Love to snap and post? Beware! You’re at risk from losing ownership of your images – especially if they’re posted to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr!
A new ruling this week means that if you share your images on social media sites you will no longer have automatic rights over them. This could be potentially damaging, in terms of lost revenue for many professional and amateur photographers.
The only way you can protect your images is to record each and every one of them with an online register, such as a copyright agency.
The new Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which passed through UK Parliament last week, permits the commercial use any image where information identifying the owner is not available – also known as ‘orphan images’ – this therefore relates directly to images uploaded on popular social media sites, because they strip out this ‘ownership’ information from images.
Of course, those wishing to ‘steal’ images have to actively try to find the original owner first, before making money from it, but would anyone really scour the internet looking for an owner of an image they find on Facebook – I doubt it!
The new act makes Britain the first country to make exploiting unidentified work legal – however will it be the last and how much are online registries going to charge people to upload images?