It is probably fair to say that when it comes to sharing photos and downloading images over the internet, levels of education on privacy and copyright laws have failed to keep up with the rapid progress we have witnessed in technology.
This has led to a mixture of confusion and ignorance over what rights you have with any photos that you share over the internet and whether you are actually inadvertently breaking the law, despite your honest intentions.
This infographic takes a good look at privacy and copyright for photographers, both amateur and professional, so that you can fill in any gaps in your knowledge and either avoid unintentionally breaking the law or protect the rights to those images.
There are also a number of issues that need addressing, such as personal privacy laws, which have led to successful prosecutions brought about by people who had their photo taken and posted or sold without their permission.
Using a photo without first obtaining the permission required could certainly be an expensive action that some will no doubt come to regret. You can find published examples of people falling foul of the law on a regular basis, such as the case of a blogger who ended up being forced to pay $3,000 in copyright penalties, as well as expensive lawyer fees on the top of that.
Matters can get even more complicated when you consider that copyright law varies between countries. This is a real challenge as the internet doesn’t always have obvious geographical boundaries, but while this is a great thing that you have access to a global audience and market, it is a bit of a nightmare when trying to interpret which copyright laws apply.
Ignorance is not often accepted as an excuse when copyright laws are breached, so it makes sense to try and get yourself up to speed on the subject.