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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?
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.
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.