Today I’m busting the legal myth in a small business relating to copyright ownership and metadata embedded into images. This is a new one, I heard about it after doing a talk recently. One of the members of the audience came up to me and said he had been accused of copyright infringement because he had used an image from the internet. but he was safe because he checked the metadata of the image on the internet, and the metadata did not say who owned the copyright.
No, wrong, total myth. There is no requirement for an image online to have any claim to copyright, whether it’s in the metadata, which is the computer code behind the scenes, or on the image itself. When an image is created, copyright automatically exists. So whether that’s somebody taking a photograph, drawing a painting, creating something on a digital platform, when they create the image, copyright automatically exists.
Copyright ceases 70 years after the death of the creator. If I took a photograph today, you couldn’t use it because I would own copyright in that photograph. The only way you could use it, legally, is if I give you permission. Sorry to the chap who came up and spoke to me after that event, there is no requirement that you need to record, that you own copyright in the image.
My name is Cathryn Warburton also known as the Legal Lioness, it’s been fun busting legal myths to protect your business, so that you can lead the lifestyle that you deserve. If you want to see more of these legal myths in business being busted, go to my website ‘legallioness.com’.