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pic copyright question

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by pk698, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. pk698

    pk698 Active Member

    So. I work for oregon state university. And i take a photo of the osu campus. Can osu claim rights to that photo? and legally make me turn over the photo to them?
  2. wickedstangs

    wickedstangs Well-Known Member

  3. User

    User Well-Known Member

    Did you take it as employee or as private citizen? Meaning was the photo taken as work-for-hire part of your job? If yes, then it belongs to OSU. If you took it on your own time for private not-work-related purposes then it's yours. If it does show OSU trademarks then you may need to edit the image if you intend to sell copies.
  4. pk698

    pk698 Active Member

    (it's all hypothetical) just tryin to settle a debate w. a coworker here. But, the pic was taken
    on my way to work (off company time, photo is not intended to make $)
  5. James

    James Well-Known Member

  6. ToDie4

    ToDie4 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if some coconut heads out there would try to make you pay for taking a picture of their lawn or at least try to pursue ownership rights of the images, that's just the way of the World we live in I'm afraid.

    I mean, some mop-heads think they can claim ownership of other peoples ideas, even their artistic nature, it's happening to these XenForo guys, poor blighter's.

    In short, yes of course they can pursue legal proceedings to attain ownership of your photographs, doesn't mean they will win and it most certainly doesn't mean they had a right to even try, but what can you do huh!
  7. Brett Peters

    Brett Peters Well-Known Member

    If osu campus has registered a trade mark of the exact image then. No

    It all sounds absurd to me but here in australia the sydney Opera House set a legal milestone by registering a trade mark of the exact image.

    If I wanted to legally use a picture of the opera house then I would assume I could download one from their official FB page which means they have agreed to the following FB terms. How that would stand up in a court I am unsure.

  8. Crazyfruitbat

    Crazyfruitbat Well-Known Member

    It's not an exact image, it's to do with a 'building clause'. Certain building are considered like art or photographs and images of them can't be used without permission. Just like a model clause, you have to get the model to sign to allow you to sell any images of him/her. Buildings are the same but a little more tricky because not all buildings have such an image to protect.

    If one was to sell a photo of OSU and they have registered their building as a trademark (yes, that is possible) then you are breaking copyright law. If you wish to be certain of a building's copyright, the best bet is to contact the uni and ask them. If you want to get written permission from them, then you can use this form: http://asmp.org/tutorials/property-release.html get them to sign it and you are free to use the image within the parameters of the contract.

    If you go to a press site of a certain place, they normally have a photo area, these photos are based for commercial usage and can be used freely though don't expect them to be kind on you if you give them negative press.

    The best bet is to be honest, if you want to use a photo of the campus, contact them and ask them if there are any issues with you doing this - most probably there is no problem, but by getting a building release form you cover your arse from getting sued.
  9. User

    User Well-Known Member

    It's a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
    OSU is a taxpayer funded land/sea/space grant institution. Since the OP isn't going to sell the image the Fair Use clause would apply regardless of whether they have trademarked something or not.
  10. TheLaw

    TheLaw Well-Known Member

    It's a good question. I'm not sure of the answer 100% but here's my take.

    (1) The law differs in different countries so don't use the Opera House as law in the US.

    (2) The answer may lie in copyright or trademark law. However, you can't just register your building as a trademark nor does taking a picture of an item that has been copyrighted necessarily constitute infringement. In fact, my understanding is that taking a picture of a public building in public is probably not protected, e.g. taking a picture of the Empire State Building or Chrysler Building.

    (3) Check your employment agreement. Taking a picture of a private campus from a public vantage point may not be prohibited. But if you work for a company and take pictures of their private property while on that property you may be prohibited from doing so.

    The Ford Motor Company's case is completely different. If you're just taking a picture for your own use, I doubt you'll encounter any problem. My question to you is - why are you worried about this?
  11. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    Though not posed as part of the original question, but there is also a "right of publicity" issue here, I think. If the photo is clearly intertwined with the identity of the campus, then I could see a potential issue. Answer would turn on state law on the matter.

    With the copyright issue, my instinct would be, no, there would not be a copyright violation. Another issue, though, is that if there was an ostensible issue, I would also look at "fair use" doctrine as a defense.
  12. pk698

    pk698 Active Member

    not really worried, just more curious as to where the legality stands on this issue. if they want it, they can have it... i hate confrations.

    but, I got a lot of photos of osu because I walk across c ampus every morning at 7:30 on my way to work. I always carry a camera and just shoot away at things, buildings, landscape, sunrise, snow, frost, etc. I have no intentions of making any money off them, just store them on my camera to show co-workers. I had a conversation with a co-worker a few days ago about them, and somehow the topic of "who really owns the rights to those photos?" came up. I'm sure if my employer asks for them, I'd give them all of it - although I might ask (hopelessly?) that I be credited.

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