Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

Q: Can we use unpublished photos on our news site or in our yearbook or reprint photos that were taken by a student who has since graduated?

A: Unless there was a specific agreement between the former staff members and the publication stating otherwise, the former students retain the copyright to any work they created while staff members and have only granted the publication a one-time permission to print their work. It’s unlikely that former staffers would object to the use of their work, but you really should seek their permission before publishing their work.

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