The Ownership and Reuse of Visual Media

Catherine C. Marshall and Frank M. Shipman

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a study of the ownership and reuse of visual media. A survey was administered to 250 social media-savvy respondents to investigate their attitudes about saving, sharing, publishing, and removing online photos; the survey also explored participants’ current photo-sharing and reuse practices, and their general expectations of photo reuse. Our probe of respondent attitudes revealed that respondents felt: (1) people should be able to save visual media, regardless of its source; (2) people have slightly less right to reuse photos than they do to save them; (3) a photo’s subject has a slightly greater right than the photographer to reuse the photo in non-commercial situations; (4) removal is controversial, but trends more positive when it involves only metadata (e.g. tags); and (5) access to institutional archives of personal photos is better deferred for 50 years. Participants explained their own reuse of online photos in pragmatic terms that included the nature of the content, the aim and circumstances of reuse, their sense of the photo’s original use, and their understanding of existing laws and restrictions. In the abstract, the same general question revealed a ‘reuse paradox’; while respondents trust themselves to make this judgment, they do not trust the reciprocal judgment of unknown others.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of JCDL 2011
PublisherACM
> Publications > The Ownership and Reuse of Visual Media