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Author Topic: "Building too famous" rejection  (Read 3753 times)

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« on: December 21, 2010, 01:48 »
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This is a new one on me:

"The architecture in this image is likely subject to copyright in favour of the original designer. Because this building is so famous and because it's a predominant aspect of the image, the image will likely constitute an unauthorized derivative work and therefore represent infringement of the exclusive copyrights of the designer."

I think the entire building copyright paranoia is probably a misunderstanding of the the law, but the added idea that how famous a structure is is an important factor in making pictures of it a copyright violation seems like an entirely new legal principle.

Does anybody really know (I mean REALLY know, not received wisdom from the stock sites) if building copyright really applies to photos taken from public places, or if any architect has ever sued over a photograph of his building being used in an advert?


« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2010, 02:27 »
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Hi,
 Some time ago there was a tread about this when actually a lawyer (reader) vent into details explaining how much this "LAW" is misinterpreted.
I do not think that any agency picked up on it - or may be there Lawyer interpreted in a different way -do not know.

« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2010, 02:57 »
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Does anybody really know (I mean REALLY know, not received wisdom from the stock sites) if building copyright really applies to photos taken from public places, or if any architect has ever sued over a photograph of his building being used in an advert?

That's probably going to depend in which country the photo is taken and were it is published. In Germany, for example, buildings are fair game - as long as you stay on public property and don't use ladders or anything to look over walls ("Panaromafreiheit"). In Austria, which is not that far away, things are even better as also the interior of buildings is okay to photograph...

As for anyone suing: Yes, I know of at least one case ("Hundertwasserhaus") where the architect (or rather their heir) sued over selling photographs of a building.

But in the end this is not about the law, this is about the agencies covering their backsides - in the end it is always the user of a photo who has to make sure, that he isn't violating any laws.

RacePhoto

« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 03:22 »
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Does anybody really know (I mean REALLY know, not received wisdom from the stock sites) if building copyright really applies to photos taken from public places, or if any architect has ever sued over a photograph of his building being used in an advert?


No? Yes? (this is USA, I don't have anything for the rest of the world)

We know of no case that has ever settled those kinds of questions. ASMP advises that property releases be acquired whenever possible because we dont want to see you be the test case.

Using property releases - ASMP

Their view is CYA, don't become the test case. Probably what the stock sites are advocating. But it's not really the law.

OK that's a no, but here's something interesting from a law site:

Architectural Works
(Note: Architectural plans and drawings may also be protected as textual/graphics works)

Date of Design - Prior to 1 Dec. 1990
Date of Construction - Not constructed by 31 Dec. 2002
Copyright Status - Protected only as plans or drawings

Prior to 1 Dec. 1990 - Constructed by 1 Dec. 1990
Protected only as plans or drawings

Prior to 1 Dec. 1990 - Constructed between 30 Nov. 1990 and 31 Dec. 2002
Building is protected for 70 years after death of author, or if work of corporate authorship, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation

From 1 Dec. 1990 - Immaterial
Building is protected for 70 years after death of author, or if work of corporate authorship, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation

(emphasis is mine) But the point is, prior to 1 Dec 1990, only protected as plans or drawings. The buildings aren't. Seems pretty clear?

Another one of my favorite sites and good reading. Basically the same as photos, books and music now, but it wasn't that way until Dec. 1990.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
 - Cornell University
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 03:29 by RacePhoto »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 04:47 »
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iStock are famously over-cautious.
But now you can wait for editorial to roll out.

« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 08:04 »
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Dunno how it is in other countries, but in Poland ANY building (that refers also to monuments)  that is in public space is NOT copyrighted. :D Pity that the stocks doesn't know that. I've exchanged that info with 123rf mod on this very forum but got no reply. This way I got rejected two of my bestselling architecture shots: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=43220404 , http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=44790370 (And I don't even say that the second shot are simple STAIRS, not a building at all. So maybe cities are copyrighted too, and got owners? :o )

Beside I believe this is whole madness - some stock removes photos of cars (even if there's no logo), shoes that are too characteristic (like the case with Puma shoes), and computer parts - specific logitech mouses and so on. One company can SELL items that look identical as other more known companies products, but we can't take a photos of too characteristic stuff...

This is not Sparta, this is Maaaaadnesssssssssss! ;)

« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 11:16 »
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I know how frustrating this can be, but what the law says is no important, is what they (microsites) allow or not on their sites, they are over racting most of the time because they just dont want to have any chances of a demand, and on the other hand they have so many images that just dont care on rejecting anyone of our beloved images. Particulary IS deactivated my most downloaded image a orange flame (more than 40 dl/m) just because they think a barelona chair has risk of copyright, (was an illustration BTW)

« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 12:36 »
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I know how frustrating this can be, but what the law says is no important, is what they (microsites) allow or not on their sites, they are over racting most of the time because they just dont want to have any chances of a demand, and on the other hand they have so many images that just dont care on rejecting anyone of our beloved images. Particulary IS deactivated my most downloaded image a orange flame (more than 40 dl/m) just because they think a barelona chair has risk of copyright, (was an illustration BTW)

From what admin told me the stock require releases of building that are copyrighted. That means they also have a list of 'restricted' buildings (Eiffel tower night shots and so on). The others is a matter of communication between you and a stock. If stock site is that paranoid not to respect local law it's their lost. ;) And honestly it would be stupid if stock required release for each and every building, road or a pavement shot... Pity some stock goes right in this very direction...


 

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