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’.