You Want Photos?

photo of model and their name on card

In many instances, good photographs enhance publications. Good photos, like good publications, require planning.

When photographs are used, they should be of professional quality. Producing good photographs for use in publications takes time as they need to be scheduled, set up, shot and edited. 

CDS, during your initial meeting, will assist you in planning photographs for your publications and assist you with scheduling a photographer. Please let us know if you want to use photographs in your publication at that time.

Photo Releases

Ordinarily you won’t have to worry about getting a signed model release. “Implied consent” is given if the person posing for the picture is told how it will be used. This is particularly true for pictures that will be published in internal publications. However, if you don’t know specifically how the photo will be used, it is best to get a written release. If this is the case, you will need a model release for anyone who is recognizable.  

Failure to get proper release forms can be costly. Publishing a photograph without consent may constitute an invasion of privacy. Such actions may reflect poorly on VSU, the entire University System of Georgia and its governing body, the Board of Regents. Model release forms can be obtained from CDS.


Photo/video model release form

What Other Images Can I Legally Use?

For years educational institutions have used, copied or reproduced intellectual materials freely. After all, such actions are covered under “fair use.” Right? Perhaps fair use can only be determined by examining the context in which the materials appear. The laws that pertain to copyrights, trademarks, photographic licensing and other intellectual property are vague and deciphering meaning is sometimes a burdensome task. The following information will hopefully clarify the use of intellectual property in external and internal campus publications.

Using copyrighted materials — Copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Works of authorship include the following categories: literary works; musical works, including any accompanying words; dramatic works, including any accompanying music pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works. In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle of discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated or embodied in such work.

Limitations on exclusive rights (fair use)—The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproductions in copies or phono records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use of a work in any particular case is fair use, these factors should be considered: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market value of the copyrighted work. However, when materials are prepared for public distribution (even if they are free of charge), a copyright release is required. 

Public domain—The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of the above factors. You may be able to use materials that are in the public domain, such as any work of the United States Government. You may also be able to use works published prior to the change in the law that eliminated the notice requirement (March 1, 1988), or works for which the copyright has expired (1918 or earlier).

Trademarks >>