Monday, April 14, 2014

Can I Reproduce Article About Myself?

Dear Rich: I am a realtor and am creating a web page of myself with the listings that I have. I wanted to know if I can use articles that have been published about myself as well as photos of me taken by several newspapers, magazines etc. In other words, if I have been featured in an article about myself or mentioned in any article, do I have the rights to post it/use it on my website? You might think that being the subject of an article or photo would give you rights to use the results, but it doesn't. There are a few exceptions -- you can reproduce the specific statements you made in the article, and you can prevent use of your image for purposes of commercial endorsement -- but the copyright for the articles and photos vests in the writer, photographer or their employer, and they control the right to publish and reproduce.
That said dept. As a practical matter, it's very possible that the copyright owners will look the other way if you reproduce their works as part of a website, resume, or portfolio. They may consider it a tradeoff for your cooperation, or they may believe you have a reasonable fair use claim, or they may simply feel that the hassle of pursuing you is greater than the potential rewards of a lawsuit. If you plan on attempting this route, it's best to keep all the material within context -- for example, if a photo accompanied an article, post them together, not on separate web pages -- and avoid any implication that the publication is endorsing you or associated with your website or business. If you are concerned about getting hassled, contact the publisher and seek permission --  a simple email confirmation will protect you.

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