By in Pictures

Fair Use Laws

I asked some friends of mine who know more about copyright laws and all that than I do about the problem with someone copying/downloading my photos from this, or any other Internet, site. My friends said that it IS illegal and against copyright laws to just steal someone's photo that way. If the photos have a copyright notice on them, which all of mine do, and it does not say that you have permission to use them, then you are not supposed to just steal them. For commercial or personal use. You are supposed to ask first.

Here is a link one of my friends gave me that explains Fair Use more:

Fair Use only applies if you are taking a part of a work and changing it or using it for school or newspaper purposes or the like, or if you are quoting something else, and then you can only use so much of the work. It DOES NOT apply to stealing someone's photo because you are not using a part of the photo, you are taking the whole thing. You are not even supposed to do it for screen savers or anything like that because the photos can be sold for that purpose and you are not paying.

If someone has another link that contradicts this information, I'd love to see it.

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Ellis wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:51 PM

The only sure way to stop people stealing your work is to not put it out there...for me that isn't an best stuff only goes to places where it is watermarked before it's offered for sale..

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:55 PM

I know. I'm not dumb enough to think people haven't stolen photos before. It just irks me that it happened here, and AFTER we'd been talking about it not being right and that no one had permission to take the photos. Very inconsiderate.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on November 8, 2014, 7:57 PM

Just a suggestion on using links in posts. You probably want to set them to open in a new window, otherwise when someone clicks your link, they leave your post immediately.

Kasman wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:06 PM

As I said in your other post - if someone downloads one of your photos and doesn't use it anywhere else how are you going to know? I think that that part of copyright law is useless - unless you find out about an infringement there is nothing you can do about it. I guess it all comes down to how honest a person is and as we all know there are many dishonest people out there. BTW it would be up to you to take legal action and unless you have registered an image with the US Copyright Office raising an action for breach of copyright could cost you an arm and a leg and there is no guarantee you will win (the only winner would be your lawyer). Sending a polite letter to an infringer is a waste of time and even a DMCA Notice might not work.
Fair Use is a very grey area and only a Court of Law can give a definitive answer in any particular case. Read this:

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:20 PM

Sorry, I didn't even think about it this time.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:22 PM

I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I know people have probably stolen photos before. I'm just saying it isn't right. Just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done or is the right thing to do.

Feisty56 wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:22 PM

I feel and understand your frustration about folks taking your work without permission. I'll defer my understanding of copyright laws to those who have already commented.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:27 PM

I don't know much about it either. That's why I asked people who do. It doesn't matter anyway. I just have to decide if I want to post photos here anymore or not, and if so do I want a big ole watermark across them. I definitely won't be posting anything for people to steal any longer.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 8:48 PM

Here is another link with more information:

AliCanary wrote on November 8, 2014, 10:36 PM

No argument from me. That agrees with my understanding of it.

AngelSharum wrote on November 8, 2014, 11:38 PM

For me, it boils down right and wrong. Whether it was a law or not, you just don't steal another person's work.

BarbRad wrote on November 9, 2014, 4:25 AM

Some sites, like HubPages, won't let you use watermarked photos.

MegL wrote on November 9, 2014, 5:44 AM

If you have a blog, put your URL on the photo as your watermark. It doesn't have to be right across the middle but make sure it's not somewhere that can easily be cropped out. Then, even if people are stealing your photo and using it elsewhere, that URL is a link back to your blog where you MIGHT be able to sell photos to those who are interested.

WordChazer wrote on November 9, 2014, 5:45 AM

I remember when I was buying photos of my competition time in 10ks, even the hard copies had watermarks on them.

It's almost as if the act of stealing itself is no longer considered a crime.

I'm sure the big names like Google, Apple, Microsoft et al could stamp it out (think how Panda did for spinners and content-light sights for months on end) if they worked on it. The internet needs a police force in the way that real life has one. I know some people will say that something is done for cultural or religious reasons. I can't think of a single culture or religion which agrees that stealing is above board and permitted. Where it's done, it's always seen as an act of rebellion or desperation.

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 11:50 AM

I will probably use some type of watermark here from now on.

Kasman wrote on November 9, 2014, 2:47 PM

I'm afraid that theft of our photos is a chance we take when we upload an image to anywhere on the web. Personally I am not a good enough photographer for anyone to want to buy any of my photos so I'm not concerned about copyright or theft of images - that's why I put those photos I think are good enough onto Pixabay where they are free to use for anyone for any purpose.

Kasman wrote on November 9, 2014, 2:49 PM

PS: Forgot to say that I have bookmarked both of the links you supplied for future reference. Thanks for clearing up a gap in my knowledge!

AngelSharum wrote on November 9, 2014, 6:47 PM

I don't sell a lot either, but I do sell some every now and then. You are welcome.

Ruby3881 wrote on November 10, 2014, 3:50 AM

I feel your frustration! Personal use is one thing, but if the individual is copying and then distributing or selling your art you do have legal recourse. If you see your work used without permission online, you can send a DMCA takedown notice.

Donna_Thacker wrote on November 10, 2014, 8:11 AM

It is a shame that some people think that just because it is on the internet it is free to grab. Stealing a photo (and that is exactly what it is!) is the same as stealing money out of someone's wallet. People do it with articles too and it is so irritating.