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Author Topic: Photographs, copyright, and 'fair use'  (Read 5684 times)
Bobtrips
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« on: April 24, 2006, 03:00:28 PM »
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To bust another common myth - images on the internet are absolutely NOT "in the public domain". They may not legally be copied or used in anyway without permission, even if this is almost impossible to enforce. Using a pic copied from the internet is no different to scanning a picture in a book and selling it. Books are not in the public domain, they are in public view, but that is not the same thing at all.

Copied this from a post in the MF forum.

In the US we have some fair use exceptions that allow one to reproduce or closely reproduce the work of others to a limited extent.  For example, I can copy a passage from a copyrighted book.  I can't copy the entire book.

Does anyone know to what extent that right extends to copyrighted photographs?

Case in point, Google supplies pages of thumbnails of copyrighted images that link back to the posted version.  That must be legal?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2006, 03:17:11 PM »
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Weren't they getting sued by some skin magazine over that?
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jani
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 04:03:03 PM »
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Copied this from a post in the MF forum.

In the US we have some fair use exceptions that allow one to reproduce or closely reproduce the work of others to a limited extent.  For example, I can copy a passage from a copyrighted book.  I can't copy the entire book.

Does anyone know to what extent that right extends to copyrighted photographs?
Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you here, but you seem to be under the misapprehension that "copyright" is something that has to be registered somewhere, or otherwise actively marked by the originator of the work.

That is not so.

This follows from a certain Geneva convention, as does fair use.

Things may have changed in the US recently with the DMCA, and seems to be changing even a bit more with the upcoming "intellectual property" bill.
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Jan
Gary Brown
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2006, 04:21:30 PM »
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In the US we have some fair use exceptions that allow one to reproduce or closely reproduce the work of others to a limited extent.  For example, I can copy a passage from a copyrighted book.  I can't copy the entire book.

Does anyone know to what extent that right extends to copyrighted photographs?

Case in point, Google supplies pages of thumbnails of copyrighted images that link back to the posted version.  That must be legal?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yes, fair use applies to photographs.

There was a lawsuit a few years ago against a search engine (not Google) that indexed images. The court ruled that the thumbnails were fair use, after evaluating the four factors that determine whether a use is fair (see [a href=\"http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html]the U.S. Copyright Office fact sheet[/url]).

OTOH, if you clicked one of the thumbnails, it brought up the full-res image. The search engine had an interesting argument on that one: We didn't actually copy the image, since the <img> tag on the page fetched the image from the original source, not from a copy on our server. And since we didn't make a copy, it can't be a copyright violation.

But the court ruled that copyright covers not only the right to reproduce a copyrighted work, but also the right to display/perform publicly, and so the act of displaying the original image was covered by copyright law, after all. The company lost that part of the case (the court found that displaying the full-size images wasn't fair use).
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2006, 09:50:08 PM »
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Yes, fair use applies to photographs.

There was a lawsuit a few years ago against a search engine (not Google) that indexed images. The court ruled that the thumbnails were fair use, after evaluating the four factors that determine whether a use is fair (see the U.S. Copyright Office fact sheet).

OTOH, if you clicked one of the thumbnails, it brought up the full-res image. The search engine had an interesting argument on that one: We didn't actually copy the image, since the <img> tag on the page fetched the image from the original source, not from a copy on our server. And since we didn't make a copy, it can't be a copyright violation.

But the court ruled that copyright covers not only the right to reproduce a copyrighted work, but also the right to display/perform publicly, and so the act of displaying the original image was covered by copyright law, after all. The company lost that part of the case (the court found that displaying the full-size images wasn't fair use).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=63597\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, that was the information I needed.  And, yes, Google does not display the image full size but provides a link to the site where the image is posted.

And that may have something to do with the inability to email images in Gmail.  Unlike other email systems such a Thunderbird and Outlook Express there is (apparently) no way to include an image from ones hard drive in the text of an email.  You can display an image in the body of the text only if it is posted on the web.  Google sends the link.

Or perhaps Gmail isn't ready for prime time....
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pchaplo
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2006, 07:22:48 PM »
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Some website tried to sue Google and lost. That seems to be fair use to generate thumbs in Google images. However, that is different than someone stealing an image for commercial usages.

Paul

Wishing You Great Light!
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Wishing You Great Light!
jani
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2006, 12:44:06 PM »
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Or perhaps Gmail isn't ready for prime time....
A good tip is to actually read what it says on the web site.

"Gmail Beta"

And:

"Gmail is an experiment in a new kind of webmail, built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail and you should always be able to find the message you want."

The bold emphasis is mine.

That being said, Gmail apparently accepts feature requests, but I suspect there's about 0.7 developers working on it.
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Jan
ken_bennett
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2006, 07:55:23 PM »
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And that may have something to do with the inability to email images in Gmail.  Unlike other email systems such a Thunderbird and Outlook Express there is (apparently) no way to include an image from ones hard drive in the text of an email. 


I know this is seriously off-topic, but I've been able to attach photo (and other) files to Gmail messages. I kinda like Gmail, overall.

--Ken B
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