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Old August 27th, 2004, 11:00 PM   #1
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Legal to used internet photos?

I put most of my work on Public Access and do not receive $ for most of my work...occassionally I will down load an image or photo (historical) to incorporate as an insert. I this legal?

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Old August 28th, 2004, 12:07 AM   #2
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Generally speaking, no..
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Old August 28th, 2004, 03:01 PM   #3
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Generally speaking?

Meaning absolutely no or kind of no or if it is on the internet it is fair game sort of no. Or if they find you and fine you NO. Or if they could care less no?

Thanks for the input..

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Old August 28th, 2004, 03:22 PM   #4
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It's not "generally" permissible to use others' works for your own commercial purposes without their permission. Since you seem oriented towards risk rather than propriety the risk could be severe depending on the source and nature of the works you've stolen. "Generally", in the case of a cable access venue, I would first expect a cease and desist letter sent by an attorney to the general management of the cable provider.

Consult the management of your cable access provider with this question.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 03:46 PM   #5
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Using things (cars, homes, jewelry, stereos, pictures, art etc.) without the owners permission is generally illegal. However, if you get permission of the owner (a fee may or may not be involved) to use the item, then it is legal. It is advisable to get the permission first.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 03:51 PM   #6
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Ralph.

Think of it this way. I copywrite, (), my photo/video('s), so that I may sell it and gain income. IT IS MINE! NOT YOURS! You, than, come along and use it without my permission. I think that I have a right to ask you for some compensation.

Have you observed what is happening with the music industry suing folks left and right, over copy right?

No matter where it is displayed, you do not own it, to dispense it at your lieasure, without permission of the copywrite.

Any leagle-beagles in the group, that can clairify this, from country to country!!??
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Old August 28th, 2004, 05:52 PM   #7
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Not copywrite OK?

Not to seem like a jerk but if the copywrite logo is not floating around on the website...or if there is not some disclaimer or watermark, is the picture up for grabs? For instance I put a picture of Henry Ford in one of my programs gotten from the Henry Ford museum website and noticed it on various websites...no water mark, no disclaimers. I wasn't stealing a Coke logo, for instance. Or trying to rip off some movie stars picture and morphing it into a donkey.
What is fair? Before the year 19?? After the year 19?? And if you capture the picture and alter it in some manner is the property now yours, a new creation? This seems like a fuzzy area. You could be creating a collage, like in Jr. High made from CNN, Rueters pictures...and by distorting, embossing, and other
trickery...can you be getting to deep trouble or just having fun
altering another so called reality. As long as you have not sold the product but offered it like a poster.

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Old August 28th, 2004, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: Not copywrite OK?

<<<-- Originally posted by Ralph Bowman : Not to seem like a jerk but if the copywrite logo is not floating around on the website...or if there is not some disclaimer or watermark, is the picture up for grabs? Ralph Bowman -->>>

No. Copyright is asserted from the moment of creation. Putting the logo on is just a notice from the rights holder that they know what their rights are and are warning you not to cross the line.

<<<-- Originally posted by Ralph Bowman : And if you capture the picture and alter it in some manner is the property now yours, a new creation? Ralph Bowman -->>>>>>

No. But you should look up 'fair use' and 'parody use'.

You should note that the most famous parody site on the Internet, the Onion, purchases rights to the news photographs that they later doctor or use for their purposes.

The principle is the same in all these cases. Someone took the effort to take the photograph and to make it available on a site. Someone who has posted it on their site has paid for the rights to publish. If you then take that photograph and use it in your publication or production, you are taking the chance that no one will notice you haven't paid for the rights, plus you are devaluing the original publisher's purchase. No one may notice what you've done or determine that you are too small to go after but that is the chance you are taking.

Take a look on corbis.com and you will see what kind of value they put on these photographs.

The other principle involved is taking credit for something that is not yours. You can't counterfeight the Mona Lisa, paint on a smile, and then claim that you created it. Note: many artists are pushing this boundary but they also have fought in court over repurposing.

The questions you are asking are quite general and have been asked many times before. Do a Google search and look for 'copyright' and 'fair use' and 'expiration of rights'.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 08:53 PM   #9
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Ralph,
Another aspect for your consideration.

It's my impression that you may aspire to one day participating at a higher level in the broadcast / entertainment industry. The revenue fuel of that industry is intellectual property. You have to learn to respect that property if you expect to grow in that industry. To employ someone that takes such matters casually is just asking for an eventual lawsuit.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: Legal to used internet photos?

<<<-- Originally posted by Ralph Bowman : I put most of my work on Public Access and do not receive $ for most of my work...occassionally I will down load an image or photo (historical) to incorporate as an insert. I this legal?

Ralph Bowman -->>>
Absolutely not.

Works of expression are protected by copyright the moment they are fixed in a tangible medium, i.e. saved to disk or printed. Though, conceivably, there are circumstances which might suggest implied dedication to the public domain, merely making them available on the internet isn't one of them.

Some one else mentioned fair use and parody. Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement. Parody is a species of fair use. Fair use is an equitable doctrine, which means that the judge will determine each use based on the specific facts, and then only once an infringement has been brought before him or her. Whether a particular use constitutes a fair use is an extremely complicated determination, and not one that can readily be made by a layperson.

Quote:
Not to seem like a jerk but if the copywrite logo is not floating around on the website...or if there is not some disclaimer or watermark, is the picture up for grabs?
Absolutely not. A copyright notice hasn't been required for protection since 1978, when the US copyright statutes were changed to conform with the international Berne Copyright Covention.


Quote:
For instance I put a picture of Henry Ford in one of my programs gotten from the Henry Ford museum website and noticed it on various websites...no water mark, no disclaimers.
It is quite possible that the picture is in the public domain, though if anything was done to manipulate the image, e.g. levels adjusted, tears or dust removed, etc., a newly-protectable derivative work was created. If so, then any other sites that are using it are infringing (unless, of course, the picture was licensed for their use).

Quote:
What is fair? Before the year 19?? After the year 19??
First of all, it's not a question of what is fair, but what is legal. Once a copyright expires, the work is in the public domain. However, the term of copyright has changed a number of times. Prior to 1978, a copyright lasted one term of 35 years, but could be renewed for a second term. Post-1978, most works were, originally, protected for the life of the author plus 50 years, though the term of protection has increased since then, and is different for corporations (thanks to Disney lobbying Congress to protect Mickey Mouse). There are also a variety of statutory extensions for works created around the time of the change in the copyright statutes. As a general rule, if the work was created in the early 20s, or before, it is probably in the public domain (provided that it is not actually a later derivative work).

Quote:
As long as you have not sold the product but offered it like a poster.
It is not a defense to infringement to say, "I didn't sell the unauthorized copy." It may be relevant to a fair use determination, however.

This is all complicated stuff, which is why my clients pay my firm the big bucks for my opinion. ;)

A good rule of thumb, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which are those given by Keith and Ken: if it's not yours, don't copy it.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 05:09 AM   #11
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Nice write up, Paul. It's the first time I understood what a lawyer was saying, (g) Most informative.
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Old September 1st, 2004, 09:36 AM   #12
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I was watching Reba, of all shows, the other day (don't ask me why, it was just "what was on"), and Reba had a great line-

"I just bought a greeting card, that doesn't make me Hallmark."

I don't think I've ever heard copyright law described more succinctly. :)
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