Read the *********Licence!!

I started off my last post with the phrase “the hits just keep on coming” – and they still do! There was extensive media coverage this past week of the advert featuring the young dancer “Fatima” and her “new” career in cyber something or other. There was widespread condemnation of the message which implied that dancing is not a worthwhile career. It now turns out that the photographer, Krys Alex, is “devastated” by its use and that Desiree Kelley, the model in the image is also very upset. Where am I going with this? I’m going down the licensing road – again. The image came from Unsplash an image gallery, similar to Pixabay where photographers can contribute their work, and more importantly, users can copy and use the images for almost any purpose. Here is the Unsplash licence – “Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service”.

I accept that the use of the image may not have been ethical – and it has been removed, but not before the damage has been done. A strong, clear message to all photographers – by all means share your images, but please, please check the terms and conditions of the platform on which you share your work – Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Snapchat – and now Unsplash – the images remain your copyright, but that almost becomes worthless thanks to the all-embracing licence you grant to these platforms. It’s all very well to advertise and showcase your work, but don’t give it away for free and don’t expect any sympathy when a user says “that’s a great image for my advertising campaign – and hey, even better, I don’t have to pay for it”.

I’m not taking sides here – we all use the platforms, and love how they keep us informed, in touch and entertained, but how many of us (the sad ones) ever read the terms and conditions? 

© Alan Rae October 2020 – All rights reserved 

Note to Jim Dear – LinkedIn is an example of a platform with the types of T and C we’re discussing – this article is still my copyright, but I have given that comprehensive licence to LinkedIn and its users to take my article  and use it as they see fit.  In my case, that’s no bad thing – it advertises me and my company and I use LinkedIn as part of my marketing strategy.  What I don’t share or give up are the training courses, Powerpoint presentations etc that I use to drive revenue.

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