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Going crazy trying to get a grip of Image Copyrights!

  1. I have been blogging for just a few months and really want to do the right thing regarding use of other people's images. My blog is about being a design student. I've read all about creative commons, and sent heaps of emails to people asking permission to use their images, but very often I never get a reply.

    So, I take lots of my own photos and only post the ones I have express permission for... But this is exhausting and frustrating when I see sooooo many other blogs posting photos from flickr, other blogs and even Etsy on a daily basis. Some blogs posts a dozen photos a day with a simple text link underneath. Surely they haven't received express permission from every one of the image owners before publishing the post. That could take weeks, even months!

    I know that lots of these blogs about interior design thrive because they act as a reliable source of excellent images, inspiration and links. I would love my blog to have that same aspect to it, as well as being a record of my personal experiences and things. However, I really do feel limited with by my thorough approach to gaining copyright permissions...

    I'd really love to know what other people think and do about this. IS it okay to repost a picture that has already been posted on another blog and credit "(via said blog)"? IS it okay to repost images from store websites like Etsy?

    The blog I need help with is cassienguyen.com.

  2. It's never okay to breach copyright. I happen to know someone who hired a web designer who did and who is now in a pitched legalbattle with Getty images. They want $60,000 for the unathouized and unlicensed use of their single image.

    The ignorance and misinformation about copyright and fair use has escalated as the numbers of content thieves and e-beggars has dramatically increased. Bloggers are expected to be able to sort facts from fiction, so if you are a newcomer becoming familiar with copyright law is part of the territory.

    Succinctly stated whether or not the author of any original digital work has posted a copyright notice on their site or the work itself is irrelevant. It does not change the fact that they hold the copyright to their works and their intellectual property cannot be re-published unless or until their permission has been given. In other words, the same rules that apply to the world of print also apply in cyberspace.
    Copyright Basics (from the U.S. Copyright Office and the Library of Congress) PDF > http://www.copyright.gov/

    My advice it to always follow the Terms of Use on the site. Also FWIW I have 71 sites that provide free images listed on my Resouces page alon with brief scroll down to "images (free sources)" http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/resources/

  3. I thought this would be the case. It is what I read everywhere with regards to copyright advice, but never see in practice on so many mega-popular blogs. It's frustrating to feel like I'm battling uphill to do the right thing when so many people create their 'successful' blogs while infringing copyright!

  4. Hi again,
    I don't bother about what other bloggers are doing now. I noticed when I fretted about the bad behavior of others going undectected and unpunished it had no effect on the wrong doers, and only made me bitter and b*tchy so I gave it up. Not to worry because they will get theirs. Karma is the biggest B*ITCH of all, and you will know in your own heart that you are a person of integrity who did the right thing. Blog on!

  5. There is plenty of sites that have free images you can use for blogging Flickr has an advance search option that allows you to search for images that can be used for commercial and also images you can modify if needed...

    The licence search option is at the bottom of the page via this link → http://www.flickr.com/search/advanced/?

  6. annabelleleeproductions
    Member

    I am not a lawyer, this is just my understanding, if you are really concerned about this issue, you should see a copyright/trademark attorney to clarify.

    This is a tricky area. There is such a thing as "fair use," usually in writing, to quote a few words without written consent, many musicians use "sampling" - a few bars or words from another musician -- as for using in its entirety a photograph taken by someone else, I just wouldn't use it. I'd rather post my own photos, let them promote their own work. I sometimes make collages, but don't sell them. Even to cut out something like a cute bunny rabbit, well, that cute bunny rabbit photo is owned by someone else. I should look into it someday, how exactly does the law apply to collages that include parts of other people's photos. I mean, are we talking an 8th of an inch???

    You probably don't receive any response to your requests because it isn't worth it for them to go after every person who uses their image, if you don't actually make any money off the image, you are in violation of the law, but unless the image is used in a way to denigrate the owner of the work, there are no real damages worth going to court over. If you made a huge amount of money using their image, that they would go to court over, though. If they went after everyone who posted something on a blog without permission, they'd go broke. There is no question who owns the image, they do, period. No reply is the same as NO.

    I'm sure it's tempting as a design student to show images that inspire you, but you can describe your inspiration, describe what you saw that inspired you, and stick with posting whatever it is you were inspired to create.

    As far as I know, no one has used my work, if they have and made any money off it, chances are, it wasn't much money and I'd never know. However, should they be successful enough to draw attention to my image and make money off it, I have unlimited resources to pursue the matter in court and have any profit from my image turned over to me. Believe me, the joke would be on them. What they'd have to pay in legal fees would cost more than the money they earned from my work.

    As far as proof, anything I post on a blog goes through my computer. Under properties every image has the date the image was created. All of the Oldksool photos have the date stamped on the back. I seriously doubt I will find myself in such a position, but so many people have seen my work from such a long time ago, in progress at that, which I document by the way as the work goes along, anyone foolish enough to use my work wouldn't have a shot in hell saying my work is theirs.

    I would find it completely disgusting and reprehensible if someone used one of my images without my permission, but other than that, not much harm done really. I recall a student in art school asking the professor what he should so if he found out someone was copying his work. "You should be so lucky," the professor commented dryly. That pretty much sums it up. We're not talking million dollar artwork here.

    Speaking of tricky, as far as I know, anything publicly displayed is fair game. Your next door neighbor's house for example, but not the owner or the owner's children. If artwork is displayed in a window, you can take a photo of it, that's public, but can that photo be published? I don't know, as long as one doesn't claim to have created the artwork in question and doesn't make money off the image, I guess it doesn't matter. I once asked to take some photos of some really interesting fashion dolls in an exhibit, I was told no. They said something about how photos could be used to rip off the costume designs of the dolls. Okay, if I purchased one of the dolls, could I photograph it and publish it then??? I asked to take some photos of a cake in a bakery and was told no, so I took some shots outside the window, they have since gone out of business and I seriously doubt they will come looking for me, especially as I have never used the photo for anything.

    I'm still not clear on the Andy Warhol using the soup cans. For all I know, he designed those. Maybe he didn't get permission, but it was such huge publicity for the soup company, sounds like they owed him more for free advertising than the other way around. You see how tricky this gets. I doubt Mattel wolud come looking for me, but I painted over a canvas I had painted a Barbie doll on, too bad, it was a cool picture, I was never going to be famous enough for it to ever catch their attention.

  7. @casshoming I wonder if Zemanta service http://www.zemanta.com/ is what you need as far as access to images you can use in your posts. See also http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/related-iimages-during-post?replies=4#post-544548

  8. @shimworld
    G'evening to you. Zemanat is a good additon. :) I have 71 sources of free images I use on my resources page that I linked to above. :)

  9. Thanks everyone. I'm going to stick to my gut feeling and keep to only posting my own semi-dodgy images, and ones I have express permission to use. I think ultimately the integrity of my blog is more important to me than building up a following by simply being a go-to catalogue of other people's work!

  10. Wow! TT thanks for the link! Your site really does so much help for us bloggers that don't know where to look. That links a definate save.

  11. Thank you, Time Thief, for the information. And thank you to casshoming for asking the question that I have been wondering about for years. junemoon

  12. @casshoming

    think ultimately the integrity of my blog is more important to me than building up a following by simply being a go-to catalogue of other people's work!

    I agree 100% with you and I'm glad what I posted helped you. :)

    @Bats
    Thanks. You are worming your way into my heart ... lol :D Joking I already have a special place for you there. :)

    @junemoon
    You're welcome. :)

  13. Zemanta will save you HOURS and get you much better images. As well, don't rule out Flickr, because a lot of people there have been savvy enough to set their copyright to things like "attribution, non-commercial" etc.

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