I have a picture taken by a friend of mine that I wish to use on a book cover. Normally, credit would be given to the photographer with a line on the copyright page of the book with all the other copyright information. This photographer has expressly given their consent to me to use their photo but wishes that their name not be used. What's the proper thing to do?

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    Whatever you put on the book itself, make sure that between you, photographer and publishing house all paperwork is right. – Mołot Jan 14 '17 at 9:02
  • Does "I wish to credit Anonymous for this photo" not work? =P – user541686 Jan 14 '17 at 12:02
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    What @Mołot said is very important to keep in mind. Don't put yourself in the situation of your friend changing his/her mind later and forcing a recall and reprint on copyright grounds. Ideally, the paperwork between you and your friend should indicate clearly that your friend wishes to not be named as the photographer. – user Jan 14 '17 at 20:38
  • Have you asked your friend how they would like to be credited? – bdsl Jan 15 '17 at 0:00
  • @bdsl I did but I'm not a professional writer and they're not a professional photographer so their reply was "I"m fine with whatever." I was just curious to see if there was a proper/accepted way to do this. – screwnut Jan 20 '17 at 0:23

Keep it simple.

I thank an anonymous photographer for permission to use the photo on the cover of this book.

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    +1. The US copyright's office Copyright Basics pamphlet recognizes the duration of copyright works as 90 years after publication, or 125 years from creation (whichever is shorter). Additionally, while not exactly copyright per se, Creative Commons licenses that require Attribution specifically recognize anonymity: "If you wish to remain anonymous you can, just use the word 'anonymous' in place of your name." Since CC relies on the existence and enforcement of copyright, this seems supportive of the concept of anonymity. – scottbb Jan 13 '17 at 21:14
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    Also, perhaps suggest the owner choose a psuedonym? – scottbb Jan 13 '17 at 21:14
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    Of course, if one were to credit the photo as follows one might give the wrong impression about the source of the photo: ©2016 Anonymous - images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/… – Michael C Jan 14 '17 at 2:09
  • @MichaelClark lol. Perhaps the credit should be "©2016 Anonymous (not the legion/collective)"? =) – scottbb Jan 14 '17 at 3:11

The typical citation would be:

Reproduced with permission.

If the author doesn't want you to name them, then simply don't.


The person could always register a pseudonym or alias with the local or regional (state, etc) government and use that for any forward-facing identification.

If they don't want to go that far, they could always just give you a nickname to use.

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    I don't know where the asker is but I'm not aware of any mechanism for registering a pseudonym with local, regional or national government in the UK. The principle under English law (and, by extension, in countries whose law is based on ours) is that you can use whatever name you want, as long as it's not to defraud. – David Richerby Jan 14 '17 at 17:02

I think that the right thing to do would fulfill the person wishes and say that I thank an anonymous photographer for the use of this photo On my book.

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    This answer has already been given and accepted by Philip Kendall. – Stan Sep 24 '17 at 14:30

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