Can a print store refuse to scan a portrait of me?

I wanted to put a 15-year-old graduation picture onto a disk. FedEx refused to do it because it was a graduation picture taken by a professional photographer and therefore copyrighted. They want me to call the school in California and find out who the photographer was and to call and get his permission. Are they right or wrong to refuse to scan this picture because of copyright?

Wayne on March 18, 2012

They are right to refuse. There was a landmark case on this, against FedEx’s predecessor Kinko’s, where the company was found liable because they made money from the copying. Since then, many photocopying companies have instituted blanket policies to refuse copying copyrighted work without written permission from the copyright owner. So, to answer your question, FedEx is right to refuse to scan the picture because of copyright, regardless of the circumstances behind the photo and the school.


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