Then don't put your photos on Flickr, Mr. President.

Via Instapundit, comes the latest slap in the face to Libertarians-for-Obama by the Obama administration. Slashdot:

“US government policy is that photos produced by federal employees as part of their job responsibilities are not subject to copyright in the US. But Kathy Gill writes that after originally putting official White House photos in the public domain, since January the Obama White House has been asserting that no one but ‘news organizations’ can use its Flickr photos taken by the official White House photographer, who is a US government employee…”

You mean, like this?


Original here. Relevant language on the Flickr account:

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

A shame whoever wrote that didn’t read this (linked to by the White House Flickr account itself).

Copyright Pertaining to US Government Work

A work that is a United States Government work, prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties, is not subject to copyright in the United States and there are no U.S. copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work. Anyone may, without restriction under U.S. copyright laws,

  • reproduce the work in copies in print or in digital form;
  • prepare derivative works of the work;
  • perform the work publicly;
  • display the work;
  • distribute copies or digitally transfer the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.


  • Other persons may have rights either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
  • Not all work that appears on US Government Websites is considered to be a US Government work. Check with the content curator to see whether the work is a US Government Work. Works prepared for the United States Government by independent contractors may be protected by copyright, which may be owned by the independent contractor or by the United States Government.
  • The United States Government Work designation is distinct from designations that apply to works of US state and local governments. Works of state and local governments may be protected by copyright.
  • Copyright laws differ internationally. While a United States Government work is not protectable under United States copyright laws, the work may be protected under the copyright laws of other jurisdictions when used in other jurisdictions. Outside of the United States, the United States Government may assert copyright in United States Government works.

They linked to it, but they didn’t read it.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.