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Copyrighted objects in public spaces

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#1 Rick Paul

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:49 AM

I have a question for the other stock photographers out there. I have had some images rejected by some of the micro stock agencies because they image "potentially contains copyrighted works". Examples of this would be a public bridge in Tucson that is shaped like a snake. I know to avoid the obvious things like company signs and trademarks, and faces of people without a model release. But I'm confused by this other issue. If it's a City of Tucson bridge in a public space (or any other city commissioned work of art, like a statue), is that also a "copyrighted" work I must avoid? That doesn't make sense to me, because that would lend oneself to the logic that an image of any building is copyrighted by the architect. What is also interesting about this is the rejection is hit and miss. More than one sight had rejected an image of mine for this reason, but it's more than site. But in all cases, the reject image was accepted by a couple other sites. Bottom line is if I shouldn't be submitted images like this all, I don't want to submit, even if some are accepting. Some guidelines from the more experienced folks would be most helpful!

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#2 darin d.

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 12:13 PM

Rick. Wish I could help you but really don't know either, I do remember this phrase in the contracts, if they deem something possibly violating copyright of a structure they will deny. Here in Sedona we have the church built into the rocks, called "the Chapel of the Holy Cross", I've thought of submitting this but did not for the same reasons you mention... The other thing I've noticed as an easy example is the Motorola Razor phone, the logo is not showing, but in my opinion there is no other phone that looks like this and I see it constantly on the stock sights... Wish I could help, thanks, Darin D... ;)

#3 Mike Edgeton

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:16 PM

I would say that anything that has been commissioned or possibly viewed by the public as an Art Object might be considered copyrighted. The shape of the snake on the bridge is probably copyrighted by the designer even though the bridge is a public structure. You can photograph any public event even showing the faces of the folks involved and use it as an editorial piece but you would need a release to use the same photo for a commercial shot in a magazine etc. Most editors err on the side of extreme caution when accepting material that appears as if a model release is warranted. They would rather not accept the photo than risk any type of lawsuit. There are a few good guides out there regarding copyright and model releases. Mike

#4 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 07:21 AM

You may find an answer in one of my links as the last post right at the bottom of the following:-


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#5 silverbowff


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Posted 31 March 2007 - 08:41 AM


Here is a link to a site that has a lot of good info on Copyright does and don'ts.


Check it out.


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