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Posted by Joelle Marlow, Oct 13 2015 4:22PM

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Urgent - contesting web site photo issue related to business regulation

I have been asked to remove a publicity photograph which I believe(d) is/was my own copyright.

It portrays a small area of a hall in the interior of a public building I borrowed with permission at the time for the demo photo shoot. I have removed the name /location already.
The owners want to have no public business association to therapies or use of it for my or other peoples therapeutic business, even in the past. They say they are within their rights to have my photos removed and the room can be recognised. I just wish to verify this as I would have to pay to have them done again.

Can anyone suggest anywhere I could get advice?

Rosemary Pharo
Oct 13 2015 5:02PM
From Google...

Is it legal to take pictures… of buildings without getting a building release form?
Is it legal to take pictures… of buildings without getting a building release form?

Image by Ben Birchall

It’s not strictly correct to say that ‘buildings can’t be copyrighted’. Buildings may well be protected by copyright, although any copyright would have expired in many old buildings.

However, section 62 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 expressly permits certain copying in relation to buildings, and also to sculptures and works of artistic craftsmanship that are permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public.

Section 62 provides that copyright in such a work will not be infringed by making a graphic representation of it (that is, a drawing or a painting) or by making a photograph or film of it, or by making a broadcast of a visual representation of it.

Nor would copyright be infringed by what the Act refers to as the ‘issue to the public of copies, or the communication to the public, of anything whose making was, by virtue of this section, not an infringement of the copyright’.

This means that photographs of buildings can be sold or otherwise published without infringing copyright.

But there are other reasons than copyright for obtaining a property release, depending on how the image will be used. If the photograph is to be used in advertising, the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP Code) states that marketers should obtain written permission before portraying members of the public or their identifiable possessions.

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints when photographs of private residences have been used in advertising without the owner’s permission. In addition, certain uses of a photograph of a building may amount to passing off, or may infringe a trademark, though there have not as yet been any cases of this in the UK.

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