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Wondering411

Emailing photos?

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If I email a picture of myself to somebody, and my picture is not copyrighted, does it give that person permission to do whatever they want with it. Like post it on a website?

I am not asking if it is ethically right...

I am asking if it is legal? Is there a findlaw article on it? Something that is not hearsay, but an actual law written somewhere?

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"If I email a picture of myself to somebody, and my picture is not copyrighted, does it give that person permission to do whatever they want with it. Like post it on a website?"

Your question proceeds from the premise that it's possible for a picture (a photograph, I assume) not to be "copyrighted," which is not possible (it's also a misuse of the word "copyright"). Photographs fall within the subject matter of copyright law, and the moment a photograph is taken, it is protected by copyright law. Typically, the photographer is the "author" and, therefore, owns the copyright. Therefore, the first question is whether you or someone else owns the copyright. Since it is a picture of you, chances are someone else took it unless you used a camera with a timer or simply held the camera up in front of your face. IF you own the copyright, then merely e-mailing it to someone does not confer a license to publicly distribute/display that picture by posting it on a web site, and you could file a suit for copyright infringement to enjoin such use. I won't get into the concept of registering a copyright (which I what I assume you meant when you said "copyrighted") since it appears to be irrelevant to your question.

On the other hand, if you didn't take the picture, then you have little right to control how others use it. Your only control would be if someone used it for a commercial purpose (e.g., to promote the sale of a product or service).

"Is there a findlaw article on it? Something that is not hearsay, but an actual law written somewhere?"

Legally speaking, hearsay is an evidentiary concept that has nothing at all to do with your question. If you want to look at the copyright statutes, they are found in Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Of particular relevance are sections 101, 102, 106, 201, 202, 411, 412, 501, 502, and 504. As to the bit about using the photo for a commercial purpose, the laws on that subject are state-specific and you didn't identify your state. Of course, you could just go on the assumption that I know what I'm talking about. :-)

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