Friday, 15 February 2019

Blogging and copyright


Over the course of the life of this blog, there have been very occasional requests made to remove material by the creator of that material - and each time that material has been removed.

A note has recently been received, from the owner of the copyright, that this blog had used an image which had been copied in the reblogging of an article from the Mirror. This had included a photograph of empty supermarket shelves, used to illustrate that "Supermarket shelves could be emptied in a worst-case scenario":
Councils warned No Deal Brexit could trigger THREE MONTHS of disruption with runs on food, petrol and banks - Mirror Online

The Mirror had themselves acquired the image from the stock photo collection of Alamy:
Alamy – Stock Photos, Stock Images & Vectors

The image itself had been taken by Dr Sally Anderson, a stock photo contributor who covers news events and whose photos have appeared in national newspapers:
Sally Anderson Photography

Whilst attribution had been given to the source of the material when originally posted on this blog - both to the Mirror and to Alamy - nevertheless, on receiving notice from the photographer that there was a presumed infringement, the image was immediately taken down. 
An apology has been issued for inadvertently infringing the copyright and the image has been removed from the blog entry:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and how prepared local authorities are


Reblogging may be argued to fall under point 134 about re-transmission under UK regulations:
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

It is a little complicated:

Ten common copyright myths and misconceptions
A general introduction to copyright - De Montfort University.
Ownership of copyright works - GOV.UK
Editorial Photographers UK - FAQ 

For, despite this considerable regulation of intellectual property rights in the UK and across the developed world, the status of such material remains 'contentious' if not deeply ambiguous, as this comment demonstrates:
Reblogging carries legal risk |

Nevertheless, the reblogging of material is common and widespread:
"Reblogging (and the increased attention paid to the indexing and encouragement of reblogging) has become a major feature of many social networking sites and content-hosting services, and it has also become a potent means of secondary content promotion"
Reblogging - Wikipedia

News-sharing websites regularly reblog material - including images - for example, at Common Dreams which reblogged this from the Guardian, including the accompanying image:
Yes, There Is an Alternative to Capitalism: Mondragon Shows the Way

Finally, the reblogging of the Mirror piece is a clear example of 'Fair Use': that is, the blog piece made use of the image "for purposes of commentary, criticism, reporting, or teaching":
Fair Use of Copyright Images in Your Blog | Art Law Journal 

Fundamentally, though, this particular blog clearly does not work towards any commercial purposes and merely seeks to inform the local community about points of potential interest and concern.

As it says at the side of each posting:
"The purpose of this blog is to explore the issues that are impacting on Sidmouth's present and future - and to give voice to the variety of opinions around those issues.
"The Futures Forum does not endorse, support, represent or guarantee the fairness, completeness, truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of the content given or opinions expressed in postings on this blog."

And there is a disclaimer:
"No rights are claimed for most media presented in this blog.
"All attempts are made to provide links, acknowledgements and credits for all sources.
"Should you have any questions about the copyright, proprietorship or authorship of any material (text or images) in this blog, please get in touch.
"Thank you."

Futures Forum Vision Group for Sidmouth

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