Broadcaster’s use of Flickr Photos

When can a TV broadcaster - or any news organization - use Flickr photos?  Flickr is a popular photo-sharing site. People use it to share photos of every description.  The site hosts millions of images.  So when can a news organization download and publish a “newsworthy” picture from Flickr or Facebook, or from any photo-sharing site?  After all, the Copyright Act (Section 29.2) does permit “fair dealing” for the purpose of “news reporting”.

In this case, photographer Joel Charlebois, clashed with Toronto broadcaster CablePulse 24 when the broadcaster copied Charlebois’s pictures from Flickr without his permission. The photographer complained to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, and in its decision the CBSC confirmed that the broadcaster was off-side by failing to provide proper attribution – in other words, indicating the name and source of the photos.  The issue was not one of permission but of attribution.  Permission is not necessarily required, but attribution, at a minimum, is.

The pictures capture a failed burglar who tried to escape from a botched break-and-enter, fell two storeys, broke his leg and was arrested. To see the photos: Torontoist Article

Calgary – 10:30 MST

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