[Air-L] blog photo copyrights

Annette Markham amarkham at gmail.com
Sat Nov 5 12:39:30 PDT 2011

Hi Johanna,

Your question actually raises some other issues about ownership of
content.  Aside from intellectual property,  there's the consideration of
whether or not the bloggers consider their blog to be private or public
space.  While some authors of public blogs consider these to be freely
available for reproduction and analysis by researchers, other authors
consider their blogs to be private spaces.  Even when users  acknowledge
their information as public, they might have concerns about how their
information is used (see boyd and Marwick's recent discussion of this in a
study of youth facebook users ("social privacy in networked
--a working paper on danah boyd's website), or from a more conceptual
perspective, Nissenbaum's 2010 book on Privacy and Contextual Integrity.)

You may have already gone through this stage, but one ethical consideration
would be to ask yourself if there's a chance the content or photos would be
considered 'sensitive' materials.  What potential harm might occur if
personally identifiable information is disclosed in your book?  Is any
possible harm (present or future) balanced in some way by the social and
scholarly benefits of your reproducing and publishing the content of these

Taking a conservative stance and assuming that at some point, the bloggers
might feel compromised or harmed, one might ask: is there a way to make the
point without using personal (copyrighted, protected, private) pictures?
Could other images (your own or stock) be used instead, as a representative
sample of what is actually out there?  This avenue might also help solve
some logistic issues of getting permission if the bloggers don't respond to
your requests.

As far as getting permissions, I'd add that it's always a good idea to keep
a careful record of the permission process (for any future reference and
potential problems that might arise). I don't know about German laws, but
if there are no formal procedures, you might have a look at some of the
excellent models and recommendations from various universities. I tend to
use Columbia University's copyright advisory office when I need advice on
developing systematic procedures for seeking permissions:

Good luck,

Annette N. Markham, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar, Department of Communication
University of Arizona, Tucson

amarkham at gmail.com

Co-Editor, International Journal of Internet Research Ethics
http://www.ijire.net <http://www.ijire.net>

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 3:26 AM, joana ro <joanaro at googlemail.com> wrote:

> Dear Anders, dear Heather,
> thanks for the advice! Yes, the book is being published in Germany. The
> publisher doesn't seem to be very internet-savy unfortunately.
> Did you guys simply ask for permission or ask, whether they wanted money
> right from the start?
> Thanks,
> Johanna
> On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 11:18 AM, Anders Fagerjord <
> anders.fagerjord at media.uio.no> wrote:
> >
> > Den 3. nov.. 2011 kl. 10.07 skrev joana ro:
> >
> >
> >  I am in the process of publishing a book about blogs and would like to
> use
> >> not just screenshots, but also individual photos taken from the blog.
> >> These
> >> photos were more often than not, taken by the bloggers themselves and
> >> might
> >> be considered theirs in copyright terms (although there is nothing to
> >> indicate this in the text itself).
> >>
> >> What are your experiences with publishing this sort of material? How did
> >> you proceed? Did you ask the bloggers for permission? Any tipps?
> >>
> >
> > The need for permission will depend on intellectual property law and
> > photography law in the country you publish. Is this a German publication?
> >
> > Under Norwegian law, you would in most cases need to ask the photographer
> > and any identifiable persons in each image for their permission, although
> > there are exceptions.
> >
> > I have contacted a few Web site owners earlier, and both response times
> > and whether they want (large) pay varies a lot.
> >
> > good luck!
> >
> > --anders
> >
> > --
> > Anders Fagerjord, dr.art.
> > Associate professor, Head of Studies
> >
> > Department of Media and Communication,
> > University of Oslo
> > P.O. Box 1093 Blindern
> > N-0317 OSLO
> > Norway
> >
> > http://www.media.uio.no   http://fagerjord.no
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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