Intellectual Property of my Property…. Who Really Owns It?

My biggest question of the day – who has rights to photos of you? Or your property? To explain I will have to give some background…

About 4 years ago, I got into a small car accident. Nothing horrible happened to myself (or my car really; just a small dent in the fender), but a friend of mine took a photo of my car because it was somewhat humorous. What happened is that somehow my car got stuck, literally, on a rock. Dumb, yes. I don’t really care about the actual event as much as that people won’t let it go. It happened about 4 years ago, perhaps more. But there is now a photo floating around that simply will not go away.

While it isn’t the actual event I am annoyed with. And although my friends are frustrating me because they won’t let the situation simply go away (telling coworkers and other friends about it, even to this day), and now the photo was posted on Facebook.

So herein lies my question – Who has the rights to the photo? Does my friend who posted it? He wasn’t the original photographer. He wasn’t even present the day the event took place. Is it my property as it’s my car? I didn’t object to the photo at the time, which has since been tampered with in Photoshop. Is it the original photographer’s photo? It’s not on his Facebook page (he knows how annoyed I get about it). Perhaps as it is posted on Facebook, it is just simply become the property of Facebook itself, whether or not I consented to it.

I didn’t seem to have any solutions to my situation. I asked him to remove it several times. He apparently can’t from his phone (this may be the one occasion I curse Apple, or perhaps at least the Facebook App). I could have reported it as spam I suppose.

Instead I deactivated my Facebook account. Probably harsh, but perhaps healthy. I have developed a dependency on checking my notifications that can be more healthily devoted to something else. Perhaps this blog, or as I like to say, “The Twitter.”

Only time will tell how long my hiatus will last. In the meantime, I will continue to ponder about the actual ownership of photo property rights, especially since the photo taken is of my property. Sigh. If only I was a better driver.


~ by julieesmer on December 23, 2010.

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