RF) licence since you only require the images for a couple of days, and the likely distribution (ie site visitors) is small. You can find out more about this here: Getty Images

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:56 pm
by supersonictt

Thank you so much for making things clear for me.

About the host, my website is hosted by a company located in the states. And even if my host was in Jordan, I would not use any images from those companies without their permission.

I already talked to some photographers on Flickr and they gave me to use their images.

Thank you again for the detailed information you provided.