NBC Accused Of Using Cosplay Photos Without Photographer's Consent

Illustration for article titled NBC Accused Of Using Cosplay Photos Without Photographer's Consent

SyFy's TV series Heroes of Cosplay has been accused by cosplay photographers of "using images for promotion...on the weekly episodes without written permission from the authors and copyright owners of the images".

Writing on his studio's blog, BGZ Photography's Darrell Ardita says that "numerous" photographers, including one of his business associates, have seen their images used both on the show and its marketing material without any permission or compensation.

Well, permission from the photographers. In response to emails sent by Ardita, NBC (the owners of SyFy) replied by saying that, since they'd received permission from the cosplayers that were the subject of the photos - who NBC believes have co-authorship and thus co-ownership of the images - they were good to go.


It's a messy legal situation. Both parties believe they're legally in the right, and it sounds like it's going to be up to lawyers to sort it all out.

Below you'll find a link to BGZ's blog post on the matter, including records of correspondence sent to NBC, as well as an invoice claiming a fee of $3500 per image used.

We've contacted SyFy for comment, and will update if we hear back.


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I think, at least NBC DID do what they thought was legally enough to use the photos, as opposed to do something underhanded and just try to screw over everyone involved.

I don't really know if there's anything in the law that governs photographers/subjects, but it seems to me that the subject (if they're a willing subject) would have some form of co-ownership and would be able to give permission for the photo's use