Is it OK to use photos from .gov site? public domain?

4 replies
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Hello Warriors,

I was wondering if anyone can copy and use photos from .gov domains, since they belong to government does it means it is in public domain?
#domain #gov #photos #public #site
  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Just because a .gov domain uses a picture doesn't mean you can. It can be owned and licensed from someone else. I had a lawsuit a while back for $4,000 because I used an unlicensed image, so it is better to be safe than sorry for sure!
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Check the copyright/attribution notice for the photo. If it was taken by a government employee or supplied by a government agency (Hubble telescope photos from NASA, for example), then the photo is in the public domain. But do make certain BEFORE you use it.

    The 2nd Amendment, 1789 - The Original Homeland Security.

    Gun control means never having to say, "I missed you."

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  • Profile picture of the author mgreener

    If you can't figure it out, you can always email the webmaster and ask about the copyright status of the image in question.

    Easier/safer, buy images from istockphoto or similar. Then you KNOW.
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  • Profile picture of the author fellowgeek
    Thanks everybody,

    This is the image I wanted to use for my news article:

    I ended up emailing the Media Contact person, and they said "YES" I can use it.

    Here is the link to the article Scientists Build Interface for Nerves, Prosthetics

    It took them 1 day to answer, so in the mean time I found a photo on flicker with CC license that allows commercial use.

    In this case it is a little hard to tell if the photo is taken by government employee or not.
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