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Image Copyright Laws

 
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Digitalpassion
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:22 pm    Post subject: Image Copyright Laws Reply with quote

I have a site that I use for commercial use, its a market place where lots of people sell items and make real money. They all have profiles which have images with them, along with a bunch of other details.

Would these images (which don't get sold or used to sell anything in anyway) need to be copyright free.

And if so, and one was uploaded that infringed copyright, would it be me, the site owner, in trouble or would it be the individual that published it.

Thanks,

Miles,

Of Digital Passion

PS, if possible please can you point me to some government information on the matter.
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Miles,
First of all take a look at this thread http://www.copyrightaid.co.uk/forum/topic554.htm which covers some of the ground you are asking about.
Just to go back to basics, unauthorised use of a copyright work, whether it is an image, song, literary or other work, is infringement unless it falls into one of the exempt categories known as fair dealing, or one of the other permitted activities covered in Chapter 3 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
The use you describe would be infringement unless the copyright owner had given permission specifically to the person posting the image or had deliberately put the image in the public domain, for instance with a Creative Commons licence or similar.
Technically as you provide the site, you have a responsibility for what is put there by others, as you are acting as a publisher. However the EU Directive concerned with e-commerce that I mentioned in the other post, recognises that hosting services and site admins cannot always police everything that goes on their sites before it is published. To that extent, if a copyright owner complains to you about an infringement and you are satisfied this is the case, you are then duty bound to remove the item or face the consequences. You would share equal responsibility with the poster because there are two separate offences: Section 17 Copying (what the poster has done) and Section 18 Isssuing Copies to the Public (what you inadvertently would have done). That said, should the matter go to court, I suspect that the court would be much less concerned about your role assuning that you took prompt action once the infringement was brought to your attention.
I hope this helps you.
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abbyeagle
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:06 am    Post subject: images in social networking sites, directories and blogs Reply with quote

Hi, Sometime back Getty went after me because i had posted a webpage for a friend which contained images that he did not have a licence for. The irony is that this guy was a lawyer. Even though i gave the details of the guy to Getty for some reason they could not or would not go after him. It was only when i used some clever techniques to get the guy to contact Getty did the problem get resolved, to my benefit.

So i sent a long email to dreamstime (i think they are now owned by Getty) asking for clarification on people submitting unlicensed images in one of my directories... and the response was not encouraging. I think they will always go after the easiest person in the chain.
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Abby,
Thanks for that insight. You are probably right about Getty (and indeed most of the picture agencies) in that they will tend to go after the easy target. Bear in mind also that in the past there have been several scams based on the Getty procedure, but which in fact are nothing to do with Getty.
As I indicated in another thread you have posted, I am not too familiar with the details of Australian copyright law and in particular the most recent caselaw so I cannot offer a detailed comment on your situation. But at first glance, whilst the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (as amended by the Copyright Legislation Amendment Act 2004) Sections 116AA to 116AJ appear to provide carriage service providers (ie telcos and ISPs) with similiar safe harbour protection to that found in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the European Union Directive 2000/31 EC (the eCommerce Directive), this does not seem to extend to the owners/administrators of specific sites (such as forums) which host material which is posted by individuals without the involvement or the endorsement of the site's owner/administrator. No doubt your lawyer friend could confirm if this is a correct interpretation of the law. On that basis you should make sure you have a notice on your site which indicates that you will remove any material which allegedly infringes copyright and allow copyright owners to easily contact you for this purpose.
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abbyeagle
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

"this does not seem to extend to the owners/administrators of specific sites (such as forums) which host material which is posted by individuals without the involvement or the endorsement of the site's owner/administrator. No doubt your lawyer friend could confirm if this is a correct interpretation of the law. On that basis you should make sure you have a notice on your site which indicates that you will remove any material which allegedly infringes copyright and allow copyright owners to easily contact you for this purpose."

I use the analogy of a bus company. Police arrest a passenger on a bus for possession of an illegal substance. The police avoid the bus company because they are too big to deal with in court. They let the passenger go free because they claim the bus driver should have checked to see that the passenger was not carrying drugs. So they prosecute the bus driver.

From my experience placing a sign on your website is worth zilch. The image company would claim that the webmaster received benefit from the image. That it enhanced the site. It is also easier for the image company to contact the webmaster than the person who actually uploaded the image.
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