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Is taking a picture of a product on a web page copyright infringement?

photo of products for sale and copyright

1:12 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This is an interesting subject matter. The issue does not seem to be settled in the courts either.

Taking one's own photo of a product and using it to re-sell the product would not be considered copyright infringement by most.

The other side of that coin is that the "design and artwork" on the product label could be considered protected copyright. If that is the case, then taking a photo (even though it is yours) may be deemed infringement.

I have read where certain Federal courts have ruled that "thumbnail" photos are not infringement since the details of the label and such are not really readable.

It seems that some product makers are trying to control distribution and the use of Trademarks by claiming copyright infringement for artistiic design, when imo, they are trying to get around the "first sale doctrine" or "exhaustion principle" which allows the re-selling of product once in has entered the market.

see previous thread also.
1:31 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This may be of no help, but I manage an e-commerce site for a customer. She sells products from four different manufacturers and uses images provided by them or, when necessary, takes a new picture. Either way, all the vendors require she have a copyright notice on her site basically saying the images, as well as logos and trademarks, belong to them and are used with their permission. But in a re-seller application this only makes sense to promote the product.

In the end, a lot of it comes down to intent. Depending on the nature of the intent, as with criminal prosecution, it would directly affect the response to your actions.

11:05 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Im currently in law school in Sweden and I'll answer the question from a Swedish/EU-perspective.

Taking a photo of a product and spreading that photo is not considered copyright infringement unless the product itself is protected by copyright. Products are rarely protected by copyright as they are protected by other kinds of intellectual property rights instead (ie. design rights).
11:25 pm on May 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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EU "law" ( pan European law doesn't really exist as such on this subject ) is vary variable from country to country ..Swedish law is not the a same as French or Slovak or Portuguese..etc etc ..

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