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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Legal issues of using others pictures
Are you allowed to use pictures on your website from other sources?

 3:10 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just sitting and wondering due to surfing around the web a little bit.

I often find "Gallery Forums", where people can upload pictures etc.

I see the pictures and think they must be copyright protected etc.

And then i see pictures which has watermarks in them, and wonder, can you use these pictures freely?

Example, Corbis.com have a huge librarby of pictures, first you see thumbnails, and then you can view pictures in a higher quality.
When you view it in a high quality, they place a watermark on the pictures.
Can you copy the HQ picture with the watermark in it and use it on your own website?

I know for example Corbis have different rules on different photos, but is there any general rule?



 3:13 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

I believe no. I think it does fall on your own countries copyright laws. I believe american copyright laws prohibit this. This is a grey area. I don't think there is a lot of legal prescedent on this matter. In theory though US and other western countries like the UK prohibit this.


 3:14 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

As a general rule, you can't use any pictures on your site without the permission of the copyright holder. If you don't know whether they permit other people to use them, ask.


 3:19 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)


In the U.S., all Web content is copyrighted, unless otherwise noted.

The general rule is that if the page says, "We own it and you may copy it freely," then you can copy it for use on your site. If it doesn't say anything, then you should contact the site owner and ask for permission to use it.

I have received numerous requests to copy content from one of my sites. I usually grant permission to copy as long as the copy is marked "Copied with permission from fuzzybluewidgets.com".

I have found unauthorized copies of our content, and have asked the copier to remove our content from their site. In most cases, that was all I had to do.



 7:42 pm on Oct 19, 2002 (gmt 0)



Everyman had a legal comment on a similar question I had.
Maybe thumbnails use with a link constitutes a fair use in some countries.


 6:07 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

In the case of someone like Corbis, the watermark is there specifically to prevent you from trying to use it on your site. The only time you could use one of their images (or one from any stock photography or clip-art collection) is if you've paid for the rights to use it.

For images on individual private sites though, the site owner will often giver permission to use their images in exchange for a link giving credit to them.

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