Copyright Infringement – Hair & Beauty Industry

Model: Anik, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian Robson. London - Willie Christie's Studio

Photographer: Chris Roberts. Model Anik. Hair & Styling: Ian (me). Make-up: Arianne. 21:06:1981

Over the past forty years I have worked with many artists: actors, dancers, photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, designers & writers; some of whom are very famous, most, if not all, are highly principled; the one thing that they all worry about is copyright infringement – especially the lesser known independent artists, because when people copy and use their work it normally cuts into their meagre earnings and they feel cheated.

These days it’s the music and film industries that are obsessed with the problem, because copyright infringement costs them millions of dollars; the fashion industry is not that far behind – although, it is on an entirely different scale.

This copyright issue started when I was looking through the list of websites created by Salon Guru and I thought, “Shit, so many of these hair salons are posting product and celebrity photographs that they obviously don’t own the copyright to, and without ascribing ANY credit.” Surely some of these salons are guilty of copyright infringement?

So I posted a comment on #HairHour

And I got some interesting responses – which I’m not going to embed here, but I will quote some!

I personally feel the problem is caused by a general ignorance of copyright law & the internet, a cavalier disregard for other people’s property & feelings and not knowing the difference between personal and commercial – for instance: a hairstylist may use their personal Facebook account for promoting their business, by posting images of clients, products and other people’s work!

Ruth Carter steers clear of the ‘commercialising a person’s image’ problem in her excellent blog post, When Can Someone Post Photos Of You Online? But Ruth makes a good point, “When it comes to the question, ‘Can I post pictures of other people online,’ the answer is always, ‘It depends!'”

And I agree with the thrust of Sara’s comment (August 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm), but not her use of language – Hairdressers do have a tendency to photograph their clients for public display on their websites and social media. For God’s sake, always ask the client first and without putting them under pressure to say yes.

A better idea is to create a Selfie Wall – See: Why Your Salon Needs a Selfie Wall by By Rachael Gibson for HJi. And then the client can share their new hairdo photos themselves – You’ve entered: salon marketing nirvana!

@styledbyollie made a good point on #HairHour: “Inspiration for your clients is fine, but posting images on Instagram just to gain Likes, makes it hard to showcase real work.” An opinion that illustrates the need for high quality and relevant content and a restraint on posting spammy shyte.

Of course, what a lot of hairdressers, beauticians, manicurists, etc. are doing is: using images of other peoples work to sell themselves; and that is against the law unless they have permission of use from the owner – permission almost always comes with terms of use.

@creativeheadmag warned on #HairHour: “Copyright law is pretty ruthless, ESPECIALLY on social media where the rules are still relatively new and hazy.” Agreed, but actually, I’d say, the rules are relatively clear, it’s just that people don’t care because everyone is doing it – And the main offender (sort of) are the social media platforms themselves, who encourage sharing, retweeting, reblogging, etc., the terms of which are included in their copyright agreements that nobody bothers to read!

If you are unsure about copyright ownership, instead of steeling the image or content, you can always ask for permission first – and they usually say Yes! Read Their Copyright.

What to do if someone infringes your copyright

Copyright Service UK – a great fact sheet.

Personally, what I do is ask the ‘offender’ to either remove the infringing work or attribute it correctly (I send them all the details of how to attribute it correctly) and I give them 14 days to do so. If they don’t, I keep cranking up the pressure. If they’re using my work for obvious commercial gain, then I would feel perfectly entitled to ask for some form of royalty.

My Copyright

© SlashHair’s work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means: quote me and steal my images, but give me credit by Linking Back. Do You understand? My images and written content are yours to use as long as you attribute / credit the work to Ian Robson at SlashHair.net and link back to the original work. I do have a universal copyright notice which states, Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved – unless otherwise stated.

Resources

  • altlab Hotlink Checker – for discovering and how to stop people directly linking to your images on your website (called hotlinking or inline linking). When someone hotlinks an image, they just copy the image’s URL and include it on their website – they steal your image and your bandwidth. Some website statistics applications also provide information on who is linking to your images.
  • Copyright Service UK – What to do if someone infringes your copyright, a really good fact sheet.
  • The Ultimate Instagram Guide for Hair Salons – an interesting article by Lisa Furgison.
  • Copyscape Plagiarism Checker – a brilliant tool for finding the plagiarists who copy text. I have been copied loads of times, and even though they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it always pisses me off because without attribution it’s theft of my effort!
  • Creative Commons – helps you to share your knowledge and creativity with the world by creating a copyright license. I use: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which is a bit of a mouthful!
  • Google Image Search – my favourite first go to tool for discovering image theft.
    Here’s How: obviously start by going to Google Images! Then click the camera icon (right-hand side of search bar) – search by image box pops up. You can either, paste image URL, upload an image or drag and drop an image. Click Search! The Google image search results are very extensive, but not 100%.
  • ImageRights International, Inc. – a copyright enforcement service for visual artists fighting image piracy and recovering losses on their customers’ behalf. No Win – No Fee recovery policy.
  • Regram – a free iPhone app for Instagram. “@regramapp is good for crediting the original, regram shows true appreciation.” Suggested by @salonevolution on #HairHour.
  • When Can Someone Post Photos Of You Online? – by Ruth Carter of Cater Law. Doesn’t cover commercial usage, but never the less an interesting and worthwhile article.
  • TinEye – is a reverse image search tool. In my humble opinion, not as good as Google, but worth an initial try. Suggested by @Alyssa_V12Hair on #HairHour.
  • Watermark Photos – you can add a custom watermark and edit your photographs online. @KandKompanyElli said, “Avoid photo theft by adding your salon’s name & logo on photos.” on #hairHour. Personally, I’m not keen on watermarks, but I can see they have their place.
  • Wikimedia Commons – How to detect copyright violations – an interesting wiki on copyright infringement that includes a number of helpful tips.
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4 thoughts on “Copyright Infringement – Hair & Beauty Industry

  1. I find particularly interesting and relevant your article.
    the question of the publication depends on two elements: commercial or non-commercial.

    The first requires the unambiguous support of Entitlement for commercial purposes, be it a person or property. The question does not arise, without authorization of the model or the owner no possible trade publication.

    The second requires a publication authorization. While the case law may grant some exceptions it is important to hold a model release signed by the person.

    Finally, the act of posting a publication on social networks it allows others to use it for personal purposes?
     – My answer is no. However, in the case of a social network, implicitly the person who put its works accepts that it is shared. This does not mean that it can be used without the consent of the copyright holder.

    • Yeah, very many thanks for that comment jean-marc, I totally agree with your thoughts.

      When you say, “My answer is no.” I assume that you mean, if you post an image on social media, like: facebook, twitter, instagram or flickr, you are Not putting it up for general publication by others – even though they have the freedom to share it?

      There was some talk ages ago that FB co-owned user’s content and could use it commercially!?

      Cheers for that jean-marc, luvin your photographs: https://twitter.com/jmlpyt
      ian recently posted…Happy Christmas 2015My Profile

  2. Where would a person stand if they had client pictures they’d got with clients permission for record of their work in a salon but then wanted to use the images them self after they’d left that salon. All images were their work and had no logo or reference to the previous salon and they had all the original images on their device. Would they be allowed to use them?

    • NO! In my humble opinion Kadie, it would be extremely unethical:
      Firstly, keeping a record of ones hair work is entirely different to using it as say, promotion. One would need a client’s specific permission for that change of use, even if it was to be used on a ‘private’ Facebook page.

      Secondly, it’s normal for a stylist’s work to be owned by their employer! I could go on Kadie, but it’s wrong on a number of levels.

      Hope that helps you a little. BTW, you can always ask, people usually say yes, maybe even an old employer would!

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