Giving permission for using photos commercially.

+6 votes
I've posted thousands of pictures here, with a note that they can be used for non-commercial purposes only. Permission required otherwise. Twice, I've heard from people wanting to use the pictures. I hadn't really considered what to ask, but didn't want to get involved with anything complicated about declaring income, tax liability, charging sales tax &c.

The first time, I reflexively had a good instinct. I asked for a donation to a charity of my choice. I asked for $10 and they gave $20. The second time, just this past week, it was use of a family group photo from the 1800s for a Historical Marker. That time, I asked for $20 and they gave $25. I think I'll stick to $20 going forward.

I hadn't thought about it ahead of time. It felt like the right thing to do, and I think the people - who I thanked profusely for respecting intellectual property/copyright - were pleased too. I figured it might be worth mentioning here, as a suggestion to anyone else faced with a similar situation.
asked in The Tree House by Elizabeth Winter G2G6 Mach 6 (65.7k points)
edited by Elizabeth Winter

So long as you are the person who actually took the photo and you have the appropriate model and/or property releases, you can make the photos available for commercial use.  

If you didn’t make the image, you don’t hold the copyright.

If there is a person or private property in the image, you need a signed release (in the event of deceased persons, permission from heirs).

Thank you for your concern. Perhaps you missed the part about the photograph being from the 1800s. Copyright is not eternal.
You are correct, copyright is not eternal. But it can be in effect for much longer than most realize. My response is not just for the example you provided, but in general to anyone who might be interested. And I would advise looking at the linked article in my reply.

Historical markers do not fall under commercial use. But it is possible that you or others may be contacted one day for commercial use - or worse, not contacted at all and then later discover a photo has been used without consent or license for commercial purposes.

1 Answer

+2 votes
answered by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (171k points)
I agree - that's an excellent idea, Elizabeth

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