The case of the Ryan Gosling doppelganger and the missing copyright law

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Ryan Gosling Doppleganger

Photo provided by Verge Studios

So I love “The Notebook” as much as the next girl.  Ryan Gosling has clearly got a great career ahead of him with dashing good looks and steely blue eyes as does his stunningly good-looking Ryan Gosling doppelganger Grant Hazell who lives in Perth.

So what has this man got anything to do with copyright law.  Quite a lot actually and it’s a growing issue for professional photographers.  I’m probably going to make a few enemies of the mainstream media newspapers & magazine from this blog however seeing as I don’t really read anything mainstream there’s no huge loss to me – God forbid should I make them accountable to the copyright laws that are there to also protect their own creative rights.

The screen grab below comes from The Gloss – note how it states that the photos “source” is Facebook.  Let me start by explaining one simple thing that seems to have gotten lost in among all the Facebook dis-information hoopla.

Contrary to popular belief Facebook DOES NOT own the copyright to anything that you put on their platform.


from Facebook

An alarmingly large amount of people believe that once you upload something to Facebook they own your copyright.  It is this lack of understanding of the terms and conditions that leads to leading newspapers and magazines stating that the copyright ownership belongs to Facebook – companies mind you that have teams of lawyers.   Facebook did not take the photo they are merely borrowing the photo to allow you to share this with your friends, fans and family – so why do they get the credit?

For the most part photographers like Megan & Kate from Verge Studios lose out because they’re not even getting the credit for their work and really ultimately that’s all that they want – when it comes to the big conglomeration of powerful and money backed media outlets it leaves boutique photography studios with very little ability to fight and defend their creative licence or even be fearful of sharing their work should it be downloaded and used without permission.

The epidemic issues this highlights is that copyright law simply hasn’t updated with the technology changes – just because we can right-click save an image doesn’t mean we should.  So who is responsible? The Photographers like Verge Studios who have signed release forms from their talent/clients? The Client/Talent themselves? Facebook? The news outlets? The responsibility I believe (and some of you may disagree with me) should really fall on the media outlets who:

a. profiteer from the work of others without any credit given.
b. lack the ability of due diligence to find out the source of photographers. (seriously one click to see the comments attached to the photo reveals their source).
c. are presently providing a poor example to other media/news outlets assisting with misinforming the public on what is legal and what isn’t with copyright law.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic folks!

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