Photo Attorney

Jan 2, 2009

Alert: Flickr Group's Photo Rules Cause Concern

The Puget Sound Partnership is a "community led effort of citizens, business, tribes, non profits, and governments working together to restore and protect Puget Sound" - an admirable goal. The organization is sponsoring the "Silent Crisis" Photo Challenge via Flickr. The submitted photos can be used by the Puget Sound Partnership for "its appropriate general and/or multiple purposes . . . [such as] in a publication (e.g., reports, newsletters, brochures) or in electronic media (e.g., PowerPoint, CD-ROM or web site) . . . [and] may be distributed to outside agencies or media for promotional purposes . . . [with] no claim for payment.

Unfortunately, some of the rules for the Photo Challenge seem a bit onerous. Specifically, the Rules state:

Your Photos may NOT include any copyrights embedded or displayed.

and

I also understand that the Partnership will take every precaution to protect my image(s) if it/they are posted on its Web site, the image can potentially be downloaded by any computer user. Therefore, I agree to indemnify and hold harmless from any claims the following:

All employees of the Puget Sound Partnership
State of Washington
Puget Sound Partnership and Council members and their staff.
[Emphasis added.]
It's difficult to imagine why the Partnership won't allow embedded copyright information - there's no transfer of copyright and the photographer should get some promotion/protection of the photograph in exchange for its free use. And why should the photographer agree to indemnify the Partnership for any claims?

Thanks to Joe Becker for submitting this alert.