Can I Use that Photo? No. Yes. Maybe?

Businesses often have a need to make use of photographs as decorative art, for illustration, in connection with programs, events, or seminars, or for other purposes. For photographs not created by the respective business, the question arises whether photos from other sources can be used without first obtaining a license. The general answer is no. United States copyright law provides certain rights to the owner of the work of authorship that include the exclusive rights to reproduce, publicly distribute, and publicly display directly or through others. Before using a copyrightable work, it’s therefore important to evaluate its respective copyright rights. This should happen regardless of where the work was found or how the work will be used. For photographs, it’s even more important to consider copyright interests. Photographs are generally going to be considered a creative work of authorship subject to copyright protection. The U.S. Copyright Office recently amended…

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