Can I upload some copyrighted pictures onto google drive?

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Halie0201
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Can I upload some copyrighted pictures onto google drive?

Post by Halie0201 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:37 am

I'm learning calligraphy and painting and so are many of my friends. Sometimes I found some good calligraphy pictures or paintings on the internet, and I would download them on my own pc for learning and practice only. Can I upload these pictures onto google drive and share the link with some of my friends? They will also only learn and will not use these image on their website or display them publicly. It's just for personal learning. Is it a copyright infringement?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:21 pm

Hi Halie,
As you have correctly assumed, calligraphy can be protected by copyright as an artistic work, assuming the artist is either still alive or died less than 71 years ago.

Copying for the purpose of private study is part of the fair dealing exceptions, so that on its own shouldn't be a problem. The law has yet to decide about whether the cloud counts as part of this sort of personal use, although it seems reasonable to assume that it does, especially given that it is most unlikely that the artist would ever be aware of you storing images in this way. So to that extent, the fair dealing exception should cover you.
29 Research and private study.

(1) Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of research for a non-commercial purpose does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

(1B) No acknowledgement is required in connection with fair dealing for the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) where this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise.

(1C) Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of private study does not infringe any copyright in the work.

Section 29 Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended (first 3 subsections only quoted here)
However, I would be less relaxed about the idea of you sharing the copied images with friends in the way you describe, as this could constitute making the images available to the public (somewhat similar to publishing) which then puts your activities outside the fair dealing rules. I think it would be far safer if you make a note of where you found the examples of calligraphy, and just send your friends the links, so that they can find and download them themselves. That would not involve you in anything questionable.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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