Monday, October 29, 2007

Is it realistic?

There's an interesting post on the World of Royalty Network about posting photos that are copyrighted. In order to read the post you'll need to register, but I highly recommend doing so as it's a great place for royal watchers to meet.

It's always wise to respect copyright. When in doubt, don't post it. Now I'm all for respecting copyright but I'm wondering...whether it's realistic, in general, for official sites and photo agencies to expect people not to use these photos in their blogs, on their royal tribute sites, or on any other website. Obviously there are lots of photos out there. It's easy to copy them and think the photo is now yours. But it isn't. So where are people supposed to get photos?

At one point, there were various official royal websites that had image sections where you could download official photos for non-commercial use. Now this seems to have changed. Why? I don't have a clue. But knowing there was a royal source for fair-use photos was great. As a royal watcher, I assume that people know who I'm writing about. This is not always the case. So being able to show a photo with the article makes sense. Prince Christian of Denmark is cute? Here's a photo - see for yourself!

Surfing the Internet there's rampant copyright infringement. Or so I assume. Yes the music industry is cracking down but still, where would You Tube be without videos of celebrities? Or royalty? But most people can't afford to get the proper permissions to use said photos and music. In my case I actually have tried to get permission for a photograph and received no response to my request. Okay, I'm trying to go through the right channels here. Why not then respond, tell me how much it will cost and then I can go and save up my money? I've been told by photographers that agencies don't know how to respond to blog requests. So does that mean any blog that uses images is doing so because they haven't received permission, despite requesting it? Receiving no response, is it little wonder that people go ahead and use the photos anyways? True, there are sites that have fair use photos - but just try to find one of Prince William or Kate Middleton.

I'm not saying that the use of copyrighted photos is a given right, but it sure can make an article and a blog more interesting.

© Marilyn Braun 2007

Photo: (minus the X) Snowdon/Camera Press


Anonymous said...

It really would make sense for all of the official monarchy sites to offer photos with clear guidelines, the way the Dutch monarchy site does.

It's particularly surprising to me that the official British monarchy site, which is excellent in other respects, doesn't offer photos that can be used on blogs and websites. I hope in time this will change.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes the Dutch have the right idea.

The British Royal site does have images. They're not the best ones but they're at least something! I'm hoping that Prince Charles' site will also have images that can be downloaded too.

I really just don't understand the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark removing the ability to download images. They're very popular, especially Mary, so why not continue to offer them for download.