Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A legal resolution to an embarrassing situation

The WTJU copyright issue, day 53 -- resolution.

That's the big news in my little world. I finally got a response from the general manager at WTJU, and so formally sent off my consent to have my image used on the WTJU website.

Good thing I wasn't in a litigious mood! But I always felt it was something best handled between rational adults rather than hired lawyers. So what did I do? I granted the University of Virginia and WTJU the non-exclusive right to use my image in full or in part in any media they chose for the support of WTJU. I also stipulated that should the image be used in full, the phrase "courtesy Ralph Graves" should appear either in the lower right hand corner of the image, or directly under it. I further waived any fees for the use of this image.

If you're not of a legal bent, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. It's simply this. According to current copyright law, when something is created, it is automatically the property of the creator. You don't have to register the work with the Copyright Office. So the image used (until today without my permission) was my property.

By granting a non-exclusive license to UVa and WTJU, I gave them permission to use the image, but I can still use it, and I can grant other people or organizations permission to use it as well. I know they only wanted to use part of the image, so I included that in the permission. But if they decide (for some reason) to do a postcard or a print add with the full image, then I'd like to get credit, primarily to serve notice to others that the image is owned by someone (me).

So there you have it. It always was a simple transaction, and should not have dragged on for two months, but in the end everyone (even me) got what we wanted. WTJU can use my picture, and I can still claim the image as mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment