Images copyright for cultural event poster&merch

5 posts in this topic

Hi all, 

 

I am organising a cultural event and I would like to use an image found online to make the poster of the event.

The picture is this one (yes, I know :D): https://images.app.goo.gl/pfvAiTAMon1VTcd88

Do you know how to proceed in order to act within legality? Do I have to contact der Spiegel or there are just some procedures to follow?

Since there is very little funding, I thought that I could use the poster's design also to make some t-shirts to sell and give all the eventual purchases' income to the artists. So it's more a charity act than real profit, but I imagine that legally it must be done appropriately. Do you know how to do it?

I've been told that I could just edit the image up to a point where it is not very recognisable, but this image is quite unique: how far should the editing go eventually? Which are the rules?

 

Thanks in advance!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm happy you are asking first, as most people assume anything on the Internet is free.  I am not an intellectual property attorney, but I was a photographer who had to pursue a business who "borrowed" one of my images for their website.  I was successful and it cost the business much more than if they had just contacted me first to license my work.

 

Don't try to fool anyone that you are doing this for charity.  If I read your description correctly, you intend on using an image that belongs to someone, maybe not Der Spiegel, on a product you intend to sell.  Whether you make a profit on the sale or the proceeds go to a recognized charity makes no difference.  This does not fall under the protection of the fair use doctrine.  There could also be issues with a model release if you want to use Merkel's image for your commercial effort without her permission.  She is a public figure, but there is still a line that should be crossed with caution when you move from news reporting to profit making.

 

I don't think Der Spiegel owns the image, but might have legally used the image under the fair use doctrine.  I recommend making an effort to locate the source of the image, most likely the owner of the video conference from which the image was captured.  I don't think you want to get mired into legal issues with derivative work, as these usually don't end up well for the person who uses the image.

 

As an alternative, you might consider looking at any of the online sources of free images, such as stocksnap.io and pixabay.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply!

Sorry to hear your story, I am here exactly to understand if this can be done legally. Since the project is related to the case of Merkel's call, that image specifically would be perfect for the poster. From what you say, I understand that there are no standard procedures besides finding the owner and asking. I really don't know how to find the owner though! In the screenshot posted it says "Creator: Reuters | Credit: DER SPIEGEL", but the same video is in DW without any other credits besides the same DW, and the same for t-online. Any leads on how to research copyright owners? The question sounds silly but I just don't know which one is the right one.

 

For the merch, this was an idea to support artists based in Germany, since the funds I received can't be spent to pay them (sic). So more than trying to fool people, I might change the term charity with "funding"? But yes, it is actually profit over an image and probably not possible. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick answer: you can't use it without a licence.

Call der Spiegel (if they own it:  ask them!) and ask if they will grant you a licence to use the photo but be very specific about how you are going to use it.

If they give you a licence, only use it for that purpose.

As at @JG52 has mentioned, Merkel could also potentially complain about your use of the image too. This is unlikely, but depending upon the specific nature of your "cultural event" or any words/images you attach to her picture, the likelihood could change.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now