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Old March 23rd, 2013, 04:14 PM   #1
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Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

I have a small commercial job for a friend's product and he wants to use some imagery in his video. All the images i can easily grab from the web, these are nondescript images ie: a car, a house, for basic illustrative purposes. Video will be hosted on youtube/vimeo.

Whats the consensus on this?
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

I don't know British law, but basically here it is this: Copyright means the right to copy. That right belongs solely to the creator or owner of the work. If you didn't make it you can't take it. Forget about the "fair use" blather, it's a courtroom defense, not a loophole in the law. Commercial use of somebody else's property is asking for a lawsuit.

I worked for a large publication where this was a constant issue with our people who thought everything on the web was free and they could grab it and publish it. It's not. We found out the hard way.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

You only need to search the net for Getty Images, to see the dangers of grabbing images online. If you have Adobe Bridge to look at photos you have grabbed, you will often find they have embedded metadata with copyright info, and if you used them, and they find out, it could cost you plenty. Have a Google and find hundreds of people asking what to do when they receive a letter from Getty with a HUGE invoice.

I've got access to a couple of sites belonging to people I have bought software from who have images you can use with no hassle. Just grabbing random ones is a bit dangerous.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

There are a variety of inexpensive stock photo agencies online. Perfect for the kinds of illustrational imagery you're talking about.

There is a limited library of images at Wikimedia Commons, many of which are free to use with attribution.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 07:09 PM   #5
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

Just as i thought! Many thanks guys.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

I'm wondering about how Creative Commons licensing works?

Creative Commons

A lot of the images on flickr have one of the CC options

Search | Help | Flickr

There was a case a while back where Virgin used such an image they found on flickr, fir an advertising campaign, and the photographer could do nothing about it.

Flickr: Discussing Virgin Mobile advertising campaign using Flickr photos in FlickrCentral
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Old March 24th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

@ Trevor, I think that if the owner of the work (copyright holder) chooses to license his work in one of the creative commons formats, that is his or her choice, and is bound by the terms. The owner of a copyright can license or sell that copyright as he/she sees fit; one time use, USA only, first use and no subsequent, all rights, creative common, or whatever. Or not at all and keep all use rights. Obviously, the income value of the copyright is in how it is licensed and to whom for how much. Which brings us to the point of the exercise: taking someone's copyrighted work for your own use is theft.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

The point I was trying to make, is that there are useable images out there. Using flickr's advanced search feature gives you the option to search for relevant images with a suitable CC option, and with thousands of images uploaded to flickr every minute of every day, you stand a good chance of finding what you are looking for.

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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

@ Trevor, understood, and a helpful comment.

The link you gave to the Virgin ad raises another interesting point --- commercial use of a recognizable person requires a model release, separate and apart from the copyright issue. We also found that out the hard way when our promotion people used one of our newsphotos (which do not require any permissions at all when used as news) on promotional t-shirts one time; the people in the photo threatened to sue. We settled.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #10
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

Here is a source that looks very interesting
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On top of that here is source with promo codes
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You might be able to get what you want for free.
The other thing on is that if you have stock footage, images, etc. You can sell them on this site.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 09:13 AM   #11
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Re: Using images grabbed from web in commercial video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Brindle View Post
I have a small commercial job for a friend's product and he wants to use some imagery in his video. All the images i can easily grab from the web, these are nondescript images ie: a car, a house, for basic illustrative purposes. Video will be hosted on youtube/vimeo.

Whats the consensus on this?
I've used images like this - even on simple web pages - and when the "owner" objects, they usually send a polite email asking for it to be removed.

That's the first step, before sending a cease and desist letter. And then getting lawyers involved.

The point is, you don't know who the "owner" is (could be a business) and the possible extent of their objection. It'll be hard to remove the images unless you take the whole video down or are able to do a complete re-edit.

So it might seem like a small thing now but it can turn into a big thing later. So I'd be careful and avoid it.
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