Images copyright

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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Images copyright

Post by Headlion »

I am a photographic judge and occasionally I alter an entrants image to show an alternative view. Their image is not published but it is shown to a small audience of about 20 people (including the author). There is no charge. I do not ask for prior permission to alter images as that would require many consents.

The alterations are to help them to see alternative views to help them improve.

Someone has suggested that this is a copyright infringement.

Anyone know if that is the case?
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Headlion,
Yes this would technically count as adapting a work (see Section 16(e) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act), which normally requires the permission of the author of the image, but because you are doing this for the benefit of the author and in their presence, plus the fact you are not seeking to publish your altered version beyond a small group, I don't think this should cause you any problems.

Ideally for the future, I suggest you investigate whether the terms of entry to the various competitions could include something about this, so that a photographer would be giving their consent in advance when they confirm that they accept the terms and conditions of entry.

Where I think you might face difficulties would be if you ever contemplated publishing an article or book or giving more general public lectures on the subject of appraising photography, and wanted to use the examples you had produced, and did this without first seeking permission. This would equally apply to just using the unaltered image by way of illustration, as well.

I'm sure you are aware that in addition to copyright, a photographer is entilted to respect for his/her moral rights including the right for his/her work not to be treated in a derogatory manner. It doesn't sound as if that would be the case where you are offering constructive criticism, but something to be aware of just the same.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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