Image Copyright Confusion

14 replies
I'm a bit confused with Image Copyrights.

Say I have a Blog about Star Wars, let's call it "10 greatest star wars characters" I don't think I can just download Star Wars characters images from Google Images.

But what if I click on image settings-advanced search-usage rights, then choose in the drop down box free to use, share or modify, even commercially

Does this guarantee that you can't then be sued?
#confusion #copyright #image
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Those labels really mean nothing. Google themselves says they don't know if the labels are legitimate.

    I've written here before about some cases I came across where according to the label, I could use the image however I want but in fact it was copyrighted and premium.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    There are plenty of sites that allow you to use their images for free.

    I think Steve B made a list of them, search for the thread because it's gold.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikeb222
      Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

      There are plenty of sites that allow you to use their images for free.

      I think Steve B made a list of them, search for the thread because it's gold.
      I have tried some of those and they have very limited images. Some niches none at all!
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by mikeb222 View Post

        I have tried some of those and they have very limited images. Some niches none at all!
        Right. Being willing to PAY for the things you need to support your business endeavors is part of what makes the world go 'round.

        If you're running a real business you should not be hesitant to invest $100 or so in a yearly subscription with a first-class, stock-image site where you can download an unlimited number of images that are precisely what you need.

        Approach your business with a pauper's mentality and you will most assuredly wind-up a pauper.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by mikeb222 View Post

        I have tried some of those and they have very limited images. Some niches none at all!
        Just for fun, give us an example of a niche that doesn't have any images available on a site like Pixabay and let's see what we can come up with...
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I used to work for a fairly large company (200+ employees). They never used to pay for images they used - they just downloaded them. They never had a complaint apparently.


    Make of that what you will.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by brettb View Post

      Make of that what you will.
      You worked for a company without business ethics or respect for the work and rights of others. I'll bet they would have been the first ones out of the gate to sue someone for copyright infringement. lol

      Did they pay their employees?
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeb222
    Er, ok, thanks, anyone else got any ideas?
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by mikeb222 View Post

      Er, ok, thanks, anyone else got any ideas?
      So, I'm thinking THAT fell on deaf ears. You can't make this stuff up. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    You have a few choices:

    Talk to a copyright lawyer who can give you better advice then you'll get on a forum.

    Listen to all the people who tell you to go ahead and steal the images and hope you don't get sued. But then don't be upset when people steal from your site or when low and behold you do get sued.

    Buy the images legally and don't worry about it anymore.

    Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Talk to a copyright lawyer who can give you better advice then you'll get on a forum.
      Which will cost much more than a year's subscription at any quality, stock-image site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Google Images (https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl), IMO, is somewhat misleading with their "usage rights" filter. Let me explain.

    On the Google Images page (above), type in the subject of your Google search, for instance "great while shark."

    Now let's filter the results so that we can find images that can be used commercially. Click the "settings" tab that appears in the top horizontal navigation. In the drop down menu click on "advanced search."

    Scroll down a little until you see "usage rights" and click on the down arrow of that section where varying usage descriptions appear. Notice the very last usage right which says "free to use, share or modify, even commercially" and click on that. Now click the blue "advanced search" button.

    Lots of nice images appear of great white sharks and you should feel fairly good about using any of these in a blog, your marketing, or a digital product of some kind, right? Well, no.

    Here's the rub . . .

    Click the "back" button and return to the usage rights page. You'll notice in the "usage rights" section (where we found the "free to use, share or modify, even commercially" filter) that "usage rights" is in blue and can be clicked on . . . so do that to read the explanation (it's very short) titled "Find free-to-use images."

    Here's the language that Google uses which is troubling IMO:
    "Note: Before reusing content, make sure that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse. For example, the license might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image. Google can't tell if the license label is legitimate, so we don't know if the content is lawfully licensed."
    And at the bottom of the page: "If you find content with the wrong usage rights in the search results, let us know in the Google Search Forum." Well, that's certainly comforting, isn't it? Do you think the judge will care when you explain your case?

    It's obvious to me that Google doesn't, in fact, check the copyright status of the images that appear under their usage rights filter. They may pull these images from sites that say their images are "Creative Commons" licensed, but still, Google warns everyone "before reusing content make sure that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse." The time and effort it would take to check every image license you want to use is not worth the effort IMO.

    It's certainly a bit confusing that Google would have a usage rights section that filters results for images that can be used, shared, or modified . . . then on a different page they say . . . before using any images be sure to check the copyright status (which is difficult and time consuming).

    So what's the answer? I believe, as Rose above mentioned, the safest thing to do if you can't check every Google image you want to use is to purchase images from a reputable stock image site where you are given a license to use the image. Make sure that the license allows your intended use (ask the stock image "support" people if you have a question). My favorite site is Deposit Photos. (App Sumo runs a sale about once a year where you can purchase 100 images for less than $.50 each - any size, no expiration - get on their mailing list). There are lots of other stock image sites, as well.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Originally Posted by mikeb222 View Post

    Er, ok, thanks, anyone else got any ideas?
    Yes, l have gone to Google images and occasionally found one or more of my images there, the ones that l use to sell flyers on one site with exclusive rights, so using the images may get you into trouble, if you tried to flog it in some way.

    And there are sights that have free images, but they usually have some sort of issue, but if you are good with Photoshop, etc then it can probably be overcome.

    But Photodune or Shutterstock, (750 images for about $250, l have used them a few times) might be your best bet.

    Shutterstock, does have a 250k, advertising, etc limit, but as long as that is clearly stated, l haven't found that to be a hindrance.

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  • Profile picture of the author vishwa
    Google images are just waste of time. It is a good idea to not use the Google images. You can go with stock images sites like pixabay or even go for paid one like Shuttershock, etc. It will be a good idea.
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