Photography and copyright laws...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sniper, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Sniper

    Sniper Guest

    Hi, I am not sure if this topic has been
    covered before and if it has I apologize in advance. I was wondering
    if anyone could tell me the situation regarding copyright laws and
    photos. I often see stock photo CD's on ebay for sale containing
    thousands of images. If I buy one of these CD's am I allowed to resell
    the images as I see fit?. Also, how much do you have to alter an image
    before it is then considered your own work?.

    I am pretty sure all these people on ebay do
    not own the copyright to any of the images, they have just collected
    them on mass from different places and are selling them as a package.
    Is this not illegal?.

    Any input or direction to resources would be
    greatly appreciated,

    thanks
    Sniper, Apr 21, 2007
    #1
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  2. Sniper

    Shawn Hirn Guest

    In article <>,
    Sniper <> wrote:

    > Hi, I am not sure if this topic has been
    > covered before and if it has I apologize in advance. I was wondering
    > if anyone could tell me the situation regarding copyright laws and
    > photos. I often see stock photo CD's on ebay for sale containing
    > thousands of images. If I buy one of these CD's am I allowed to resell
    > the images as I see fit?. Also, how much do you have to alter an image
    > before it is then considered your own work?.
    >
    > I am pretty sure all these people on ebay do
    > not own the copyright to any of the images, they have just collected
    > them on mass from different places and are selling them as a package.
    > Is this not illegal?.
    >
    > Any input or direction to resources would be
    > greatly appreciated,
    >
    > thanks


    Probably not, but free legal advise is worth what you pay for it. If
    this issue really concerns you, contact your local Bar Associate for a
    referral to qualified legal counsel.
    Shawn Hirn, Apr 21, 2007
    #2
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  3. In article <>,
    Sniper <> wrote:

    >SNIP<
    > I was wondering
    > if anyone could tell me the situation regarding copyright laws and
    > photos. I often see stock photo CD's on ebay for sale containing
    > thousands of images. If I buy one of these CD's am I allowed to resell
    > the images as I see fit?.


    There are too many issues here to cover. Images are copyrighted when
    fixed in a medium, which courts have found to be either film or digital
    recording medium. So stock photo CDs have copyrighted photos. Whoever
    buys a stock photo CD has licensed the use of the photos. I have no
    clue what the terms of the license are; they should be in the
    description of the CD on eBay or where ever you see them. They often
    prohibit resale but allow use for your Web site or magazine - whatever.
    If there are no terms given in the description, I have no clue.

    > Also, how much do you have to alter an image
    > before it is then considered your own work?.


    This is a common question, and the answer is, it's a derivative work,
    still owned by the creator. It's never considered your own work.

    Copyright law is fairly clear, so I suggest reading it yourself:
    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103
    http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/INTELLECTUALPROPERTY/distance.htm
    http://fairuse.stanford.edu/commentary_and_analysis/2003_11_hirtle.html

    If you read those URLs, you'll see I'm sending you to the US copyright
    office, the University of Texas, and Stanford University, not
    Wikipedia, answers.com, or other sources. You can read the pages I cite
    and have confidence in the materials. Do a search on the UT page for
    derivative, for example, and read what the law says.
    >
    > I am pretty sure all these people on ebay do
    > not own the copyright to any of the images, they have just collected
    > them on mass from different places and are selling them as a package.
    > Is this not illegal?.


    If that's what's happening, then it is a violation of the rights of
    whoever owns the copyrights in the images. Finding out about it and
    tracking down the sellers is difficult.

    --
    Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Apr 21, 2007
    #3
  4. Sniper

    =\(8\) Guest

    Generally stock Photo Discs are for your use only. You can not resell or
    repackage or give them away. For more information on what you can and can't
    do with them read the license agreement. Most places are pretty limiting.
    Also, remember you are buying the disc, but only a license to use the
    contents. You are not buying the contents.

    =(8)
    =\(8\), Apr 21, 2007
    #4
  5. Sniper

    Guest

    On Apr 21, 2:47 am, "=\(8\)" <> wrote:
    > Generally stock Photo Discs are for your use only. You can not resell or
    > repackage or give them away. For more information on what you can and can't
    > do with them read the license agreement. Most places are pretty limiting.
    > Also, remember you are buying the disc, but only a license to use the
    > contents. You are not buying the contents.
    >
    > =(8)



    Another similar question. Some famous photos (for example a picture of
    the Grand Canyon) can be re-created by yourself, as the locations
    where the photos were taken are known publicly (you know, there are
    sites where a sign indicates where to get a great photos of a
    scenery). You can take the exact image of a famous photo (of course,
    it may be under different light conditions). In this case, this photo
    is taken by you and perhaps retouched to be exactly like the
    copyrighted one. Would this mean that you still violate the copyright
    law?
    , Apr 21, 2007
    #5
  6. wrote:

    : Another similar question. Some famous photos (for example a picture of
    : the Grand Canyon) can be re-created by yourself, as the locations
    : where the photos were taken are known publicly (you know, there are
    : sites where a sign indicates where to get a great photos of a
    : scenery). You can take the exact image of a famous photo (of course,
    : it may be under different light conditions). In this case, this photo
    : is taken by you and perhaps retouched to be exactly like the
    : copyrighted one. Would this mean that you still violate the copyright
    : law?

    No. If your finger is the one pressing the button to capture the image you
    are the copyright holder (until you sell or assign the copyright to
    someone else). You hold the copyright to that image but not to the
    subject. So if 20 people take the exact same image at the exact same time
    each of them would hold the copyright to their image and have no right to
    any of the other images taken, even if the images are indistinguishable
    from each other. Of course if you take an image that is precicely the same
    as a famous image and the copyright holder of the earlier image wants to
    bring suit, you may have a bit of trouble coming up with proof that your
    image was taken by you if it is a little too exactly the same.

    As to the idea of editing, the copyright extends to all of the image and
    all of the portions of the image. So even if you use a single pixel of
    a copyrighted image it could be concidered a violation (tho it would be
    difficult to prove that this pixel came from that source).

    Disclaimer: I am not a copyright lawyer, just an interested amature and
    thus for precise legal opinion you should consult a copyright law
    professional.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
    Randy Berbaum, Apr 21, 2007
    #6
  7. Sniper

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <200420072221076835%>,
    says...

    > Copyright law is fairly clear, so I suggest reading it yourself:
    > http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103
    > http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/INTELLECTUALPROPERTY/distance.htm
    > http://fairuse.stanford.edu/commentary_and_analysis/2003_11_hirtle.html
    >
    > If you read those URLs, you'll see I'm sending you to the US copyright
    > office, the University of Texas, and Stanford University, not
    > Wikipedia, answers.com, or other sources.


    These are the laws of one country out of over 160. It would be better to
    post links to international laws and conventions.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E300, E330, E400 and E500 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    http://myolympus.org/ photo sharing site
    Alfred Molon, Apr 21, 2007
    #7
  8. On Apr 20, 7:53 pm, Sniper <> wrote:
    > Hi, I am not sure if this topic has been
    > covered before and if it has I apologize in advance. I was wondering
    > if anyone could tell me the situation regarding copyright laws and
    > photos. I often see stock photo CD's on ebay for sale containing
    > thousands of images. If I buy one of these CD's am I allowed to resell
    > the images as I see fit?. Also, how much do you have to alter an image
    > before it is then considered your own work?.
    >
    > I am pretty sure all these people on ebay do
    > not own the copyright to any of the images, they have just collected
    > them on mass from different places and are selling them as a package.
    > Is this not illegal?.
    >
    > Any input or direction to resources would be
    > greatly appreciated,
    >
    > thanks


    Depends on whether you are buying the disk from the company directly,
    or second hand, on eBay.

    If you buy it from the company offering it, then their literature
    should make it clear what the terms of the "sale" are. Some ARE
    royalty free, but what that means exactly are up to the conditions the
    seller, who SHOULD be the owner of the copyright, puts on the sale. If
    the terms are NOT posted on their site, or in their literature,
    contact them and ask for the terms of sale.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Apr 21, 2007
    #8
  9. Sniper

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    Sniper <> wrote:

    > Hi, I am not sure if this topic has been
    > covered before and if it has I apologize in advance. I was wondering
    > if anyone could tell me the situation regarding copyright laws and
    > photos. I often see stock photo CD's on ebay for sale containing
    > thousands of images. If I buy one of these CD's am I allowed to resell
    > the images as I see fit?


    Of course not, unless the holder of the copyright for the image you're
    using allows you to.

    > Also, how much do you have to alter an image before it is then considered
    > your own work?.


    None. Which is to say that even if you alter it, it's not considered
    your work. Because it isn't.

    > I am pretty sure all these people on ebay do not
    > own the copyright to any of the images, they have just collected them on
    > mass from different places and are selling them as a package. Is this not
    > illegal?.


    Let's put it this way: It's not legal. Whether it's illegal depends on
    the country of origin and/or sale. The real issue is that if you use
    someone else's material, and they catch you, you'll get sued.

    --
    http://www.xoverboard.com/cartoons/2007/070416_argument.html
    Paul Mitchum, Apr 21, 2007
    #9
  10. Alfred Molon wrote:
    > In article <200420072221076835%>,
    > says...
    >
    >> Copyright law is fairly clear, so I suggest reading it yourself:
    >> http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103
    >> http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/INTELLECTUALPROPERTY/distance.htm
    >> http://fairuse.stanford.edu/commentary_and_analysis/2003_11_hirtle.html
    >>
    >> If you read those URLs, you'll see I'm sending you to the US copyright
    >> office, the University of Texas, and Stanford University, not
    >> Wikipedia, answers.com, or other sources.

    >
    > These are the laws of one country out of over 160. It would be better to
    > post links to international laws and conventions.


    Well; yes and no. You won't (can't) be prosecuted under those, you'll
    be prosecuted under the law in some specific country. So that's the law
    that really matters. Also, the case law, which is what establishes what
    the words really mean, is all specific to one country or another.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 21, 2007
    #10
  11. Sniper

    Sniper Guest

    On Apr 21, 5:50 pm, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    > Alfred Molon wrote:
    > > In article <200420072221076835%>,
    > > says...

    >
    > >> Copyright law is fairly clear, so I suggest reading it yourself:
    > >>http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103

    Thanks for the responses. On the same issue, today
    I was snooping around some online stock photography sites (alamy) and
    noticed one contributer who had about 38000 film stills online!. What
    is the copyright situation with film stills, are they public domain?.
    If you watch a movie and make several screen grabs with software is
    the picture then your copyright?.






    > >>http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/INTELLECTUALPROPERTY/distance.htm
    > >>http://fairuse.stanford.edu/commentary_and_analysis/2003_11_hirtle.html

    >
    > >> If you read those URLs, you'll see I'm sending you to the US copyright
    > >> office, the University of Texas, and Stanford University, not
    > >> Wikipedia, answers.com, or other sources.

    >
    > > These are the laws of one country out of over 160. It would be better to
    > > post links to international laws and conventions.

    >
    > Well; yes and no. You won't (can't) be prosecuted under those, you'll
    > be prosecuted under the law in some specific country. So that's the law
    > that really matters. Also, the case law, which is what establishes what
    > the words really mean, is all specific to one country or another.
    Sniper, Apr 22, 2007
    #11
  12. Sniper

    =\(8\) Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Apr 21, 2:47 am, "=\(8\)" <> wrote:
    >> Generally stock Photo Discs are for your use only. You can not resell or
    >> repackage or give them away. For more information on what you can and
    >> can't
    >> do with them read the license agreement. Most places are pretty limiting.
    >> Also, remember you are buying the disc, but only a license to use the
    >> contents. You are not buying the contents.
    >>
    >> =(8)

    >
    >
    > Another similar question. Some famous photos (for example a picture of
    > the Grand Canyon) can be re-created by yourself, as the locations
    > where the photos were taken are known publicly (you know, there are
    > sites where a sign indicates where to get a great photos of a
    > scenery). You can take the exact image of a famous photo (of course,
    > it may be under different light conditions). In this case, this photo
    > is taken by you and perhaps retouched to be exactly like the
    > copyrighted one. Would this mean that you still violate the copyright
    > law?
    >


    I would say no. But, you had better be able to prove you took the image. It
    is also important to note that some images of famous places can't not be
    shot legally. For example you can shoot the eifal tower in Paris during the
    day, but it is illegal to do so at night with the light show going. The same
    is true about certain works for art.

    =(8)
    =\(8\), Apr 22, 2007
    #12
  13. Sniper

    =\(8\) Guest

    "Sniper" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Apr 21, 5:50 pm, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >> Alfred Molon wrote:
    >> > In article <200420072221076835%>,
    >> > says...

    >>
    >> >> Copyright law is fairly clear, so I suggest reading it yourself:
    >> >>http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103

    > Thanks for the responses. On the same issue, today
    > I was snooping around some online stock photography sites (alamy) and
    > noticed one contributer who had about 38000 film stills online!. What
    > is the copyright situation with film stills, are they public domain?.
    > If you watch a movie and make several screen grabs with software is
    > the picture then your copyright?.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >> >>http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/INTELLECTUALPROPERTY/distance.htm
    >> >>http://fairuse.stanford.edu/commentary_and_analysis/2003_11_hirtle.html

    >>
    >> >> If you read those URLs, you'll see I'm sending you to the US copyright
    >> >> office, the University of Texas, and Stanford University, not
    >> >> Wikipedia, answers.com, or other sources.

    >>
    >> > These are the laws of one country out of over 160. It would be better
    >> > to
    >> > post links to international laws and conventions.

    >>
    >> Well; yes and no. You won't (can't) be prosecuted under those, you'll
    >> be prosecuted under the law in some specific country. So that's the law
    >> that really matters. Also, the case law, which is what establishes what
    >> the words really mean, is all specific to one country or another.

    >
    >


    I would guess that it would depend on the film. Really old silent's could be
    in the public domain. Stills from Star Wars on the other hand I would be
    would be a copyright violation. It is also important to know that some
    movies are now privately owned and so if the person posting the stills is
    the owner then no problem. You would need more information. I would assume
    that unless the stock house was just plain illegal that they have made sure
    the images are kosher.

    =(8)
    =\(8\), Apr 22, 2007
    #13
  14. Sniper

    Bill Funk Guest

    On 24 Apr 2007 06:36:09 -0700, Sniper <> wrote:

    >
    > I was under the impression that publicity stills are
    >public domain as they are produced for distribution to the public.
    >
    > thanks
    >


    No.
    Distribution does not confer copyrights.
    Music is produced for distributed to the public, even over AM and FM
    bands with no cost to the public.
    This does not mean you have a right to copy and distribute that music.

    --
    THIS IS A SIG LINE; NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!

    The NFL quizzed each prospective draftee about
    past drug use before Saturday's player draft
    in New York. Innocent bystanders always get hurt.
    After Barack Obama admitted to past use of cocaine,
    he went sailing past Hillary Clinton in fund-raising.
    Bill Funk, Apr 24, 2007
    #14
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