Ask SPLC: Can we use yearbook photos on social media?

Q: Can we post photos we take for the yearbook or newspaper on a social media page?

A: If they are staff-generated photos and not photos taken by a private contractor, yes. A private photo studio will have contractual limits on how its photos can be used, and typically (without a substantial extra charge) they are licensed for one-time-only use in a print publication. Make sure your student photographers understand at the start of the school term how their photos are to be used. When there is no salary or employment contract, the copyright stays with the photographer, and the photographer has the right to object if their work is used in a way that goes beyond their consent.

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.”

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