Allowed to use Flickr picture?

Hi all
I’d like to use a picture of a famous film character (more character than actor), that I found on flickr, for my site logo.
If I give the FLickr photographer credit, is this allowed?
Could the film studio sue me?
Thank you
Avanti Online Marketing

To lessen your stress, its better for you to ask the studio if you can use their photos for your purpose.

That’s the best way to do. :stuck_out_tongue: I hope he/she reply immediately. :eye:

Thanks again all.

I will go and ask the film studio to be sure.
I think thats my best way to have certainty.

I agree this thread should be moved to “business & legal”.


Oh sure. It can be as long as you will give a credit link to the picture source.

Good point, I’ll have a look.


Thank you again Dan

You are spot-on. thought I was familar enough with CC licensing, but it turns out I didn’t/don’t know the fine details.

Use of the photo will be for a social network - which is why I posted here : The network will start as non-commercial, but may eventually become commercial.

  • I am happy to move this thread (or have it moved), if you think that appropriate.

The picture has been altered by me. The CC License of “Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported”, with no ‘non-commercial use’ clauses, and has no clause that I can see, prohibiting the photo alteration that I have done, as long as I attribute the “author”.

My inexperienced interpretation is that as long as I attribute the author/photographer, he/she’d have no problem with my use.

But that still leaves the question of the studio…which yes I understand is technically the photographers problem (at least I think thats what I understand :slight_smile: ), but my altered photo is fairly different from the original.
I think I might try and contact the studio and ask. The horses mouth of who would potentially sue me I imagine.


Does that mean that you’re certain that the license attached to this particular photo allows commercial use? In which case, I’d have assumed if the photographer allows you to use his/her photograph commercially, it’s their responsibility to check whether the studio is okay with it.

Also, and this is not meant in an offensive way, this

If I give the FLickr photographer credit, is this allowed?

doesn’t indicate that you actually understand much with regards to Flickrs cc license, otherwise you’d be familiar with the Attribution License and knew that if that’s attributed to the picture, you’d have to give credit to the author.

Anyway, I just see that this thread is in the wrong forum, business & legal is more appropriate.

Also mind you, we can’t give you legal advice here, in the end, to be absolutely certain, you’d have to ask a lawyer that’s familiar with all of this.

first thing would be to check the license attached to the photo:

if still unsure, contact the member.

Thanks for the reponse, but what I was asking about is more the movie studio(production company, etc. etc.) having problems, not the Flickr photographer.
I understand/am confident about what is allowed via the Flickr creative commons license.

Thoughts on the movie studios stance/legalities?

Thank you

If you do speak to them on the phone and they approve your use of the image, it might be an idea to ask them for an email address you can contact them at, in order to get a written confirmation of their approval.

Alex gave you good advice, and there is at least one more issue. Depending on the rights of the studio, they may not have the right to allow you to use the image of a real person in your logo. Although state law varies, many states have a “right of publicity” that prevents commercial use of a person’s name, likeness or persona without their consent. A studio that hold the rights to one of Elvis’ films has no right to give you permission to use Elvis’ image on a bottle of dandruff shampoo. Only the Presley estate can grant that right.

My guess is that it is probably academic anyway. While studios regularly give permission to use images for many different purposes, it would really surprise me if they agreed to let you incorporate an image in your logo. No harm in asking, of course, but if I were you I would start considering a backup plan.

Do they have a telephone number in regard to public relations or their legal department? You could give them a friendly call :slight_smile:

Welcome to large businesses. Find another email, hit it again.

Contacted the studio directly, and got no reply :frowning:
2 weeks ago.

It’s an interesting question for sure, but I think this is covered by more than just issues of copyright. You see, many studios (like Disney for their cartoon characters) have the likeness and the actual character trademarked (to ensure that the rights to use that likeness of the creature is restricted - such as helping to avoid non-Disney fake merchandise). Thereby while the FlickR photographer may have snapped a picture of that character (if they went to Disneyworld), technically the contents of that image aren’t owned by the photographer (as it could be deemed as a derivative product - like copying something) therefore usage rights of the copyright or license may be overwritten by the intellectual property of the trademark. There is also a case for fair use saying that if you’re using it for a non commercial purpose and not trying to associate that film character with your products or services (thereby by associating linking the studio to that product) you probably can get away with it, but I would seriously say you should consider either paying for the license (most studios will charge for licensed use) or contacting a lawyer who knows about the motion picture industry and intellectual property to see what would be the best course of action. :slight_smile:

PS: I’m not a lawyer, so don’t take any of the above as anything more than opinion!

Cheers Alex

What you said is exactly what I was suspecting/worried about.
It makes a lot of sense to me.

I have actually gone and asked the studio in question (Universal), so it will be interesting to find out - I will post the results for your info.

Can you move this thread to Business and Legal? It seems it would be better suited there.