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How do you know if an image is copyrighted?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by netpox, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. #1
    How do we know if an image is copyrighted??? I believe that atleast 60% of websites out there have some image on their site that they probably found somewhere online and did not create themselves.

    Even when it comes down to navigation button images or dividers they are all created by someone but so many others use it. How do you know if something is copyrighted or not?

    If i create an image is it automatically copyrighted or do i have to get it copyrighted?
    netpox, Jan 8, 2007 IP
  2. kajakske

    kajakske Well-Known Member

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    #2
    Your work is automagically copyrighted ...

    There is no way to know actually, except when a source is listed for the image.
    However, most things "found on the internet" are copyrighted and shouldn't be used. There are sites specializing in free, or freely licensed material. If you want to be sure a picture is not copyrighted, you should take it yourself, or get in contact with the creator ;-)
    kajakske, Jan 8, 2007 IP
  3. slipxaway

    slipxaway Active Member

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    #3
    It's copyrighted as soon as it's created. Though in the US, if you want to sue someone for copyright infringement, you usually have to have applied for an official copyright if you hope to recover damages. However, if you use copyrighted images and the owner finds out, they could have your site removed from search engines as well as possibly have your host terminate your account under the DMCA. And if you use images that are owned by a big image company like Getty, you'll probably get a nice legal threat and sued :)
    slipxaway, Jan 8, 2007 IP
  4. worathiti

    worathiti Peon

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    #4
    In principle, it automatically protected under copyright. You can read article "Understanding Copyright" at http://ip-laws.blogspot.com/
    worathiti, Jan 8, 2007 IP
  5. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #5
    For god's sake Mr. Spammy.

    As to the images, assume they are under copyright always. Always seek permission before using anything that you didn't create.
    marketjunction, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  6. Crusader

    Crusader Peon

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    #6
    Couldn't agree more. Let's repeat that again, just in case anyone missed it.

    #1 Rule concerning copyright
    Always assume that something (pictures, text etc.) is copyrighted unless it is explicitly stated that the image is in the public domain. There doesn't need to be a copyright notice visible to mean that something is copyrighted - a lack of a copyright notice does not mean that it isn't copyrighted.

    You need to obtain permission from the copyright holder first, before using anything from another site on your websites. Having a notice like "If the site contains any copyrighted works, please notify us and we will remove it" isn't worth the 5 secs it took to type. You are still infringing on the copyright regardless of any notices you put up.

    A sweet and short version:
    Unless you have permission to use something - don't use it!
    Crusader, Jan 10, 2007 IP
  7. elladrone

    elladrone Peon

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    #7
    nice workaround - use flickr and check the license terms.... you might be able to use the content if the owner published his/her material with relaxed terms.
    elladrone, Dec 28, 2009 IP
  8. cromatiq

    cromatiq Peon

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    #8
    usually people tend to contact the administrator of the website in question before legal action is taken.
    cromatiq, Oct 5, 2010 IP
  9. kindsvater

    kindsvater Active Member

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    #9
    Not always. My office doesn't so do not assume you can steal graphics and be warned before being served with legal papers.
    kindsvater, Oct 5, 2010 IP
  10. contentboss

    contentboss Peon

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    #10
    unless it has been explicitly released into the public domain, you should always assume it's copyrighted.
    contentboss, Oct 5, 2010 IP
  11. etc

    etc Active Member

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    #11
    not sure though. theyre copy righted if its from a site such as deviantart and the likes. and if images has watermarked with url on it, then probably its copyrighted.
    etc, Oct 6, 2010 IP
  12. Mike1958

    Mike1958 Peon

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    #12
    You are right, most sites have some images the owner did not create. There are several sites where you can license great images really cheap. I may create the occasional button or background, but mostly I license images for a dollar or two from one of the online sites in that business.
    Mike1958, Oct 6, 2010 IP
  13. craigedmonds

    craigedmonds Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    #13
    Problem is, there are free stock sites out there that give you explicit permission to use the images contained in their stock yet a lot of the images are "represented" by Getty images for example.

    So the problem is, the web designer uses the image, five years later, getty comes along and sends a bill for a gazillion dollars, client is freaked out, web designer looks like a muppet.

    I believe when someone is claiming copyright on an image, they need to provide proof that they are the actual copyright holder. Just saying so does not make it true.

    Even the Getty threats are not legal most of the time as Getty merely represents the person who took the photo, in most cases Getty is not the copyright holder so if it goes to court, the copyright holder has to provide unequivocal proof that they are the copyright holder.

    The laws are different from country to country so it's a real grey area most of the time.
    craigedmonds, Oct 15, 2010 IP