by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 8th 2010 8:02am
As we've discussed in the past, the subject of a photograph does not have any copyright claim on the image. The copyright is, instead, granted to whoever took the photo (amusingly, yes, this means that if you hand your little point-and-shoot to a random stranger to take you photo while on vacation, technically, that stranger owns the copyright on the photo). This is something that people often confuse -- as they assume that the subject has a copyright on the images. Copycense points us to the news that actress/singer Vanessa Hudgens isn't just suing some blogsite for posting nude photos of her, but is claiming copyright on the photos, saying she took them herself. I haven't seen the photos, so I'll rely on the claims at that link that the photos show her posing, with no indication that she is the one taking the photos. It is possible that the photos used a timer, I guess, but other reports have said that the photos were cameraphone photos, which usually don't have timers. As such, it certainly sounds like it might be a case of copyrfraud to falsely claim copyright on images where you do not, in fact, hold the copyright. That said, it's hard to be sympathetic to a site posting nude photos of someone who does not want them posted -- though, you have to admit that it's odd that these photos were registered with the US copyright office.
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