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Let me describe my situation in a nutshell: What if I went around a forest, decided to take photographs of some trees, the ground, water, etc. with my Android phone, so that I can use these photos as textures in a video game of mine? Not necessarily comemrcial game, but let's assume that it is.

Who owns the copyright of these textures?

  • Me?
  • The phone manufacturer?
  • Google for developing Android?
  • The government for having de facto ownership of the territory I took the photo on?ű
  • No one?

I am Hungarian, but you can answer using American laws too, as I doubt the laws are that much different in regards to that.

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Photographers own the copyright in their photos, in general the person who creates a work owns the copyright in their work. Otherwise, makers of cameras, chisels and typewriters would own all of the copyrights. Android is just another tool. Property owners don't hold copyright in works involving their property, though they may prohibit photography of their property, enforceable via the law of trespass.

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TL;DR you have the copyright for all your photographs.

This is quite irrelevant to copyright, it is more towards rights you have of a public place. If you are in a forest, which is a public place, you may take photos if you want.

Google, Android or any third party do not have rights to any of it. That's like saying that if you paint a work of art with paints from a company, this company has the copyright.

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