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.