Ask SPLC: Am I obligated to take down an embarrassing story if the subject of it asks?

A: It depends. First of all, it is a good idea for your publication to have a policy on takedown demands or retractions. Many publications have a policy that is some variation of stating that there will be no takedowns or retractions unless something in the article is false.  It is important to keep in mind… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Am I obligated to take down an embarrassing story if the subject of it asks?

Ask SPLC: Can I use an illegally recorded conversation?

Q: If a source provides me with an illegally recorded conversation or other piece of documentation illegally obtained, can I use the information in my article? A: It depends. If you and your media outlet did not ask your source to obtain the material illegally or otherwise take part in its acquisition, and if you received the… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can I use an illegally recorded conversation?

Ask SPLC: Can I use a photo I pulled from Google if I Photoshop it?

Q: Can we take pictures of celebrities from the internet and Photoshop students into them without violating copyright law? A: Probably not, unless you have a license from the photographer to alter the image, or if the image is in the public domain. Using Photoshop (or any other program) to change an image does not excuse… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can I use a photo I pulled from Google if I Photoshop it?

Ask SPLC: Parental permissions for photos of minors?

Q: Can we publish students' names and photos online without parental permission, even when the students are minors? A: Yes. Many people mistakenly believe that parental consent is needed in order to identify students in a publication-- be it print or online-- but no federal privacy law requires such consent. If your school tells you there… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Parental permissions for photos of minors?