- First, getting credit isn’t compensation. We did, after all, create the work concerned, so credit is automatic. It is not something that we hope a third party will be kind enough to grant us.
- Second, credit doesn’t pay bills.
“visual images are part of speech and they’re also an expressive work of a photographer”
Patents & Registered Copyright
"At this point, major technology firms can steal from each other anyway, absorb the consequences, and keep going. At the same time, a twisted ecosystem of patent trolls has sprung up to exploit the current system’s weaknesses, burying legitimate claims by small inventors in a flood of frivolous lawsuits."
Ideas and modern/contemporary utilitarian/functional products cannot get copyright protection (license) but you can get a utility patent for 20 years through a specially professional patent lawyer. A utility (aka non-provisional) patent is a patent that covers the invention of a new or improved product or machine unless it creates a maonopoly.
Registered Copyright distribution can last 95 years for corporations and life-long for the author/artist plus 20 years (renew every 28 years). Commercial music has layers of copyright and so is one of the strictest copyrights and even creative original use is not allowed. High-level of original elements is required for registeration of general copyright and a 'written clearence' is must for any transfer if copyright is under "exclusive". Copyright is not trademark.
Popular stuff cannot be used under fair-use guidelines (US section 107) even if there is no visible copyright label (removing copyright & metadata is still an offence). Unless you are using someone's material by adding more value by commenting about it or for non-profit teaching or commecial parody (not satire), its legal to do so (if its very relevent relationship) but you can still be taken to court even if its "low value".
However, everyone has the right to take photographs of anything that is very popular or historical (also collages maybe allowed under fair-use). If the end use is a non-commercial storytelling media, you don't need a "model release" in public spaces (in US, not in EU) but only if you are not focusing or lingering on a person. However, you need 'written clearence' if there is someone's artistic work that doesn't fall under famous.
p.s Creative common licenced stuff is non-exclusive, however, giving the correct 'attribution' is important to avoid litigation. It may not be really "free". Litigation is very expensive so the side with more money usually wins if the court battle is long drawn out. The court decides the damages. Its safer to get 'written model release' from the original rights holder (make sure source is trusted) for commecial nature.
- You have the right to take photographs in a public place. When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view. Exceptions may include military installations, which are banned to protect national security. In many areas, pictures of nuclear facilities are also prohibited. However, don't stalk people or sneak up on them and shove your camera in their face. If you insist on taking a photo of the clearly perturbed big man sporting scars and a scowl, just understand that he may very well insist on smashing your camera.
- When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs.
- Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photographs or video without a warrant. Police may not delete your photographs or videos under any circumstances.
- Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations.
Some photographs can be used and distributed without release forms, but they are limited in usage. Editorial images may not be used to sell anything – they are “non-commercial and non-promotional”. Certain photographs may also require a property release form. The following three questions will help you to determine if you need a property release:
- Could the owner of the property in the photograph be identified by anyone just by looking at the photograph of the property? If no, then you can stop here without needing a property release form.
- Permission is required if a person is photographed in a way that suggests they may be advocating or sponsoring a product or service. Is the photograph to be used for an advertisement? If so and the property is identifiable, a property release is required. Is the photograph going to be used for commercial purposes? If so and the property is identifiable.
- The person signing to be 18 years of age or older. If your subject is under 18 years old, you will need the signature of at least one parent or legal guardian.