Jun 16, 2005

Copyright-Worried Photo Labs Spurn Jobs

Source: Yahoo News
Written By Brian Bergstein, AP Technology Writer

Charlie Morgan says that if it weren’t for digital photography, he wouldn’t have a bustling business that specializes in publicity shots for musicians. That’s because Morgan — perhaps being a bit modest — says he’s not a very good photographer. He relies on Photoshop editing software to make his work look sharp.

But digital sometimes presents a puzzling problem.

When Morgan’s mother and a client recently took CDs with some of his shots to a printing lab, the photo technicians spurned them. They said that since the shots seemed to have been taken by a professional, printing the pictures might be a copyright violation.

The situation is not unusual, and it’s getting trickier in our digital age.

Copyright law requires photo labs to be on the lookout for portraits and other professional work that should not be duplicated without a photographer’s permission. In the old days, questions about an image’s provenance could be settled with a negative. If you had it, you probably had the right to reproduce it.

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