We all share, repost, retweet photos on social media personal accounts. 

Can your business share, repost, retweet photos found on social media? 

Does it make a difference if a brand shares, reposts, retweets a photo on social media? 

Is it fair use for brands to use a photographer’s photo this way?

In this case, a brand shared, retweeted and reposted a photo without legal permission from the photographer because the model was wearing head to toe the brand’s clothes.  The photographer sued for copyright infringement and won.  WHY?

According to the Judge in this case, it did not matter that the model was decked out in the brand’s clothes.  What mattered was that the photographer actually protected his photo by filing for copyright protection.  Also, there seems to be a lack of supporting law and/or caselaw to support the brand’s argument that it was fair use, de minims use.  Also, just because the brand gave proper credit to the photographer, it does not cure copyright infringement.

Best business practice is to have all marketing be legally compliant with all applicable laws in the USA by having campaigns reviewed before launching them publicly. In particular, when reviewing campaigns, I address the need to do clearances to avoid infringement lawsuits.

Any questions about the photos your brand is using, feel free to reach out to me. 

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