Will this count as copyright infringement?

29 replies
So basically I have this movie review blog. I write 50 - 100 word reviews for best movies of a specific genre like comedy, horror etc. My reviews are totally unique and original. And I run adsense on it. There are no images of movie posters or trailers from the youtube at the moment on my site. Just plain content.

Now what I want to do is put image of movie poster alongside with each movie review so that my site looks a bit more fuller and I hope this will reduce my bounce rate too.

For example, if I review a movie, say ABC and put the poster of this movie ABC alongside of the review, and run adsense on the sidebar, will this count as copyright infringement?

And how do I get to know if the image of the movie poster is copyrighted or not?
#copyright #count #infringement
  • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
    Originally Posted by Evolutionsic View Post

    It is copyright infringement.

    However.
    Go ahead and use the images, don't direct link to them either. Download them and change the description, upload. repeat.

    This is a must
    Have on your contact page a simple "These post/images are uploaded by the community, I can't monitor every single post and if any post/image infringes copyright please use the contact form below and i'll have it dealt with as soon as possible.

    avoid images with watermarks and such, You'll normally just get a email asking you to take them down in which you will comply with.
    and this is bad advice
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Companies that control use of images will NOT always just ask you politely to remove a copyright image from your site. They may send you a huge bill instead. This has become rather common with image copyright violations.

    I'd advise you to get permission to use the images or buy rights to use them. You don't say where those images are coming from so check the rights of use on the sites before adding them.

    "These post/images are uploaded by the community, I can't monitor every single post and if any post/image infringes copyright please use the contact form below and i'll have it dealt with as soon as possible.
    Companies and legal firms that enforce image copyright are used to that trick. If it's your website, you are responsible for what's on it.

    I am not a lawyer - but if you use images without permission, you may need one:rolleyes:

    kay
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Here's a wierd idea, and no, I'm not smoking anything.

      How about finding a way to do things legally?

      I know that's what the OP is after, but the advice given - basically, that it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission - is very bad. These days, many media companies are skipping the 'forgiveness' part and going straight to 'punishment'.

      youngchild92, there's a way to have your graphics, and maybe even make some money on them.

      AllPosters.com Affiliates Program!

      Find the poster you want, insert it in your review, and link out to the page where readers can buy it...
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    • Profile picture of the author Evolutionsic
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Companies that control use of images will NOT always just ask you politely to remove a copyright image from your site. They may send you a huge bill instead. This has become rather common with image copyright violations.

      I'd advise you to get permission to use the images or buy rights to use them. You don't say where those images are coming from so check the rights of use on the sites before adding them.



      Companies and legal firms that enforce image copyright are used to that trick. If it's your website, you are responsible for what's on it.

      I am not a lawyer - but if you use images without permission, you may need one:rolleyes:

      kay
      Okay , but how do all the file sharing companys get away with it? :confused: such as mediafire, megaupload,
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  • Profile picture of the author theebookcavern
    I'm a little confused on this issue because Amazon uses these images as part of their Associates program. So are all Amazon affiliates and Amazon themselves infringing copyright too?

    If you log into your Amazon Associates account, search for a DVD or Blu Ray that you want to promote then click 'Get Link' there is an option for 'Image Only'. If you select this option it gives you an image of the movie poster that links to the Amazon sales page.

    Originally Posted by youngchild92 View Post

    For example, if I review a movie, say ABC and put the poster of this movie ABC alongside of the review, and run adsense on the sidebar, will this count as copyright infringement?
    If youngchild92 decided to promote the movies he reviews through Amazon Associates with 'Image Only' links would this still count as copyright infringement?

    I'm no lawyer but I imagine Amazon's legal department did their research before encouraging affiliates to use these images.
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    • Profile picture of the author youngchild92
      Originally Posted by theebookcavern View Post

      I'm a little confused on this issue because Amazon uses these images as part of their Associates program. So are all Amazon affiliates and Amazon themselves infringing copyright too?

      If you log into your Amazon Associates account, search for a DVD or Blu Ray that you want to promote then click 'Get Link' there is an option for 'Image Only'. If you select this option it gives you an image of the movie poster that links to the Amazon sales page.



      If youngchild92 decided to promote the movies he reviews through Amazon Associates with 'Image Only' links would this still count as copyright infringement?

      I'm no lawyer but I imagine Amazon's legal department did their research before encouraging affiliates to use these images.
      I see your point. But I am still not very clear about whether should I be using the images or not on my website, but I think I'll keep it the way it is without images. I don't want to run in any legal troubles at all!
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      • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
        Originally Posted by youngchild92 View Post

        I see your point. But I am still not very clear about whether should I be using the images or not on my website, but I think I'll keep it the way it is without images. I don't want to run in any legal troubles at all!
        sharing companies hold no responsibility of the content of these files, if your read their Term of Service (which nobody bother to read). The uploaded certify he has the right to upload this content and he hold the legal responsibility for violating copyright laws.

        This is the case with facbeook as well. If you upload an image and it violates copyright, you are the one who going down not facebook
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      No one can give a legal opinion about whether infringement exists, especially without seeing the web page, picture, and overall context, but the important issues have been mentioned ... (1) fair use and (2) taking advantage of the Amazon affiliate program.

      When in doubt, use the Amazon product picture and make sure it links back to Amazon using your affiliate account.

      That's what I do.

      If you want to monetize a movie review blog wouldn't it make sense to include a link to Amazon where the movie can be bought?

      If there would ever be a copyright issue, and I don't believe I've heard of one arising in this situation, you just refer it to Amazon and the problem should be solved.

      (But of course, that 'context' issue could be messy if you're violating the Amazon affiliate program terms, promoting a Disney movie on your porn site, etc.)

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author youngchild92
    But I see many websites using movie poster images alongside the review. Are they not infringing copyright? For example this website:

    Best Comedy of All Time - CollegeHumor
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    • Profile picture of the author Gail_Curran
      John McCabe gave you excellent advice. Do what he says and you won't have problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author pbarnhart
    If you are truly doing movie reviews, using a poster in most cases is fair use. An excellent discussion concerning the problems with this whole concept is at badmovies.org.

    Over on Wikipedia, they include movie posters with the following caveat:

    This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. It is believed that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters to provide critical commentary on the film, event, etc. in question or of the poster itself, not solely for illustration qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.
    They also explicitly state that it is hosted on servers in the USA, since in some countries Fair Use is much more restrictive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Exire
    First of all, I'm not a lawyer. This, however, is my understanding of it:

    Copyright law allows for certain usage like this and is known as "Fair Use." You can almost certainly use a movie poster when writing a review of the movie (use the AllPoster.com affiliate, as suggested). Copyright infringement can't be claimed if the material is being used to review or critique or as an excerpted example, and so on. It's set up like that specifically to prevent people from claiming copyright infringement when being criticized or reviewed. Otherwise you could quickly sue for copyright infringement and shut down anyone who happened to be critical of anything you've ever written which, obviously, leads to all kinds of problems for consumers and so forth.

    Wikipedia has an article on Fair Use that might help. They say, "Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test."
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    • Profile picture of the author mikereisinger
      Originally Posted by Exire View Post

      First of all, I'm not a lawyer. This, however, is my understanding of it:

      Copyright law allows for certain usage like this and is known as "Fair Use." You can almost certainly use a movie poster when writing a review of the movie (use the AllPoster.com affiliate, as suggested). Copyright infringement can't be claimed if the material is being used to review or critique or as an excerpted example, and so on. It's set up like that specifically to prevent people from claiming copyright infringement when being criticized or reviewed. Otherwise you could quickly sue for copyright infringement and shut down anyone who happened to be critical of anything you've ever written which, obviously, leads to all kinds of problems for consumers and so forth.

      Wikipedia has an article on Fair Use that might help. They say, "Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test."
      Seriously....this is the advice you were looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Unbelievable, Wow, Crazy, just a few things that come to mind, here, reading some of the advice in this thread, Wow,
    ================================================== ==
    This is not legal advice....
    ==================

    If you proceed to follow the advice given either in a desire to either land you in jail or having to hire a "real Lawyer" You will likely and truly find yourself in a very bad and yes Sad situation.

    To answer your question "without giving you any advice at all" Yes, it is infringement.

    Reviews are one thing, free speech I believe covers most reviews, as long as what you say is based on opinion and not subject to any legal slander or libel considerations. (again this is not legal advice at all)

    But using images that belong to someone else, and then "pretending" that someone else uploaded them, (when you really did upload or "borrowed them" ) is completely insane.

    Either use Royalty free images, or create your own, or go to the morgue to find them, or find another licensed venue, in other words stay legal, if you have to ask if what your doing is legal then you know deep down in your heart what your suggesting is wrong.

    Not judging you at all, in fact, I applaud you for asking a good question, what I take offense to is the replies that suggest that you can get away with copyright infringement by blaming the users of your community,(

    I am going to say that is the worst advice I have seen on this forum in all of 2012...

    No matter, you know what is right in your heart and because you took the time to ask, and now you have an answer or several answers, you can choose the one you like best.

    Me, I find it is always better to do the legal thing, because in the long run what goes around comes around, call it kismet, Karma, or just Providence, playing by the rules will always put you ten steps ahead of anyone else that fails to play by the rules...

    Keep this in mind and you cannot fail in marketing, that is one of the most important things that I have learned in 15 years of marketing...
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  • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
    How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission?
    Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances. See FL 102, Fair Use, and Circular 21, Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians.
    if you are reviewing these movies, you can put copyrighted pictures in your website.

    source: copyright.gov
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by iThinkhard View Post

      if you are reviewing these movies, you can put copyrighted pictures in your website.

      source: copyright.gov
      It doesn't say that at all!
      Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports.
      The best advice is to not get advice here.

      The above quote doesn't say you can use a movie poster image when reviewing a movie. On the other hand, if you were critiquing the poster itself, then I would think it WOULD fall under fair use.

      Also, using the images from Amazon to promote an Amazon product should be okay, because the images are most likely licensed for that purpose.

      However, I AM NOT A LAWYER, so I am NOT giving legal advice of any kind. Just saying that how YOU interpret something is often MUCH different than how a money-hungry lawyer would interpret the same thing.

      All the best,
      Michael

      p.s. Anybody catch the redundancy above?
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  • Profile picture of the author youngchild92
    Thank you everyone for your advises and suggestions. And I have decided that I'll not put any movies posters or movie trailers from youtube on that blog. I might use amazon associates images and banners at later time but for now no images! Only plain text reviews and adsense ads! Thanks everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    Put the images up.

    Nothing will happen.

    Relax.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by LetsGoViral View Post

      Put the images up.

      Nothing will happen.

      Relax.
      While you are at it, go ahead and repost any articles or pages from books that you like.

      Nothing will happen.

      Relax.

      ~M~
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by LetsGoViral View Post

      Put the images up.

      Nothing will happen.

      Relax.
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Nothing will happen to you when you give crap legal advice.

      Listen to Kindsvater and John McCabe. They both gave sound advice. One is an attorney and the other is a Happy Hooker.
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  • Profile picture of the author pandadoodle
    I'm new here.

    But as far as I'm aware you can use movie posters, dvd covers and other images / art work that are related to the press release of said film or product without any issue. The problem comes if you try to pass off the photo as your own or modify it in such a way that will infringe on the original items.

    Example would be changing Terminator poster to read Furrminator and keeping the terminator image in the background.
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  • Profile picture of the author melodyx
    youngchild92,

    Thank you so much for this post. It's helped me out with what I'm doing also. I'd like to take this question a bit further though. I have a wiki site that is archiving a certain genre of TV and radio history. Right now I do not have ads on the site, but it hasn't gotten big enough to were any pictures have been posted by myself or anyone else. My question is does the rules of the game change if I were to be making money off the site via ads? From what I have found there are ways of getting around copyright legally if there is no money being made... but what about when there is money being made from ad revenue?

    I'm pretty sure the radio pictures and sound clips I have found would be alright (almost all of them date back before the 1950's, most from the 30's and 40's), but there are more recent, even ones still in production I'd like to find legal ways of posting pictures, video, and sould clips.
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  • Profile picture of the author youngchild92
    Following is the url of my site if anyone is interested to know. By the way I have decided I'll not put up any images or something like that. Just adsense I suppose.

    Best Comedy Movies
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa5575
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Iriss
      Make your own stuff and send a bill to all others who use it.
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      • Profile picture of the author zacsmith
        I run movie posters/photos all the time in a trade association magazine I produce for a client, without issue.

        The difference is that I contact the studio's promotion/pr department and get clearance to do so. This usually involves them sending me a blanket permission statement along with approved posters and photos. I also include the proper attribution, and if requested, a link back to the film's website.

        Some studios want you to take down the graphics after a certain date, or not post until a certain date.

        If the studio says "no," we simply run a story with a released photos of the start (available from other sources), or no photo.

        Ask first and follow the rules.

        The world won't end of the post/story doesn't have a photo to go with it.

        gary
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  • Profile picture of the author StefanB
    Add the images and add a DMCA statement on your site that explains how copyright holders can contact you to take down any copyrighted content.
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  • Profile picture of the author solarwarrior
    it is the best that you avoid it. I highly encourage you to get images from istockphotos instead where all the rights are covered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Wilhite
    Deep in your heart, I suspect you know the answer to your question. The fact that you asked it probably tells me that you think what you want to do borders on copyright infringement.

    So go ahead and get permission on the use of images. It is the safest way to do business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles Jones
      In case someone has not mentioned it...all images like the ones you are describing are handled by a couple of companies...Baker and Taylor being one of them.....the reason that Amazon and other sites have them is they PAY B&T to get a feed of the images.

      Same for track samples...they pay when people listen to them and are hosted by B&T.

      Just thought I would tell you why some have them and so do not...some companies can't afford the $10-25K a yr it costs to license them...and that was the last time I checked. They have all the data as well...like description, actor lists, all those fields you see.

      And yes I DO KNOW, I used to run a site with 1M+ products...books, dvd's, games, ect. We used Baker and Taylor for drop shipping and licensed their data.

      Do the posters.com affiliate program. IF YOU are doing a limited run of products, you CAN go to the company's site (like Sony) and request access to their private site where you can download stuff like dvd covers ect....but you would have to do that for each company that you have products for.

      Good luck!
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