It has been a weird and wild couple of days here at the CrossFit Burn HQ, and it all stems from a very misunderstood and laughed-off section of the Laws of this Great Nation, known in some circles as ‘Copyright’.
I wanted to put together a little bit of friendly education about digital copyright and the use of images, videos, and other media on the internet. Let me serve as a warning to you, and hopefully I do my little part to educate other gyms, athletes, and business owners, and protect the work of media artists around the word. This is a lesson that I don’t want anyone else to learn first-hand.
Simple Background: A few months ago we posted an image on one of our WOD posts on the website… it was a funny mashed-up picture of an old man on a beach, flexing, with 2 tiny dumbbells in his hands, a scraggly beard, fake six-pack, and a cigarette in his mouth. It was the kind of picture you would expect a 2nd-grader to make with MS Paint, and it made me LULZ.
Little did I know, that the base image of a man on a beach was a Rights Managed image owned by Getty Images and taken by a photographer named Patrik Giardino. (For the record, Patrik takes really nice photos!) Now, this is something that I *should* have known, and I take full responsibility for. When I’m not coaching the best athletes in the world, I deal with technology and social media on a daily basis. It would be logical that I understand these things, but that wasn’t entirely the case.
So, we received a very strongly worded letter from Getty early this week along with a bill equal to more-than-a-few car payments. Legally they are 100% in the right, and I am 100% in the wrong. Therefore, I will be paying that bill. Ethically and morally, I see the argument. The owner of the photo owns the right to their work. Just because Google or Facebook allow you to search or share does not give you the right to use an image – on website, a flyer, your facebook page, etc.
The Bottom Line: If you didn’t take the photo yourself – you MUST get permission from the owner/creator to use any media – ever!
Here is a link to the best, and most simple, explanation I found on the subject – for your reading pleasure!
(Yes, I took the photo in this post. It is Copyright to ME! Please read the link to understand why you should never use it… but I don’t really care if you do.)