Any Legal Issues With Non-Personal Content (photos & videos)

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by HelixOmnimedia, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. HelixOmnimedia macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

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    #1
    Hey

    Can anyone tell me the legal issues with adding photos and videos (not personal) to an iWeb Site?

    For example:
    PHOTO - if I used an image from a Google Search.
    VIDEO - inserted a trailer from the Apple Site.

    Thanks for any information.
     
  2. Hierotochan macrumors member

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    #2
    AFAIK when you post something on the web in the US it is free game, but you might be better off just linking to it.
    Not completely sure about international copyright though.

    Also, when you take a photo in a public place in the UK you don't need to get clearance from the subject (but it's good to ask).
    It's one of the reasons the Paps in th UK are the best/worst depending on how you look at it.

    That's as much as I've picked up.
    Would appreciate being corrected if I'm wrong as I'm not up for getting sued.
     
  3. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

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    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Do you know if there is anyway to protect your own content?

    As I'm in the middle of creating a Digital Portfolio for send to production companies, and it has my university movies, photography and my script writing.

    I'm not wanting people downloading the images/scripts and passing it off as their own.

    Again, thanks for any information.
     
  4. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    In the US its pretty much illegal unless it falls into the category of "fair use". The laws may be a little different fo you in the UK.

    For protecting your own content there is little you can do other than putting a copyright notice on your work. Though that doesn't stop people for stealing your work it shows them that you are serious about protecting your work. Just be ready to deal with defending your copyright if the situation arises.
     
  5. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

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    #5
    An example: in the short biography I wrote, the now its just back and white and very plain and boring... so i wanted to 'jazz' it up a bit, by adding some photographs dotted around which ties into certain paragraph... a photo of the university i went to (paragraph about uni), I worked at Tern Television so the company logo... small things like that, and it won't be huge picture as I'll mask with with different shapes within iWeb.
     
  6. Hierotochan macrumors member

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    #6
    It can be very hit & miss as "Public Domain" is quite debatable.

    You've seen those CSI shows where they're not allowed to take samples for things from peoples houses, but if the subject sticks it in the "trash" & leave it on the "sidewalk" then Grissom has pwnage & works his l33t zkilz on it.

    Most things should be alright as long as you give credit/ask permission.

    As for protecting your work there are alot of scripts/watermark things out there but I've never looked into it.
     
  7. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Under US law the two you mention would most likely fall under "fair use".
     
  8. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

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    #8
    That's a cool way to put it (in CSI Terms) I actually understood it. Thanks for the advice about the scripts and watermarks... I'll look into it.

    I think my lecturer said something like: if you the author wrote something, it automatically becomes copyrighted.

    Can anyone shed any light on that comment... all my writing work is original and created by me... I'm just tempted to stick: <name> 2008 (C) at the bottom of every document.
     
  9. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

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    #9
    Thanks thats good to know... I just need to find a photograph I like.
     
  10. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Your lecturer is correct. Any original work is copyright of its creator from the time of creation.
     
  11. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

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    #11
    I just want to says thanks to jsm4182 and Hierotochan for giving me advice and answering all of my questions about the legal issue... ***** (5 Stars) to you both.

    Thanks
     
  12. blackstone macrumors regular

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    #12
    Not to throw a monkey wrench into all of this, but the advice that jsm and Hierotochan gave is mostly incorrect, if you're asking about U.S. law. Any creative work that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression is automatically protected by copyright, regardless of whether or not the maker sticks a copyright notice on it. As a general rule, you have to obtain the permission of the copyrightholder before adding their photos/videos/etc. into your own site. Posting a copyrighted work on the web does not make it "free game" or "public domain."

    "Fair use" is an exception to this general rule, but it only applies in certain fairly specific types of circumstances.

    You should probably check out the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Overview, which has a lot of useful information about copyright. In particular, you should read the section entitled Websites: Five Ways to Stay Out of Trouble.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    That is completely untrue.

    All content is copyright, regardless if it has been posted in public. It is public domain only if the owner of the copyright owner explicitly grants permission for it to be used (or in certain other circumstances, like 75 years after the creator's death (dates vary), or recordings of a sitting US president.)

    blackstone has it.

    Fair Use is a USA only doctrine, and it is a defense against the charge of copyright infringement, not a right to use. Important distinction.

    Readers Digest version: To be defended as fair use, the use has to be a combination of not for profit, AND not reproduce the entirety of the work when a snippet would do, AND used for educational, news or parody, AND not cause commercial impact to the owner.
     
  14. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    That is what I was saying.

    Fair Use in the US does not just cover not for profits. It includes anyone's use that is for education, news reporting, parody, comparative advertising, or any truthful representation of a copyright or trademark. That last part covers what the OP was asking about. He went to that university, he is allowed to use images of the university and the university's logo to represent himself as a student from that university. Same thing with the company he worked for.
     
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #15
    No, Fair Use is judged on a multi-criteria scale, including whether the use is for profit or not, how much of the work is used, what the purpose is, and the impact on the copyright owner. One criteria alone does not make it a lock.

    For example, if the OP were selling coffee mugs with the former company's logo on it, that would be infringement, regardless whether he worked there once or not.

    It is not the University's rights he would be infringing with the photo, it is the photographers (the copyright owner -- the Uni may have purchased unlimited rights to the photo or not, we don't know). Again, if a photographer was selling art prints of a dramatic photo of a piece of University architecture, the OP could not replicate that print for his own use simply because it was true that he attended there.
     
  16. blackstone macrumors regular

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    #16
    Yes, some of what you were saying was correct. But your advice leads to incorrect conclusions because you have an overinclusive definition of fair use.

    For one thing, nothing in the fair use doctrine protects infringement of a copyright just because it is a "truthful representation of a copyright or trademark." In fact, that's probably a better definition of simple infringement than fair use!

    There is something akin to what you're saying (but more limited than how you describe it) in trademark law, but the definition of fair use for trademark purposes is different than it is for copyright purposes. See a summary of fair use and nominative use in trademark if you're curious. This body of law would probably apply* to using the university logo, but not to using a photo of a building on campus (unless the building itself is a trademark).

    But, back to copyright... as CanadaRAM stated in his second post, copyright fair use is based on a multi-factor test. The defense may or may not apply in a given situation depending on:
    • the purpose and character of your use
    • the nature of the copyrighted work
    • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
    • the effect of the use upon the potential market.

    Just because the purpose and character of your use is educational, parodic, etc. does not mean that you automatically win. You also have to look at the other three factors. This is not a brightline test; all four factors are weighed by the judge. This means that it's rarely clear whether or not you can successfully assert fair use in a given situation without either (1) consulting with an attorney who has expertise in intellectual property issues or (2) going to court and seeing what happens. Both are expensive, so it's much better to be cautious than to just blithely assume fair use applies.


    * When I say "this body of law would apply" I mean that you would have to examine the use under trademark law, not that the fair use or nominative use defenses would necessarily apply. After all, most trademark infringement is, in fact, an accurate representation of the trademark at issue.
     
  17. Mils macrumors newbie

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    #17
    i would just stay safe and if it is something specific. Find the registrar or the Domain via WHOIS and shoot the webmaster an e-mail and ask for written permission. It is the best way in my opinion to do things.
     
  18. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #18
    The best reason for watermarking pictures, documents, etc. with a copyright notice is that it makes it unambiguous that the work is copyrighted. It makes it impossible for a copyright violator to say, for example, they thought the work was in the public domain. Regardless, the work was actually copyrighted at the time when it was created.

    CRam, at least in the US of A I think you are confusing the use of a trademark for profit with the fair use of a copyrighted work.
     
  19. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #19
    Copyright law and trademark law would work pretty much the same way. Selling a mug with a Ford logo on it is prohibited in a similar fashion to selling a mug with someone's copyrighted photo on it. My example was to illustrate that the excuse given (he worked there at one time) does not confer a blanket exemption from copyright (or trademark) restrictions, as was suggested earlier.

    Or in the case of a photo, spend a dollar or two and purchase limited rights to use a stock photo from any of a dozen stock photo sites.

    Almost every image on Google is NOT released into the public domain and is covered by copyright (and Google says so on the search page)

    And I hope nobody will disagree with the notion that movie trailers are not permitted to be copied into your own site...
    Links to the Apple page, OK. Deep linking (displaying the media content only within a frame on your site or in a window without the surrounding Apple page ) ... probably not OK, you would have to read the fine print of Apple's terms and conditions of the site.
     
  20. TodVader macrumors 6502a

    TodVader

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    #20
    I've got a question that would fit in this thread:

    If I take a picture of a computer mouse , keyboard, printer, etc on google images, are there copyrights on those? They are just a product on a white background, no art or "creative" involved whatsoever. Can you use those images?

    Also, can you use product images from manufacture's websites?
     
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #21
    Read the thread again. Any image is automatically copyright to the image's creator. It doesn't matter what the artistic or creative merit you think it has.

    Sometimes manufacturers have a section of their site for images meant for publication in the media, etc. But remember that all images are protected, and your use of them is governed by whatever terms and conditions are on the website you are seeing them on.
     

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