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Unread 08-21-2013, 03:33 AM   #1
different
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Permission to use photographs?

I am wondering is it necessary to ask permission to use the photographs of other cosplayers? Also who should a person seek permission from, the photographer, the cosplayer or both?

I do know that photographs of cosplayers are used everywhere, and I hear no complaints from some people. I am also aware of a controversy where an online game used the photograph of a cosplayer with fairy wings as part of their online game advertizement and there was trouble with that.


What are your thoughts if someone used your cosplay photograph for an image(nothing horrible) and no one sought your permission to use it?


P.S. Personally I would like to obtain permission to use a few(10ish?) cosplay images for a banner I would like to create. Gender is irrelevant.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
foxy
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While it might not be 100% necessary to ask permission, and some cosplayers might say "Sure! It's on the internet, use it!", it should be 100% something you do out of common decency and courtesy.

There are people using the internet who believe "If it's on the internet, then it's free and I can do what I want with it" (I have problems with this at work, when the fundraising team happily use any images they find online for promotional things!) - this is of course completely inaccurate

Once you go into the realms of your game company example of course, the company are looking to gain revenue through promotion, and that's absolutely a no-no to use someone else's work without gaining permission first.

IMO, if the photographer is credited with the photo, then contact them. It's their property. If the photographer isn't mentioned anywhere, then contact the cosplayer and ask permission, stating what you would be using the photograph for. If it's a banner, show an example layout to them.

From a personal viewpoint, I'd be a little put out if photographs with me in were used for something without me knowing.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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If you are going to use a cosplayer's photo for any kind of promotional material or anything that will be involved with money or marketing, then you should absolutely check with the original photographer or cosplayer. Most cosplayers would be very happy for more exposure to their work, but it's a bit of a nasty shock if that exposure comes unexpectedly and without permission.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
JediofTime
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I would always ask permission to use photographs. Since I have a photo editing program, I also offer to watermark the photos with the Photographer's name as well so that people know who originally did it.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
sandra03
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my opinion is that if they allowed you to take their picture at a con you can use it for personal use (posting on a forum or facebook etc) but if you're using it for advertising or any other way to make money, you should ask them and probably have them sign a release at the time the photo is taken.

if it's a photo you found on the internet and especially if it was professionally taken, using that photo for advertising of any kind or anything that will make you money should absolutely get the permission of the subject AND the photographer. I think technically if it pops up publicly you can use it, but if you're making money from it there's a chance either of them could take legal action against you.

I even think when used for personal reasons (ie not advertising etc) you should give credits if you can just to avoid any potential issues
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Unread 08-21-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
Kelley
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I'm not sure what you mean by "pops up publicly". There's oodles of art that's copyrighted that can be accessed by any member of the public with a less-than-one-second Google search. Just because it's there doesn't mean it's not copyrighted or okay to use.

There's the issue of "fair use" - but that doesn't apply to for-profit ventures and random website banners - it's to do with educational use - and they can still fight it even then. Even if they have no legal recourse they can call you out if they find it offensive and drag you through the mud of public opinion.

The only situations when this would be okay would be if you were a convention staff member making a banner for the convention web-site - most places have a stipulation that you can be photographed by their photographers and used in advertising - but they also generally ask and tell you at the time the picture is taken. It wouldn't even be okay to use an outside photographer's pictures for the same purpose without permission - you have to ask them since otherwise it would be stealing.

The only time it wouldn't is if the images are specifically and clearly under a public license - like you see on Wikipedia and such.

Not trying to be a downer, but there are legal issues and courtesy issues and it's a pretty bad idea to use such an image without direct permission from both parties (unless the photographer absolutely has a release form that encompasses the situation and gives them the right to allow it without consultation) or a public license.

If you want to find something to use, look at the "Stock Images" on deviantArt and other websites - or on dA in general and send a message to ask permission if it's not released as stock.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
sandra03
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eh I just meant if someone posts their own pictures publicly on say facebook or instagram or whatever where the site's policies say if you post your stuff with the settings on public it's fair game. like I brought it to FB's attention that a trolling page took pictures off my profile and posted them on their page to make fun of me, and facebook's answer was that since I posted them with the settings on public there's nothing wrong with it. in their policies and whatnot I believe it says somewhere that any pictures you post belong to FB so if your settings aren't private there's nothing you can do to stop someone else from using them, I'm pretty sure instagram and some other sites are the same. it's pretty crappy and I assume they did it just to save themselves the time and effort of having to deal with complaints about it
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Unread 08-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelley View Post

Not trying to be a downer, but there are legal issues and courtesy issues and it's a pretty bad idea to use such an image without direct permission from both parties (unless the photographer absolutely has a release form that encompasses the situation and gives them the right to allow it without consultation) or a public license.

If you want to find something to use, look at the "Stock Images" on deviantArt and other websites - or on dA in general and send a message to ask permission if it's not released as stock.
totally agree, and I meant to mention stock images but forgot by the time I finished my post haha. there's whole websites of stock images out there, just google it. some you have to pay a subscription for, some you don't.

also in terms of the subjects in the photos, this makes me think of the case where the guy was putting cosplay pictures on body pillows and selling them without permission. some people didn't care, but the ones that DID care made a huge stink about it. even though I assume the OP's intentions are less sleazy, it would be similar in that some people wouldn't mind, but the people that would get upset over it would probably be upset enough to take action and whatever website this banner is for would get a really bad reputation really quickly

Last edited by sandra03 : 08-21-2013 at 01:07 PM.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #9
skuggi
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the way copyright works, is if you use one of my pictures that I didn't give you permission to use, or I don't have listed as free to use I.E. Creative Commons licencing etc. I have to pursue you about not using it, that it's copyrighted work etc. or I lose my claim of copyright on the work. So even if it's in good taste, even if I like it, the first message you'll get from me is a take down notice since your using copyrighted work.

If your looking for cosplay photos to use, here's a flickr search for open creative commons cosplay pics. http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=cosp...&w=all&adv= 1

Those are all licensed as free to modify, even use for commercial use. Remember to credit the photog!
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Unread 08-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #10
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Not true skuugi, you are thinking of trademark, not copyright.
In the US, a copyright holder can ignore violations if they choose and it does not weaken their future claims. Trademark is different, where if it starts to fall into 'common use', then it can longer be claimed or enforced. So most companies will aggressively pursue trademark violations regardless of their outlook regarding copyright of the same works.

It's best to ask the photographer and cosplayer for reasons already mentioned.
Also, if used to advertise, associate with, or promote another product, you do need a model release to use a person's 'name and likeness' for that purpose.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Access View Post
Not true skuugi, you are thinking of trademark, not copyright.
In the US, a copyright holder can ignore violations if they choose and it does not weaken their future claims. Trademark is different, where if it starts to fall into 'common use', then it can longer be claimed or enforced. So most companies will aggressively pursue trademark violations regardless of their outlook regarding copyright of the same works.

It's best to ask the photographer and cosplayer for reasons already mentioned.
Also, if used to advertise, associate with, or promote another product, you do need a model release to use a person's 'name and likeness' for that purpose.
^^ Yup, sorry mixed'em up in my head and I deal with both lol.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
Slapthefatcat
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I think by asking permission to take your photo, they have permission to upload and share the photos of you. BUT they do not have permission to use it for advertising or anything in print, or anything that they can profit from, nor do they have permission to edit the pictures beyond the basics.
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Unread 08-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #13
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Well for those interested in helping out I posted a thread in the "seeking cosplayers" forum http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=329917

It gives details for my plans and a little summary of what I intend to create.

Thanks for all the information.
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