"It is illegal to reproduce photographs taken by a professional photographer or other copyrighted pictures without permission of the copyright owner.Now, pretend that we are back in elementary school. Instead of a DOL (daily oral language) problem (in which you try to find various grammar mistakes in an example sentence), try to find the mistakes in the above paragraphs on the issue of copyright.
By reproducing this photograph, I acknowledge that the picture I am reproducing is not copyrighted, or I have obtained permission from the copyright holder."
Are you done yet?...Ok. Here is what I found.
- The first paragraph seems to group all pictures which are illegal to reproduce into two categories. If a picture was taken by a professional photographer, it belongs in group A. Then, any remaining pictures that are copyrighted belong in group B. Why is it that it is illegal for me to reproduce any picture from group A? What if a professional photographer took a picture (which is then automatically copyrighted) and then gave me permission to reproduce it? That should be legal, but the wording at this kiosk suggests otherwise.
- Now, suppose that a picture X was taken by a professional photographer, was copyrighted, and I do not have permission from the copyright owner to reproduce it. Does that mean it is always illegal for me to reproduce X...as alluded to by this kiosk? Absolutely not! I can legally use or reproduce (or several other verbs) any copyrighted work as long as my actions are covered by fair use.
- Ok, so now suppose that...a picture X was taken by a professional photographer, was copyrighted, I do not have permission from the copyright owner to reproduce it, and my reproduction of X is not covered by fair use. Surely now it is always illegal for me to reproduce X, right? However, the answer is still no because not all copyrights forbid me from reproducing the copyrighted work. If the photograph that I wanted to reproduce was copyrighted under a Creative Commons License, then anyone can (among other things) "copy, distribute and transmit the work."
The statement that you have to accept in order to use the kiosk suggests that its list of conditions is exhaustive. However, it is also legal to reproduce photographs when the reproduction is covered by fair use or when allowed by copyright. People are being misinformed everyday with benign messages like this that leave out such crucial features of our copyright law.
In conclusion, I think it should be illegal to lie about what is illegal!
ars technica just wrote an article about this same issue in relation to the Super Bowl.