As a Catholic who's worked in many different media fields (newspapers, photography, video production, and web development), I've seen a very wide array of copyright violations, improper media usage, and misuse of licensed assets. This seems to happen more in the non-profit world, where there is little or no budget for acquiring stock images, etc.
I'm extremely generous with my licensing for photos and other media I produce; typically, if someone asks to use a photo of mine, I'll send them a full-resolution JPEG and a license that allows them to use it for any non-profit cause.
However, what really gets under my skin is when I find my photos (especially) used in YouTube videos, for articles, and on posters, when I have never even been asked for permission, and when the photos clearly have 'All rights reserved' or some form of Creative Commons license.
Today, on Facebook, I noticed that 'Catholic Church' posted a video on YouTube about vocations (titled Life rooted in God...), and I know the first photo used in that video (a photo of now-Bishop Rice) was used without permission, and I'm pretty sure many of the other photos were, as well.
What the producers of these videos and other media don't realize is that:
- It took me a long time to produce that photo (getting some time in Msgr. Rice's schedule, gathering the equipment, setting up the equipment, taking some 20-40 photos, processing said photos, and retouching the final photo).
- It required the use of over $2,000 of photography equipment (taking professional-quality photos is not free, and isn't done on one's mobile phone).
- Msgr. Rice never signed a photo release to allow the use of his photo in any videos (so, I could not have even given permission for this photo to be used in a public YouTube video).
Please, please, PLEASE try to always ask permission to use any photos, videos, sounds, music, etc. that is not in the public domain. Please respect the media owners' licensing restrictions and copyright.
In the end, don't steal other people's work, even if it's for a good cause. The ends, in Catholic morality, never justify the means!