Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mentor Monday: Do I Have to Provide Pictures with my Manuscripts? Part 2

Yesterday, Sheila Brown gave us the first of several hints for finding illustrations for our manuscripts or works-in-progress. Here is the rest of her interview:

2. How do you track the provenance of a photo or illustration that appears on say, Google images?

Unfortunately, there is a common belief that images found on the internet are in the public domain. Images found on the internet should not be assumed to be in the public domain. Many organizations obtain electronic rights to be able to post images on their website for a specific amount of time and for a specific use. .

Many times a website that is using a photograph will provide a credit line to the source of the photograph. A photo researcher must contact the credited source to verify that they are the rights-holder and to set up a new contract to use the image for their own project.

3. Should you always get permission to use photos/illustrations to accompany a manuscript? If yes, what problems could arise if you don't get permission?

Yes, a photo researcher should always get permission to use a photo or illustration to accompany a manuscript with the exception of public domain images. It should be noted that researchers should try to provide a credit line for the image source. This is not only a courtesy to the institution providing the free image, but it is sometimes a requirement for using a public domain image.

For rights-managed images, a photo researcher needs to obtain editorial rights for a photograph that will be used to illustrate a manuscript. Editorial rights allow for the use of images for education or newsworthiness. An image with editorial rights cannot be used for advertising or selling a product. If permission is not obtained for editorial use, the contracting company may be sued for infringing on a photographer’s right to earn an income from a photo or from the licensing photo company that is manages the photo.

4. Private sources are sometimes willing to lend old photos to illustrate a book or magazine article. What are some of the problems writers should keep in mind regarding the use of these photos?

It is a great benefit to have access to private family photos or photos from private sources because that gives readers the chance to view images they may not have seen before. If a private source lends a photograph for use in a book or magazine, a photo researcher must still verify that the family owns the rights to the photo and therefore the right to distribute the photo. Often, families have physical copies of photos that were taken by another professional photographer for a third-party or that belong to another institution. The family may believe they have the right to distribute the photo, but a photo researcher must still verify the legal owner of the rights to the original photograph.
For private sources that want to charge for use of their photos, pricing for the use of a photo may become an issue. Sometimes private sources are not aware of the value of their photos and they may charge a price that is out of range of your normal photo budget. This over-valued price can be fueled by emotional attachments with photos of their loved one or favorite subject. A photo researcher will have to tread carefully and negotiate with family members about the price of using an image.

Thanks to Sheila for sharing her expertise. If you have more questions, please feel free to send them along and we'll try to get them answered.


Diane Mayr said...

You didn't credit the source of either one of the photos that accompany this piece! For those who are interested, the Marian Anderson photo is from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-42524]. Can we assume the Wright Brothers photo is also from the Library of Congress?

I'm Jet . . . said...

Excellent info!

Mur said...

Both are from the LOC. They were meant to be examples of pictures you'd have to trace.