Intellectual Property Rights

11 replies
There is a big danger here and ignorance of the legal aspects of this subject are no excuse where copyright is being violated, it is not taken into account.

Why is there a danger?
Well people like me who are often browsing this Forum are on occasions looking for assistance in setting up websites/blogs and even purchasing a WSO where websites are built for them. You may buy websites or blogs with images built in, they look very attractive but how little we know.....

So my question is how can we protect ourselves, how can we be sure that the images we see on any website or blog that is set up for us or that we may purchase, are not subject to copyright?

Once the website/blog becomes our property we are liable and so is it prudent to assume that we are without risk or indeed accept the word of the seller that he has not used any image that could at sometime be an embarrassment to us? The fact that the seller might have a license makes no difference, I believe he cannot pass on the authority for use.

Can anyone advise as to how this problem can be overcome save for building your own and using your own licensed images?
#intellectual #property #rights
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I would ask the vendor to give me the URL of any image he purchased for the site, so that I can get my own license to use that image.

    If he says that it is public domain, he should also be able to show where he found that image, so that you can have legal backup for the use of the image.
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Profile picture of the author Benny L
      you can also use tineye.com to search for an image on the web. If the content is truly original, it shouldn't appear anywhere else. Now this isn't 100%. The images could be manipulated so they don't match. However, it's not a bad "quick check" just to see...
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Benny L View Post

        you can also use tineye.com to search for an image on the web. If the content is truly original, it shouldn't appear anywhere else. Now this isn't 100%. The images could be manipulated so they don't match. However, it's not a bad "quick check" just to see...

        Tineye is not always reliable.

        It does excellent work for tracking down images that are available for sale somewhere, but if the image has rarely been published, it is about useless.
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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        • Profile picture of the author ShaggyMax
          Anyone ever receive the infamous Getty Images extortion cease and desist letters? lol! Intellectual Property Law in the digital spectrum has a bright future.
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  • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
    If you do get hit up by Getty, take a look at extortionletterinfo.com before deciding what to do. If you have your own lawyer advise you before responding, even better.
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    • Profile picture of the author NeillMac
      Yes, I was hit many years ago and it wasn't pleasant. I paid the "fine" and went off with my tail between my legs. The problem was that, like the examples shown above with 3rd parties creating websites and using unpaid for images, I believed I had been stung innocently.

      When a merchant I was promoting many years ago confirmed that I could use the images on his site I, very innocently and perhaps very naively considered I could use ALL the imges - not just the images of the products. So yes, you guessed it, one of the images I used was a stock photograph which the merchant had paid for but which I obviously didn't have permission use.



      I am now super careful to ensure that I have paid for all images on my site or that I have specific written authority when I want to use images given to me by other people. That includes ALL images on my sites – even down to images of "bullet points" and "ticks". The size of the image is totally immaterial, since they are all identifiable by the stock images company bot that visits your site; and the penalty is no less because of the size of the image.

      I've learned a lesson - the hard way. I hope sombody out there learns from my mistake.

      Neill
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinPlatt
    I'd say that if you're buying the site with images, then the expectation is that the images are also licenced, unless specified.

    I think if you wanted to cover yourself, and you asked the person selling the stuff, and they said that it was, via e-mail, you have done what can be reasonably expected.

    Then again, I'm not a legal eagle. It seems dumb that you have to seek advice for things like this. Absurd.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Also note that photos on paid stock photo sites can also be stolen. iStockPhoto offers copyright infringement insurance on the photos you buy there for an extra fee. So a huge service like that can't even guarantee their images are legit.

    And beware of free stock photo sites that allow public uploads. Some users treat those sites as if it's regular image hosting and upload stuff that isn't theirs.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    A few things you can do:

    First, you have written agreement with the buyer, and the agreement states the buyer owns the images or has the right to include them with the sale of the website.

    Second, the seller provides proof of where they obtained the pictures.

    Third, where is the seller located? Are they in a place where you can sue their butt, or are they anonymously from some country you have never heard of?

    I paid the "fine" and went off with my tail between my legs.
    There is no "fine" and keep in mind as an innocent buyer of a website your only responsibility may be removing the images.

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author NeillMac
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      A few things you can do:

      There is no "fine" and keep in mind as an innocent buyer of a website your only responsibility may be removing the images.

      .
      If only that were true. OK, technically it may not be a "fine" but you are required to pay the stock image company a fee for each and every "illegal" image on your site. With added costs for administration etc that fee invariably amounts to more than the cost of purchasing the image legally in the first place. That's why I called it a fine.

      I understand that cease and desist notices do not exist and simply removing an image is NOT an option. Neither is the stock image company interested in 3rd parties - that's your problem. So, your site - your illegal image - you pay!!

      Neill
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      • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
        I am very careful about my own use of other people's copyrighted material (only use it with permission) and I protect my own material, but a couple of points:

        1. Just because somebody claims they are the copyright holder of an image, doesn't necessarily mean they are.

        2. Just because somebody claims you infringed, doesn't necessarily mean you did. Quite often for example infringement notices are done using automated software which can get it wrong sometimes, either matching images that don't match, or matching images that aren't even in the accused site. (for example hot-linked images inside banners).

        3. Just because somebody says that they could sue you for $x doesn't necessarily mean they would win that in court. The usual tactic is to quote the maximum amount possible for wilful infringement of a registered work and scare you with that. The court may not award that amount, the infringement may not be wilful, the work may not be registered, and all sorts of other circumstances may come into play.

        4. Just because somebody says the price to settle is $y, doesn't mean you have to accept their offer/demand.

        Obviously it is best not to infringe copyright, and best not to get accused (rightly or wrongly), but if someone does come after you asking for money for alleged infringement, you ought to be doing some investigation before deciding whether to pay.

        Like I said, extortionletterinfo.com has a lot of info from others who have been in a similar situation, and you can also talk to your own lawyer.

        (I am not a lawyer, so the above is just my personal opinion)
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