Editors Issued With Warning To Always Source ‘Copyright-Free’ Images

The editorial development director of a regional news publisher has issued a memo to editors, warning against the print, or online publication, of copyright-protected photographs alongside its articles.

As a result of journalists failing to check the provenance of sourced images prior to publication, a memo was circulated after publisher Newsquest/Gannett (“Newsquest”) received several copyright claims in recent months.

After seeking professional advice, Granville issued a warning to writers to always identify the names of photographers in captions where necessary.

“If the source is unknown, you must say so,” read Newsquest’s memo.

It added: “Unless you are satisfied that we own the copyright or we are licensed for the particular use you are contemplating, or there is a legal defence available, or there are other special circumstances (which you should discuss with your editor), then don’t use it.”

The Newsquest team urged writers to “never simply find a picture on Google,” and pointed towards “free stock picture” websites, such as Shutterstock, which allow writers to source copyright-free ‘stock photos’.

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Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex.