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Google Images and copyright

including wills and probate
Fluke
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Google Images and copyright

#416757

Postby Fluke » June 2nd, 2021, 9:33 am

I'd like to use an image I've found on the internet, I've seen it on google images plus one or two other sites too, for a poster I'm designing to be put up in a public place. How do I know if it is copyright protected if it doesn't say it is? What is the mechanism for seeking permission to use such freely available images?

Grateful for any suggestions.

didds
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#416858

Postby didds » June 2nd, 2021, 4:51 pm

identify the actual website it is from and contact the webmaster/any contact details on the site?

of download the image and use google image search to see which sites it may be on etc ?
https://images.google.co.uk/

good luck :-)

9873210
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#416866

Postby 9873210 » June 2nd, 2021, 5:16 pm

The default position should be that it should be considered copyright unless it says it isn't. And even then some diligence is need to make sure the person saying it isn't has authority to release it.

Midsmartin
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#416914

Postby Midsmartin » June 2nd, 2021, 8:05 pm

Everything has copyright unless the copyright owner has chosen to show you (or everyone) to use it freely.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#416931

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 2nd, 2021, 9:41 pm

Midsmartin wrote:Everything has copyright unless the copyright owner has chosen to show you (or everyone) to use it freely.


Technically, free use doesn't mean no copyright, it just means the copyright owner grants a permissive licence to use an image. Though copyright eventually expires, so you're free to use that detail of a Renaissance masterpiece.

There are sites that offer images that are explicitly free to use. They'd be somewhere to look. But not if the OP has a particular image in mind and hasn't been able to ascertain its origin. I'd imagine using google images to find instances of it, and try to identify the original from among them.

Fluke
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418044

Postby Fluke » June 8th, 2021, 8:44 am

9873210 wrote:The default position should be that it should be considered copyright unless it says it isn't. And even then some diligence is need to make sure the person saying it isn't has authority to release it.


One of the images I'm after seems to be attributed to Wikimedia Commons. About the image it says:

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons
and

Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.


Below that there is a letter c inside a circle with a line through it, suggesting it is not copyright protected.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ve ... rchell.jpg

I have also found another image I'm after in a publication with copyright attributed to Creative Commons.

https://creativecommons.org

Would it be too simplistic to assume that Wikemedia Commons and Creative Commons are repositories of images and artefacts that anyone can use? I cannot glean this from their 'about' pages.

servodude
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418071

Postby servodude » June 8th, 2021, 10:33 am

Fluke wrote:
9873210 wrote:The default position should be that it should be considered copyright unless it says it isn't. And even then some diligence is need to make sure the person saying it isn't has authority to release it.


One of the images I'm after seems to be attributed to Wikimedia Commons. About the image it says:

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons
and

Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.


Below that there is a letter c inside a circle with a line through it, suggesting it is not copyright protected.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ve ... rchell.jpg

I have also found another image I'm after in a publication with copyright attributed to Creative Commons.

https://creativecommons.org

Would it be too simplistic to assume that Wikemedia Commons and Creative Commons are repositories of images and artefacts that anyone can use? I cannot glean this from their 'about' pages.


Yes pretty much.... you should normally just mention you are doing so under a Creative Commons licence though it can vary a bit depending on how the content is offered, see https://creativecommons.org/faq/#how-do-i-properly-attribute-material-offered-under-a-creative-commons-license (edit: possibly in small print t'n'cs if it were for a poster
)
-sd

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418113

Postby Lanark » June 8th, 2021, 1:10 pm

Fluke wrote:Would it be too simplistic to assume that Wikemedia Commons and Creative Commons are repositories of images and artefacts that anyone can use? I cannot glean this from their 'about' pages.

It depends, if you use a CC by attribution image and fail to give attribution in strict accordance with the licence then you could be on the hook for licensing fees.

You do also have to be aware of copyright trolls like Getty Images who will sue people even for using public domain images.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190 ... ages.shtml

Fluke
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418211

Postby Fluke » June 8th, 2021, 7:15 pm

Lanark wrote:
Fluke wrote:Would it be too simplistic to assume that Wikemedia Commons and Creative Commons are repositories of images and artefacts that anyone can use? I cannot glean this from their 'about' pages.

It depends, if you use a CC by attribution image and fail to give attribution in strict accordance with the licence then you could be on the hook for licensing fees.

You do also have to be aware of copyright trolls like Getty Images who will sue people even for using public domain images.
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190 ... ages.shtml


It's a bloody mine field. I suppose it's too much to hope that if you're not using the image for any kind of monetary gain, ie non-profit purposes, nobody will come knocking for licensing fees due to some accidental infringement of the small print that you never understood in the first place?

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418372

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 9th, 2021, 12:48 pm

Fluke wrote:It's a bloody mine field. I suppose it's too much to hope that if you're not using the image for any kind of monetary gain, ie non-profit purposes, nobody will come knocking for licensing fees due to some accidental infringement of the small print that you never understood in the first place?

IANAL.

Imagine yourself a copyright holder who sees an infringement. If you care enough to take action, what's your startingpoint? Why of course, you write to the offender pointing out the infringement and asking them to stop. A court would expect you to have taken such reasonable steps before coming to them!

Could they get you for royalties even if you do stop? If you're making a profit, maybe. If you acted recklessly in pinching the image, maybe. But if you've acted in good faith - done your homework and concluded that it's OK (for example, you got the image from somewhere that says you're free to use it) - it seems unlikely.

Note that there are pirates around who may issue scary notices over works that you are free to use. For example, I once dealt with a case of a DCMA takedown notice for a book advertised online, by pointing out to the worried site owner that the book was long out of copyright (the edition offered was from the 1840s) and the american attorneys (or impersonators) asserting copyright were pure pirates.

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418375

Postby servodude » June 9th, 2021, 12:59 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Fluke wrote:It's a bloody mine field. I suppose it's too much to hope that if you're not using the image for any kind of monetary gain, ie non-profit purposes, nobody will come knocking for licensing fees due to some accidental infringement of the small print that you never understood in the first place?

IANAL.

Imagine yourself a copyright holder who sees an infringement. If you care enough to take action, what's your startingpoint? Why of course, you write to the offender pointing out the infringement and asking them to stop. A court would expect you to have taken such reasonable steps before coming to them!

Could they get you for royalties even if you do stop? If you're making a profit, maybe. If you acted recklessly in pinching the image, maybe. But if you've acted in good faith - done your homework and concluded that it's OK (for example, you got the image from somewhere that says you're free to use it) - it seems unlikely.

Note that there are pirates around who may issue scary notices over works that you are free to use. For example, I once dealt with a case of a DCMA takedown notice for a book advertised online, by pointing out to the worried site owner that the book was long out of copyright (the edition offered was from the 1840s) and the american attorneys (or impersonators) asserting copyright were pure pirates.


^ he's right!

And if you do credit the content creators in the small print off your poster they will not have much to complain about (given the whole point behind CCs) and if they did become aware of it would likely be pretty chuffed you used their work (given the whole point behind CCs)

-sd

Fluke
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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418575

Postby Fluke » June 10th, 2021, 11:28 am

Thanks all, really appreciate the advice. I feel reasonably confident that I can use the images, they all say something along the lines of ‘freely available’ or ‘in the public domain’ and none of them say copyright protected, or similar. Just wish the wording could be a bit more plain english.

Interesting about the pirates.

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418577

Postby pje16 » June 10th, 2021, 11:37 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Fluke wrote:Imagine yourself a copyright holder who sees an infringement. If you care enough to take action, what's your startingpoint? Why of course, you write to the offender pointing out the infringement and asking them to stop. A court would expect you to have taken such reasonable steps before coming to them!

Several years ago someone was using an image from my site without permission
All I wanted was a link back to my site
I contacted them, they ignored it
so I contacted the host and they took his site down (not my suggestion) - but end of problem :roll:

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418594

Postby stevensfo » June 10th, 2021, 12:46 pm

Many years ago, as an amateur musician, I was a very active contributor to the ABRSM forums (Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music) and their approach to copyright law used to drive me mad! They were more or less terrifying and confusing youngsters into believing that to print or photocopy any sheet music was illegal and could get them into big trouble. This was despite the fact that most famous music was long out of copyright and could be freely and legally downloaded and printed from various websites, some of which even had musicians who edited certain pieces for students and made them freely available.

Steve

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418612

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 10th, 2021, 1:36 pm

stevensfo wrote:Many years ago, as an amateur musician, I was a very active contributor to the ABRSM forums (Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music) and their approach to copyright law used to drive me mad! They were more or less terrifying and confusing youngsters into believing that to print or photocopy any sheet music was illegal and could get them into big trouble. This was despite the fact that most famous music was long out of copyright and could be freely and legally downloaded and printed from various websites, some of which even had musicians who edited certain pieces for students and made them freely available.

Steve


You need to watch that. Old music comes in new editions, which are generally copyright. And (as a rule of thumb), the older the music, the more there is for an editor to do to create a modern score from it. Other aspects - like a translation - may also introduce new copyright.

Indeed, "new" translations of old works have kind-of proliferated of late. Evidently existing widely-used editions are going out of copyright! I've suffered "new" translations of both of Bach's great Passions, and of Haydn's Creation. And I mean "suffered" - the new translations are quite substantially worse than the usual ones (the St John's Passion being the worst). Neither are they really new work: they're tweaks on the old ones, at the level one might come up with at idle moments in rehearsal.

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418659

Postby stevensfo » June 10th, 2021, 4:07 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
stevensfo wrote:Many years ago, as an amateur musician, I was a very active contributor to the ABRSM forums (Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music) and their approach to copyright law used to drive me mad! They were more or less terrifying and confusing youngsters into believing that to print or photocopy any sheet music was illegal and could get them into big trouble. This was despite the fact that most famous music was long out of copyright and could be freely and legally downloaded and printed from various websites, some of which even had musicians who edited certain pieces for students and made them freely available.

Steve


You need to watch that. Old music comes in new editions, which are generally copyright. And (as a rule of thumb), the older the music, the more there is for an editor to do to create a modern score from it. Other aspects - like a translation - may also introduce new copyright.

Indeed, "new" translations of old works have kind-of proliferated of late. Evidently existing widely-used editions are going out of copyright! I've suffered "new" translations of both of Bach's great Passions, and of Haydn's Creation. And I mean "suffered" - the new translations are quite substantially worse than the usual ones (the St John's Passion being the worst). Neither are they really new work: they're tweaks on the old ones, at the level one might come up with at idle moments in rehearsal.


Yes, I know about new editions and I've seen so many books for beginners where the author has simply taken well-known pieces from classical music and then simplified and edited it for students at various grades. Of course, this is then copyright. It sometimes used to irritate me that so many pieces could just have easily been edited by the teacher/musician themselves. The editing was often very simple, but you change a single thing and yep - copyright!
It's a long time ago and I used to have a long list of sites where the original music could be found and printed. One I remember is this site:
https://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page

There were programs that could scan sheet music and convert it to a form ready for editing with Sibelius, Finale etc, but the quality of the page had to be quite good for the recognition software to work. I'm sure they must have improved a lot by now.

Going back to my music and revisiting all this is on my list of things to do when I retire in a year or so. ;)

Steve

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Re: Google Images and copyright

#418690

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 10th, 2021, 6:33 pm

stevensfo wrote:Yes, I know about new editions and I've seen so many books for beginners where the author has simply taken well-known pieces from classical music and then simplified and edited it for students at various grades. Of course, this is then copyright. It sometimes used to irritate me that so many pieces could just have easily been edited by the teacher/musician themselves. The editing was often very simple, but you change a single thing and yep - copyright!

There are also people creating explicitly free sheet music: scores of works that are themselves out of copyright, released under creative commons licence.

As for asserting copyright on a work that's nothing new, I expect an edition that adds nothing significant could be challenged in court. But I wouldn't care to get involved, nor anticipate where a court would draw a line. Perhaps someone here knows if there are precedents?


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