What Kind of Photos Can I Add to a Profile?

+11 votes
I have noticed that a lot of profiles have photographs attached. This is especially true of "famous people." An example is the picture of John Raitt. It is found on the Internet, where it shows the attribution: "Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times."  The photo on WikiTree shows no attribution.

It is my understanding that photographs, just like written works, are subject to copyright laws, and the person who took the photgraph owns the copyright unless it has been sold or is the property of the photographer's employer.  In the United States, the copyright lasts for 70 years AFTER the photographers death.

Just because a photo is found on the Internet doesn't mean that it is not covered by a copyright, even if it shows no attribution.  It is very possible (probable) that the site the photo came from used it illegally.

For this reason, I try to find a photo covered by a Creative Commons license.  For a tombstone that I find on Find A Grave, I ask the taker of the photo if I can use it, and, if given permission, I include an attribution with the photo.  If permission is not given, I just include a link to the Find A Grave profile, but I don't put the tombstone photo on WikiTree.

Should we be using copyrighted materials in our profiles?  I'm sure I know the answer, but I feel that this needs to be discussed in the open.
WikiTree profile: John Raitt
asked in Policy and Style by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (318k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Thank you .  Absolutely correct.  It is important to respect the work and property of others.  When I am not sure, I use a link, with an embedded link in the profile anyone can view the photo with just a click and there is no need to worry about the copyright.
answered by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (248k points)
selected by Jillaine Smith
0 votes
I know my brother in law the professional photographer would be highly upset, if you used his photos without his permission.
answered by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)
+3 votes
Vic, I have long been pushing for more control over how photos are contributed.  I share your concern and believe that 99% of uploaded photos on wikitree are copyright violations and / or totally lacking in source info. Tech/staff appear (based on their lack of response) to have no concern about this issue.
answered by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (662k points)

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