“Knowing that taking pictures in Ewha for any commercial use is not allowed, I was so surprised and upset,” Yoon recalled.
In March, Ewha students reported two online shops for posting photos legally taken at Ewha to sell their products. They made the reports via the Q&A board of the Ewha homepage. The Office of University Planning and Coordination (OUPC) then ascertained the photos were taken at Ewha without permission, notified the two businesses about the regulation, and asked them to remove the photos from their Web sites.
To preserve the academic environment and protect portrait rights of students, Ewha prohibits visitors from taking photos or videos for commercial use. Signs prohibiting photo takings are posted in both Korean and English at the main gate and the ECC.
Despite the notification, photographers and models, mostly from online shopping sites, are often seen at the ECC, the main gate and even in the classrooms of buildings such as the Ewha-POSCO Building. They favor Ewha’s campus since it provides natural surroundings and modern buildings such as the ECC, which are suitable for taking good photos.
Students who unintentionally captured in a photo’s background feel uncomfortable.
“By just walking or studying behind the models, I might get my picture taken and they can be posted online without even noticing it. So when I see them, I leave or try to walk as far from them as I can,” Lee Yu-jung (Politics and Diplomacy, 3) said.
When photographers taking photos for their businesses are seen, the Office of General Administration (OGA) asks them to leave the campus immediately. This, however, cannot be the ultimate solution for this situation.
“It is almost impossible to question every single photographer about the purpose of photos being taken and to completely contain the school campus since universities are public places,” said Kim Young-sang, the office manager of OGA.
Further, the school will take a stronger measure against shopping sites that do not remove the photos asked to be taken down.
“If the sites keep the photos taken on campus even after being notified to remove them, there will possibly be a legal action,” an official of OUPC said.
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