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Using Pictorial, Photographs, Graphics, Images and Sculptural Works
Copyright laws apply to images including pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works anywhere the "tangible medium" resides -- in print, on the Internet or in digital format. Remember that under the Copyright Act of 1976, all works are protected by copyright laws, whether or not they contain a copyright notice, so presume that all images are protected and that you need to get permission to use them.
|Scenarios #1 -- Using images from the Internet|
Students in my web page making class need graphics to complete their projects of creating web pages for area businessmen. Can they copy graphics and photographs from the Internet to use on these pages that will be available on the public Internet at the completion of their projects?
NO! Just because it is easy to copy and paste or to download images from the Internet to a computer doesn't mean that it is legal. Someone created and owns those images, graphics, cartoons and other visual arts found on web pages and you must get their permission to use them. Some web page owners post copyright restrictions on their websites and some allow copying of their images. You still must go through the usual copyright permission process. In this case, even though these web pages are being made in a classroom by students, the results of their efforts will be posted on the Internet and used for commercial purposes, so get permission in writing for what you use.
Is a trademark in the image you want to copy? If a trademark is part of an image or photograph you want to use, you could need a release from the trademark creators/owners as well as the copyrighted image you want to use.
If using a person's image on a website for commercial purposes, did you get copyright permission to use the photo and authorization from the persons in the photograph?
Is Clip art you plan to use free to you, your school, and the public? having clipart on your computer doesn't mean you have permission to use it on a web site that will be available to the public. Read the terms and conditions to find out your privileges in using your clip art.
Be careful how you use materials labeled "royalty-free" or "copyright - free" because you may still need permission to distribute them, as in putting them on the Internet.
Create your own images.
Take your own photographs and get signed releases from people in the photograph.
Use a fee-based company for photos and images.
STI Stim, Richard. Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off. 2nd. Berkley, CA: NOLO, 2004.
Chapter 12 has sample "Releases" for getting permission to use photos with people in them.
Copyright Books in IECC Libraries: http://www.iecc.edu/occ/lrc/copyprint.htm
Royalty Free Web Sites: http://www.iecc.edu/occ/lrc/rfimage.htm
Find several sites that have graphics, logos, photos and more that are public domain items, Open Commons items, or repository sites that have visual images you can use. Be sure to read the terms or use or usage requirements at each site. Some sites have no restrictions, other require attriution or a link to their site, or other requirements.