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Thread: Leeching of Photos: Discuss the law of copyright

  1. #1

    Default Leeching of Photos: Discuss the law of copyright

    Ok. I am bored now and would like to apply what I learn in Principles of Laws on this issue of photo leeching.

    Copyright only protects an expression of thoughts which is an original work on a medium. A photograph (expression of idea) posted on the internet (medium) thus qualifies for copyright protection. In Singapore, copyright is governed by the Copyright Act, (Cap 63).

    Copyright belongs to the photographer and the protection arises automatically; there is no need to apply or register for it. Another requirement is that the photographer must be a qualified person, meaning that he/she is a citizen or resident of Singapore or any country which is a member of the World Trade Organisation.

    The protection lasts 70 years after the death of the photographer or 70 years after the first publiciation, whichever is later.

    When a copyrighted photograph is leeched to another site , the photographer must establish casual connection between the copyrighted material and infringing work to determine whether is there an infringement.

    However, there is an exception: where certain amount of copying is permissible under fair dealings which include copying a reasonable portion for private study or research, criticism or review, and reporting of events in newspapers. Fair dealings is determined on the purpose and character of the dealing, the nature of the dealing, the amount copied in relation to the whole work and the effect of the dealing upon the value of the work.

    Once an infringement is established, the photographer will entitle to different type of remedies. The photographer could ask for an injunction to stop the leeching or even sue to claim damages for any loss caused.

  2. #2

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    To apply the law to the situation of photo leeching, first the published photograph has to qualify for copyright protection. The photograph has to be original and the photographer must be a qualified person.

    Next, the photographer must establish that an infringement is made. The leecher uses the copyrighted photograph on another site without the consent of the photographer, and the usage of photograph does not fall under the situation of fair dealing, thus the leecher did made a copyright infringement.

    What enforcements do the photographer have? The photographer is entitled to remedies such as to inform the leecher to stop the infringement. What can the photographer do if the leecher does not comply? One way the photographer can do is to file a civil suit to ask for an injunction to stop the infringement. Since going to court is very costly, this method is not practical to most photographer. Furthermore, if the leecher is based overseas, he would be under different jurisdiction and the court order (if successful) may not be recognised by some countries.

    What can the photographer do to prevent leeching of his works? As mentioned by many forumers here, the best method is to not post the images on the internet in the first place, because there is almost no way to stop leechers from using your images, and it is not worth most photographers' time, effort and money to take legal action against the leecher.

    So far, in my analysis of the situation legally correct? Hee...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    However, there is an exception: where certain amount of copying is permissible under fair dealings which include copying a reasonable portion for private study or research, criticism or review, and reporting of events in newspapers.

    Regarding fair dealings. In a recent case where a photograph by a fellow CSer is used for a local newspaper and not credited to him, does this situation falls under fair dealing since it is a reporting of current events in newspapers. Thus this case is not a case of copyright infringement at all?

  4. #4
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    wow.. insightful and definitely useful read. Thanks Bean

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean



    Regarding fair dealings. In a recent case where a photograph by a fellow CSer is used for a local newspaper and not credited to him, does this situation falls under fair dealing since it is a reporting of current events in newspapers. Thus this case is not a case of copyright infringement at all?
    It is.

    __________

  6. #6

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    i know nuts about law.

    but i know it all depends on how the lawyer argue and how the judge interpret.

    if based on the statement below, then newspaper no need to pay copyright liao.

    "However, there is an exception: where certain amount of copying is permissible under fair dealings which include copying a reasonable portion for private study or research, criticism or review, and reporting of events in newspapers."

  7. #7

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    More about fair dealing where one of the factors is the amount copied in relation to the whole work.

    Does a photograph consitutes as a whole work? For example, if you shoot 100 photographs on a recent nature shoot of a damselfly on the leaf. I chanced upon your photos and use just 1 of the photograph (in whole) for my private study or research, did I make any infringement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by auron
    i know nuts about law.

    but i know it all depends on how the lawyer argue and how the judge interpret.

    if based on the statement below, then newspaper no need to pay copyright liao.

    "However, there is an exception: where certain amount of copying is permissible under fair dealings which include copying a reasonable portion for private study or research, criticism or review, and reporting of events in newspapers."
    Like I said, it is.

  9. #9

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    Lazy to dig out my media law notes, but off the top of my head, Jed is right. Fair dealing is quite limited and not applicable in this case.

    One photograph constitutes an entire work. If you copy and paste and claim as your own, you've copied 100% of the photo. Doesn't matter whether it is part of a series.

    But the situation you gave includes another circumstance: fail dealing for research/private study. If you are a zoologist doing a paper on damselflies, you can use the photo in your study and reference it properly as you would any other source.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean



    Regarding fair dealings. In a recent case where a photograph by a fellow CSer is used for a local newspaper and not credited to him, does this situation falls under fair dealing since it is a reporting of current events in newspapers. Thus this case is not a case of copyright infringement at all?
    1 question: if the photographer submits a photo for competition and the fine prints did not include any reference to copyright.

    When the photo is being published... does it constitute to a breach in copyrights


    Anyway, if the govt wants to reduce braindrain in the "artistic" area... the copyright law might be revised to be more specific/ enforced... like those music infrigement via net DL.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by acroamatic
    Lazy to dig out my media law notes, but off the top of my head, Jed is right. Fair dealing is quite limited and not applicable in this case.

    One photograph constitutes an entire work. If you copy and paste and claim as your own, you've copied 100% of the photo. Doesn't matter whether it is part of a series.

    But the situation you gave includes another circumstance: fail dealing for research/private study. If you are a zoologist doing a paper on damselflies, you can use the photo in your study and reference it properly as you would any other source.
    ummm... how about a crop of that particular photo?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
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    its also considered leeching... so if i get 10cents out of ur $10.10 ? isnt that called stealing also ? lol....

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    its also considered leeching... so if i get 10cents out of ur $10.10 ? isnt that called stealing also ? lol....

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN
    1 question: if the photographer submits a photo for competition and the fine prints did not include any reference to copyright.

    When the photo is being published... does it constitute to a breach in copyrights


    Anyway, if the govt wants to reduce braindrain in the "artistic" area... the copyright law might be revised to be more specific/ enforced... like those music infrigement via net DL.
    when u submit your prints to the competition, you have already agreed to the terms and conditions of the competition. so what do you think?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennyong
    its also considered leeching... so if i get 10cents out of ur $10.10 ? isnt that called stealing also ? lol....
    I tink you mis-understand liao...

    I was refering to the law... I understand that for books, you can photocopy up to some % (3% or 10% can't remember liao). So is that same copyright law applicable to photo?

    Cuz some gray areas I tot was not covered.... something like a photo of a drawing... who has the rights to the photo? Similarly a photo of a photo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN
    ummm... how about a crop of that particular photo?
    i'd count that as a modification, or editing without permission.

    my run-in with a ntu student club - http://sehsuan.clubsnap.org/copyright/

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mervlam
    when u submit your prints to the competition, you have already agreed to the terms and conditions of the competition. so what do you think?
    I did mention that the terms did not include any reference to copyright leh.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sehsuan
    i'd count that as a modification, or editing without permission.

    my run-in with a ntu student club - http://sehsuan.clubsnap.org/copyright/
    saw that page... wah you really power sia.... that page can be leagally binding if you want to make a claim... then again, like you said... mostly in Sg... it's not worth the effort for small timers like us to start a legal action... so what are our recourse?

    Referencing from product patenting, I understand if the product is deemed too elastic and easily copied... then it's not worth patenting.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN
    I did mention that the terms did not include any reference to copyright leh.
    no, you did not. you said "fine prints". if you mean "terms & conditions", then say "terms & conditions".

    Write what you mean. Mean what you write.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN
    saw that page... wah you really power sia.... that page can be leagally binding if you want to make a claim... then again, like you said... mostly in Sg... it's not worth the effort for small timers like us to start a legal action... so what are our recourse?

    Referencing from product patenting, I understand if the product is deemed too elastic and easily copied... then it's not worth patenting.
    Patenting is only for innovative products. In short, patenting IS NOT copyrighting.

    In sehsuan's case, it's pure copyright infringment by NTU Runners' Club. By the way, that page is in not way "legally binding". That page is NOT a legal document.
    Last edited by mervlam; 21st October 2004 at 08:45 PM.

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