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    SitePoint Zealot ameerulislam's Avatar
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    Image rights

    I seriously need some advice here. I have a tech-blog where I use some one to write articles for me. I'm really having trouble deciding the use of images. Blog articles without images looks really lame. I know I can't just steal anyone's image and put it on my site right? So I though I can just use the link of the image I need without uploading anyone eases image. I thought this would be good for the site I'm linking too as I'm giving them some link Juice!

    Today embarrassingly I found that this technique is called "Hotlinking" :/ . Which is kind of stealing bandwidth if used without permission.

    Can Some one shed light on this. Where can I find trouble images for my blog. Please note that as my site is mainly about newest technologies so free images usually won't serve the purpose..

    Any word is welcome!

    Thanks

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    SitePoint Addict MBScott's Avatar
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    Hi,

    What you might want to look for are royalty free stock images. A site such as http://istockphoto.com usually has them at a good price. There is one, too, that offers free images, but I can't think of the link right now.

    You can also take your own photos ... no copyright issues there.



    Missy

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    Have a search around the forums, as there have been several threads on similar topics which might be helpful. For example this one: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...Website-Images
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    SitePoint Zealot ameerulislam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    Have a search around the forums, as there have been several threads on similar topics which might be helpful. For example this one: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...Website-Images
    Those stuff are fine. The challenge comes when I need an image of something that is totally new and most probably not possible to find on stock photos sooner. I guess there is no way but to maybe buy it.

    And what do you think about hotlinking? Its illegal is it? And is hotlinking bad for SEO too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerulislam View Post
    And what do you think about hotlinking? Its illegal is it? And is hotlinking bad for SEO too?
    I don't know if it's illegal, but it's certainly unethical. You're effectively stealing somebody else's image, and stealing their bandwidth to display the image on your site. Suppose you decide that the only way to get the images you need is to buy them, so you pay to get them legally, and then one of your competitors hotlinks to those images. How would you feel?

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    SitePoint Zealot ameerulislam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    I don't know if it's illegal, but it's certainly unethical. You're effectively stealing somebody else's image, and stealing their bandwidth to display the image on your site. Suppose you decide that the only way to get the images you need is to buy them, so you pay to get them legally, and then one of your competitors hotlinks to those images. How would you feel?

    You are right, I know that. But on the other hand you are giving them link juice right? So isn't it a trade off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerulislam View Post
    You are right, I know that. But on the other hand you are giving them link juice right? So isn't it a trade off?
    I've seen no benefit whatsoever from the people who have hotlinked to my sites, and I now take steps to block the practice. If you genuinely believe that you are offering a reciprocal benefit, then why not contact the site owner and ask if they will allow you to link to their images?
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    I you are writing about new technologies, don't the producers of that new technology provide images that can be used for free? Like promotional stuff, or press releases? Or contact them directly and ask for it. After all if you write about their stuff, it's free publicity, isn't it?

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    SitePoint Zealot ameerulislam's Avatar
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    I didn't think like that thanks. The purpose of opening this thread now well served. I wanted to hear something like this. Coz I was sure all those tech blog out there do not purchase every single images. I couldn't digest that. Always felt something was missing. Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by guido2004 View Post
    I you are writing about new technologies, don't the producers of that new technology provide images that can be used for free? Like promotional stuff, or press releases? Or contact them directly and ask for it. After all if you write about their stuff, it's free publicity, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerulislam View Post
    I wanted to hear something like this.
    This doesn't mean you can just take and use images, though.
    You still have to make sure you have the right to use them the way you want to use them.

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    SitePoint Zealot ameerulislam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guido2004 View Post
    This doesn't mean you can just take and use images, though.
    You still have to make sure you have the right to use them the way you want to use them.
    Yeah I know, but I'm sure apple is not going to respond to my mail if I want to use their image..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerulislam View Post
    Coz I was sure all those tech blog out there do not purchase every single images. I couldn't digest that. Always felt something was missing. Thanks again!
    If you are writing tech reports and reviews, you should be able to source appropriate images from the manufacturers. Always worth specifically checking (no harm developing a relationship with their PR department, especially if it means they'll send you press releases direct), but generally speaking manufacturers are not going to cry 'copyright infringement' if you are using promotional product images and specs when reviewing or commenting their products. This is clearly in the realms of fair use and usually encouraged, not frowned upon by the manufacturers.

    However if you need other images to embellish your blog, you'll need to source them either by creating them yourself, or purchasing them from commercial stock photo sites (you may be able to get some from free stock image sites, or from sites that allow free use with credit). You may also find plenty of people who will be more than happy for you to use their images for no payment, but you have to ask their permission to ensure they are happy for you to use it in the maner you intend.

    Off Topic:

    Not everyone creates to be 'paid' or to earn money, some people simply enjoy creating. Copyright is simply about providing the creator with the exclusive right to decide how their work is exploited by others - it just recognises that you are the owner of the work, no one else. The fact that someone spent time and money creating is irrelevant and certainly doesn't give them the 'right' to earn money from it. But I digress


    Good luck with your site.

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    Well, Apple have a section of Press info, including downloadable images. You would only need to check their terms of use.
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    SitePoint Member adammbsmith's Avatar
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    In all the companies I've worked for, I've just used images I've found online.
    Never had any trouble, apart from product images where a competitor had taken their own photos.
    But generally, if someone didn't want it stolen/used they wouldn't have made it available for people to download.
    And the odds of someone calling you up about images being used are highly unlikely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammbsmith View Post
    But generally, if someone didn't want it stolen/used they wouldn't have made it available for people to download.
    Are you seriously suggesting that all content on the internet is there for the taking, irrespective of copyright and other laws? And that nobody will mind having their work stolen?
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    SitePoint Member adammbsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    Are you seriously suggesting that all content on the internet is there for the taking, irrespective of copyright and other laws? And that nobody will mind having their work stolen?
    Not exactly.
    I'm saying that if it's on the internet, someone is gonna steal/borrow it without permission.
    Nobody likes having their work being used without their permission.
    But what I am saying is that you can get away with a heck of a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammbsmith View Post
    But what I am saying is that you can get away with a heck of a lot.
    Because you can get away with it doesn't make it right. And because you've got away with it in the past, that doesn't mean you won't get caught in future.
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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adammbsmith View Post
    In all the companies I've worked for, I've just used images I've found online.
    Never had any trouble, apart from product images where a competitor had taken their own photos.
    But generally, if someone didn't want it stolen/used they wouldn't have made it available for people to download.
    And the odds of someone calling you up about images being used are highly unlikely.
    It happens. We had a case recently where a school was called up by a professional photographer for using one of his images without consent. He refused to accept an apology (even though none of the people responsible for the website going up were still working there) and immediate withdrawal, and pressed for payment, which the school had no choice but to make. You may think it's unlikely, that it won't happen to you, but the question is whether it is worth the risk – if a particular image is integral to your site design then apart from the moral/ethical aspect that theft is theft, what is going to happen to your site if you get a notice ordering you to remove the image? It could well mess up the whole design ... do you want to take that risk?

    I have put a lot of photos on the internet over the years, and on the whole I would be happy for people to use them as long as they asked my permission first. In most cases, I would be unlikely to ask for anything more than a line crediting the photo to me, but nevertheless it remains my inalienable right to make that choice. Anyone who has copied my images without permission is far more likely to feel my wrath and be hit with a hefty bill.

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    SitePoint Member adammbsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    It happens. We had a case recently where a school was called up by a professional photographer for using one of his images without consent. He refused to accept an apology (even though none of the people responsible for the website going up were still working there) and immediate withdrawal, and pressed for payment, which the school had no choice but to make.
    All they had to do was withdraw it.
    They'd be under no obligation to pay him once it was gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammbsmith View Post
    All they had to do was withdraw it.
    They'd be under no obligation to pay him once it was gone.
    And why's that? If you use something that is mine without my consent, why wouldn't you have to pay for the use you made of it? Even if you stop using it once I contact you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammbsmith View Post
    All they had to do was withdraw it.
    They'd be under no obligation to pay him once it was gone.
    You seem to be somewhat confused by the way these things work. This is what courts are for - they are currently filled with civil suits from copyright owners suing people who have infringed their copyright. Withdrawing the image does not change the fact that the infringement was made in the first place. As for 'obligation', if the copyright holder is able to convince a judge you committed infringement of his work (commercial infringement it seems in your case based on your previous post), then the judgement he receives will definitely be an 'obligation' to pay, be it in cash or via the bailiffs.

    Your advice in this topic seems to be based purely on what you've managed to get away with (so far). There's a huge topic within this very forum detailing the current ongoing campaigns by several stock image companies who are using image fingerprinting tech to effortlessly discover people using their images online without permission - most of these people unfortunately assumed the same as you - they'd just get a 'cease and desist' and the matter would be dropped. However, the stock image companies had other ideas. When they find you, they don't ask you to take it down - instead they send you a letter with two options: 1) 'request for settlement' of approx 1000 per image, or 2) 'See you in court' where you'll be liable for damages and their legal costs.

    Please spend some time teaching yourself the basics of copyright law before giving advice on copyright issues on a 'legal advice' forum.

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    SitePoint Member adammbsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    Your advice in this topic seems to be based purely on what you've managed to get away with (so far).
    My intent was to share what I've gotten away with (thus far).
    Although I've been sensible when it comes to using images.
    I'm not foolish enough to steal them from stock image companies for example!

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    I'm going to play devils advocate.

    From a legal stand-point the way I understand things is limitations on reproductions. However, when it comes to the internet the second someone visits a page all content is in theory "reproduced". Therefore, by the legal definition of the term "reproduce" when images are made available on the web the author implicitly grants "reproduction" rights. So one could ague there aren't any legal grounds for using others URL's regardless of how unethical it might be. Whether that be URLs to a html page, image, video, etc. Using a URL is a much more looser from of reproduction than physically copying data to a server. Though a case could probably be made for that as well if "reproduction" is defined as "copying" within the traditional context of print/physical "copies" for which it is defined.

    edit:

    The reproduction right is considered as one of the most important rights granted by the U.S. Copyright Act. Under this right, no person other than the copyright owner can make any reproductions or copies of the work. A reproduction right is a copyright holder’s exclusive right to make copies or phone records of the protected work. Unauthorized copying by others constitutes infringement.

    Examples of unauthorized acts which are prohibited under this right include photocopying a book, copying a computer software program, and incorporating a portion of an already published song into a new song.

    However, it is not necessary that the entire original work must be copied to result in an infringement of the reproduction right. If the copying is “substantial and material”, then it will amount to infringement.
    So no where in there does it really state you can't use someone another persons URL. Unless you define an image as a "software program" than in theory nothing prevents copies of images to other servers either. You could easily argue that image is not a software program. A software program is a utility used to create the image. The image itself is merely data. If you define an image as a "software program" than you would also have to define text a software program by definition.

    Not that it is ethical or anything just saying…
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

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    Think of it like this in theory if "reproduction" extends into the realm of not being able to use others URLs than in theory google could be sued. I mean what is that tab called "images" which displays images related to a search. isn't google "reproducing" those images within the same sense of someone else using one of URLs on their own site. I mean google is in the end a site, right. The same can be said for the browser which you are using. The browser is "reproducing" the image, no.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

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    Many companies are now using image recognition softwares to find their images online which have been wrongfully used. They are then suing for large amounts. Use stock images for god sakes!


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