Tempe, AZ asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Arizona

Q: Someone took a photo of me off my facebook and cropped it to show just me and posted it on a website, is that copyright?

Can I file a DMCA to get it taken down, or will that backfire since it is cropped. It was posted with defamatory content, but I just want the picture gone at best.

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Did you take the photograph? The holder of the copyright in a photo is the person who actually took the picture, or a licensee/transferee of the copyright. As such, any claim would have to be made by the actual copyright holder. Meanwhile, using a portion of a copyrighted work (cropping it down to a smaller part of the overall picture in this case) is still copyright infringement, assuming that there are no fair use exceptions. Now, there are an awful lot of fair use exceptions out there, so you should really look into those or consult with an attorney to help with getting this content taken down. You might stand a better chance of success if you make both the copyright and defamation arguments together.

NOTE: Because every legal matter is different, and cannot be addressed in the generalized content of a web site, you should not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice, nor should you construe anything herein to be an offer to represent you. Legal advice can only come from a qualified attorney after having had an opportunity to become familiar with all of the specific facts and circumstances of a particular legal matter, and to apply or research the relevant law.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.