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Podium Cafe Policy on Photo Usage


Oh hello everyone. It's me, here to talk about an important nagging subject that we want to get very right in 2012: photo usage! My guess is that most people here know some or a lot about what a website such as ours can or cannot post, either on the front page or anywhere else, including comments. But there are always newcomers, and even among our long-standing regulars there are grey areas and areas which we (OK, I) haven't shown enough clarity in the past. We want the Podium Cafe to stay out of jail be a friend to photographers and a leader in good behavior, out of respect to the hardworking and grossly underpaid photogs out there, and to SBN as the hosts/owners of our site. So here goes...

alla flippa...

You may use the following:

Photos you take yourself.

Photos in the Podium Cafe Asset Library, provided you include the appropriate credit to the photographer. Our library isn't as thorough in this way as it should be, and I need to scrub it for improper inclusions. But the vast majority of our pics say "Getty/[name]" or Tifosa or Patrick Verhoest. So when you post, either look there or ask an editor/admin to look there for you.

Flickr photos licensed creative commons (and Flickr gives clear instructions on how to credit that, so that's pretty straightforward.)

Wiki-commons (which like Flickr should be credited as such).

Photos whose photographer has given you explicit permission.

You may always link to a photo on another site. It is reposting that is the problem. It's good karma to link to the page where the photo appears, rather than the .jpg address, because that way the site who bought the image receives the page views/advert exposure. That said, if you think the other site stole the photo, don't link to it. It's not a legal issue for us but why support that?

The Cafe has a license with Getty, so Getty images are clear, as long as their credited. Jen, Douglas and I have logins, and we'll add those photos to posts. If you are planning a post and need a picture, email Jen or me or Douglas and we'll grab you something. We are all but certain to have a second, very cool license that will cover us on the Classics. More on that when it happens. Again, those will be credited and managed by the admins. Just ask!

Team PR photos are slightly grey area, but it's ok with me if they've been twitter posted and whatnot. And if there are embed codes, that's usually yeah, post it! If in doubt, link instead of posting the photos. But be careful, the really nice stuff is usually from a photographer hired by the team, and that photog may retain all rights, to the exclusion of re-use. Best bet is to email the team and ask. If the photo came with a press release, you don't need to ask, but if it's just on their site, defo ask.

Course website info: technically stuff like maps and profiles are copyrighted material, but I am pretty sure the races are fine with reposting. You see the same material everywhere, and it helps publicize their race. Just give credit to the source (something I haven't been good about).

What you may not use

Photos posted on another website without explicit permission. Linking back is not sufficient, unless the photographer has said, hey, yes, you can use this photo if you credit and link. The default is that the photographer owns the work. Or, the website who posted it owns the work, because they have (hopefully!) paid the photographer. A watermark does not suffice as credit and permission - in fact, that's usually a flag that the photo is not legal.

I welcome further discussion on this, especially if there are other methods of getting the right permissions or any questions you have. The policy will be enforced very strictly on posts, where the risk is highest. With comments, we will enforce as necessary but it's impossible to police it all, and deleting a comment then deletes all the replies, which sucks. So please, just use good judgment there. Mostly, we'll just remind you to avoid posting copyrighted images.

And to be clear, I really don't think "policing" is how we view our job. We know that you guys can be counted on to play respectfully without needing someone looking over your shoulder. Mostly the purpose of this post is to set out a clear policy, which we really haven't done before, to convene a discussion about how to find stuff legally, and to let you guys know that we can and will work with you to make sure we have plenty of photos we can use.

Photo by Susie Hartigan for the Podium Cafe