A case involving photos from Flickr used by CityTV raises questions about the issue of copyright and fair dealing.
The Torontoist reports that Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) found that CityTV had violated the Association of Electronic Journalists of Canada’s RTNDA Code of (Journalistic) Ethics by using the photos of an alleged burglar that Joel Charlebois had posted to his Flickr account.
The full judgement explains that the issue not that CityTV had used the photos, saying that the CBSC “understands that, for the purpose of news reporting (and other matters not of relevance here), an exception exists to the restrictive demands of copyright protection.”
CityTV lost because it did not credit the photos to Charlebois. The CBSC concluded that:
As a part of its coverage of the story, CP24 included three still photographs of the injured burglar without providing any credit to the photographer, whose identity was known to the broadcaster. By failing to provide that accreditation, the broadcaster has failed to honour the intellectual property rights of the photographer, contrary to the provisions of Article 11 of the RTNDA Code of (Journalistic) Ethics.
The implication of this ruling is that journalists may use material from Flickr or similar sites for news, without asking permission, provided they credit the source of the content.