Image copyright law???

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by JavaWizKid, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. JavaWizKid macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #1
    I have this website I'm developing and I am unsure whether I am breaking a law involving image copyright. Basically, one feature is for the user to put an image on my website by copy and pasting the image url which is pulled from the owners website eg: http://www.mysite.com/myimage.jpg I back link it to give the owner credibility. However I read about doing this method is stealing bandwidth because my website is pulling data from other sites. Can I download the images to my web server and back link them, or will I get in trouble for that? Which is the correct method to do? Thanks.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    You'll probably get in trouble for it. You should really ask the owner of the content if it's OK to use their image on your web server with proper credit given.
     
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Well, copyright laws differ depending on where you're at. Most countries don't seem to care too much and the legal hassles often make it not worth going after people. Google images post images from people's sites without permission, though you can setup a robots.txt file to block that. Linking directly to an image on a site can be stopped through hot-linking blocks. For instance, if you tried to link directly to an image on my site you'll end up showing an image that says you're a thief. Copying the image and pointing back is an alright approach, but you should at least have a way for the image owner to contact you and request removal of the image.
     
  4. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I don't know about the copyright aspect, but I do know that a lot of hosts frown on the type of image hotlinking you're describing. You're exactly right that you're using their bandwidth, and many times the (original) host will shut down the image link.
     
  5. Griffter macrumors member

    Griffter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    #5
    I can't speak for any other country, but with the regard to the UK (and most likely Europe).

    If you link an image from another's website AND if they own the copyright to that image (this might not always be the case), they can serve you with a 'cease and desist' and ultimately force you to take down the image. If the actual owner of the image comes along, they can also serve you with a 'cease and desist'.

    With respect to America, my knowledge of the DMCA is limited, but I think the principle is the same, they can issue you with a request to take down the image, which can again be enforced in a federal court if you refuse.

    Also bare in mind some images on websites may be from royalty free image sites (like istockphoto), if you just take one of those from another site, and credit that site (when the actual owner is lets say, iStock), iStock could also come after you.

    Utimatly though. Hotlinking (i.e. embedding images hosted by another without their permission) is a big no no in the internet world and you will find, as mentioned above, that many sites now user robots.txt to prevent this.
     
  6. Griffter macrumors member

    Griffter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    #6
  7. DaReal_Dionysus macrumors regular

    DaReal_Dionysus

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #7
    My brother works for a law firm that specializes in copyright and trademarks. He explains it as the following. In order for copyright to apply on a website the content must be copyrighted through the US Copyright Office. Do you know that 99% of the content on the web as far as the USA is concerned remains un-copyrighted!!! Unless the picture is an original picture or a copyrighted logo then it's basically free game. The person has to be able to prove that it's their original work and most attorneys request in upwards of 2000 dollars just to file this sort of injunction. So I think your pretty much okay as who is going to file an injunction over a picture. As long as it's not pictures of a nude celebrity like the venessa hudgens nudity thing you will be fine. OH good luck serving a summons for court over state lines. Which means you have to go federal and that can cost in even more in fees for that. You'll be fine.
     

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