Using images in a free PDF magazine review

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
Post Reply
maiden020
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:01 am

Using images in a free PDF magazine review

Post by maiden020 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:11 am

I searched this site and other copyright and IP sites for informaiton on this and I've found some conflicitng reports so I was hoping someone here could clear it up

I have created a heavy metal fanzine for my university course. In it I have a reviews section where I review the latest album from a band. Am I breaking copyright by using a small image to show what the album I am reviewing actually looks like?

Other information that may be important: It is in a free download PDF form so I'm not generating income of it, I'm not reviewing pre release illegally downloaded material, I'm not making fun/inulting the work. I also claim no ownership of the material at the start and say all images belong to the photographer/artist/label and so on.

Most of the other images outwith the reviews are either from the press sections of the artists websites and have permissions or are royalty/copyright free public domain images.

Whatever help you can give would be great.

Thanks.

User avatar
CopyrightAid
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:48 pm

Post by CopyrightAid » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:54 am

Hi.

When you said 'university course' I suspected that we might be under fair-dealing rules - but that is not the case if your are allowing others to view/download the material as you are then distributing content.

If your website / PDF download contains the work of others then you need their permission to distribute it, (the fact that you make no money does not change that, it just makes it less likely that they will make a claim for damages if you are infringing their work).
Quite simply, it depends on how the copyright owner licences their work.

If you only use images that are stated to be 'free for use' in the manner you intend, then you are fine.
Naturally if there are images you wish to use that do not come with a licence allowing your use you should obtain permission.




On a side note - people should be careful using the phrase 'public domain' - (I see this a lot)... Under copyright law, a work falls into public domain when copyright expires - under current UK law this will not happen until 70 years after the death of the photographer/creator. It is possible for a copyright owner to allow his/her work to be used freely (i.e. under a creative commons licence) but that if not mean copyright has expired.

User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 1733
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Post by AndyJ » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:06 pm

Just to pick up on one thing you mentioned in your question, namely that you are creating reviews of these albums. Although there is a fair dealing exemption from copyright infringement which allows you to quote something for the purposes of review or criticism, that would not, technically speaking, extend to the album covers when you are reviewing just the music. Clearly it's a fine line between the cover and the contents, since in most people's mind an album consists of both. To that end, I don't think there would be a problem in getting permission from the record companies to use the album cover images to illustrate your reviews as you are effectively providing an advertisement for their products. If at some later stage your site attracts a lot of interest, you may find that the record companies will send you stuff to actively increase the viral-marketing potential for their products.

maiden020
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:01 am

Post by maiden020 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:51 pm

Thanks for the quick reply and advice. At first I had assumed that fair dealing would apply but when I did a few searches I started seeing some different views so thanks for clearing that up.

I've started emailing label contacts to get permission for any images I have. If I don't receive a reply I will simply just remove the image as it is better not to take the risk (even though they would probably be quite happy with free advertising as you mentioned AndyJ)


CopyrightAid, this is the site I am using. public-domain-image (new members arent allowed links as you'll know) . Although clearly most shots are taken less than 70 years ago the site assures that the images can be used for any purpose with no fee
Public domain images for kids, parents, students, teachers, professors, webmasters, all creative artists and everyone else who need free copyright friendly pictures for use in any private and / or commercial project.

All public domain pictures (digital photographs) are free to download, edit, share, copy and distribute, even sell.
But as you suggested, I am wary of just assuming public domain and stamping that name on everything. Also, I mentioned in the emails that the issues are free and theres no profit or income of any kind since, as you said,
the fact that you make no money does not change that, it just makes it less likely that they will make a claim for damages if you are infringing their work
. The labels might be happier to clear the images with that in mind,

Thanks again.

Post Reply