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Using Watermarked Images Is it allowed?

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caronthegerman

Hey guys,I wanted to use a couple of watermarked images on my website. (They have the website name on the bottom)Is this allowed? Can I use images that have text on the side or the bottom?Thanks


yordan

I don't understand your question.Are you asking if it's technically possible? Do you need us to tell you yow to add text to an image?Or are you asking if it's allowed by the Xisto Terms of Service?Please be more explicit.RegardsYordan


caronthegerman

No i meant because of copyright issues. Is it legal to use other websites images if they have a watermark on them and display them on my website if I leave the watermark as it is.


yordan

No i meant because of copyright issues. Is it legal to use other websites images if they have a watermark on them and display them on my website if I leave the watermark as it is.

OK, now I understand.
Even if you leave the watermark, you cannot use their images without having explicitly obtained their agreement. You must have official papers (made with help of a lawyer) allowing you to use these images. Else it's illegal to put them on your website, and you cannot do it at Xisto.
I expected it the be clearly explained in our TOS, you can show only your own images (the holidays pictures you took with your own camera, showing only your family, for instance). All copywrited materials cannot be shown here.

caronthegerman

So what about pictures that don't have watermarks? Those are ok right?


yordan

If you are the owner of the pictures, you can use them on your website.If the pictures are not yours, you cannot.If you took the pictures from another website and you removed the watermatks from the stolen pictures, you cannot use them on your website.If the pictures are coming from another site and have watermarks and you do not have the owner's written permission, you cannot use them on your website.


caronthegerman

Well that kinda sucks...Oh well, I guess I'll have to do without. Thanks


mahesh2k

If they are watermarked that means they're either for sale or they don't want you to use it. If you want to use exclusively their material then you need to contact them. If you can do without their images then try to find creative commons images for yourself. I suggest contacting copyright holder of that image or site. Using watermarked images is not good impression on your product or site. Also avoid hotlinking to legal images if they don't allow it, because that way your account may get into trouble.


levimage

Well it depends how you intend to use them. If it is for profit purposes inwhich the original copyrights holder is not due credit or represents the original message in the wrong way, probably not. As anyone and put up an image on a web site. Xisto, and other web hosting companies have policies which are vary when it comes to copyrights. Aghhh. this is pretty big subject and can be answered from many prospectives. As a photographer, some times I am commissioned to take pictures for a certain project, or I am taking pictures from other angles for a pro wedding photgrapher, or school pictures for a national portrait company. Then even though I was physically holding the camera, own the equipement, have the photo knowledge, and pressed the shutter button, I still do not own the copyrights. The owner of such copyrights are usually negociate up front and is drafted up on paper as during the contracts.Even if you read the fine print on some web or socializing sights, or photo contests, they usually say you have own the picture even though people hardly do and say you are giving up the right to use such photo to the company to dispay on there sites, servers, archived, etc. That one is kinda weird. That's like losing rights or equity through contribution for utilizing such web/socializing services.


Quatrux

Also, in different countries, there might be different laws, so it depends what kind of pictures you're using and for what purpose.For example in my country you can use almost any image or music for caricature/burlesque if it's not an image or music which might not pass other laws.Usually with those images it's so stupid, but there are plenty of free stock images websites which you can use. Sometimes you can win the court, sometimes you can loose, it depends on the laws and how your lawyer might intemperate when in individual cases.It's best if possible to avoid using other images, but I usually use images for some works just from Google images search if it suits me and if no one will email me, it stays there. It's his headache to make the image folder to be not indexed by Google and other web crawlers.There was a case for me, when my friend emailed a photo to me, I thought it was his, and I put it on the net, but after some time the hosting said that someone is complaining, it seems that that photo was copyright by some kind of an album/gallery member and that my friend saved it from there, so I just removed it.I wonder, if somebody would take a lot of photos from facebook and store them somewhere, what to do then? Is it against the law or something? Just look how many funny websites seem to use the same funny pictures. :)


yordan

I wonder, if somebody would take a lot of photos from facebook and store them somewhere, what to do then? Is it against the law or something? Just look how many funny websites seem to use the same funny pictures. :)

Facebook decided that only registered users can see some pictures.If you make that non-registered Facebook users can see some of these pictures, you are against the law, and Facebook can go to court against your website host owner.

8ennett

Using images found anywhere on the web is illegal without permission from the copyright owner, regardless of a watermark or not.Unless you created the image yourself then you are breaking the law using someone elses images (unless it is clearly stated you may reproduce them without consequence or you have permission to reproduce them).Obviously there is a high chance the copyright owner will never stumble across your site and see their image, however if they did then you would be liable and may very well find yourself in the middle of a law suit.Better to be safe than sorry, only use freely distributable images and images you have created yourself.


pyost

Everything said here is true - if a picture is watermarked, it is a rather clear way of saying "This is ours, and we do not want you to use it. If you, however, do so, you better leave the watermark, so people would know who the rightful owner is". I would avoid using such pictures. With the Internet being this big, I am sure you can find something similar that would suit your needs.

 

That being said, not all images have such restrictions. Just like 8ennett said, only use freely distributable images. If you are not sure whether something is free - it probably is not. However, some web sites, such as deviantART give their users the option to add a license to their work - a Creative Commons license. This license allows you to specify how your work may be used, and many people allow commercial usage free of charge, so this is something you should look into.

 

Of course, this is the Internet, and there are no strict rules. You can always send an e-mail to the author and simply ask him whether you can use his picture, along with an explanation how you would use it. You'd be surprised what a few nice words could do :)


H.O.D

actually some people do recognise their pictures on other websites but mostly they do not bother to penalise the owners because its a sort of free publicity. however, this is still ILLEGAL and you would be better off taking the permission of the original owner of the picture(s) beforehand. it will be irritating to write emails for every little picture that you want to use but its better to be safe, right? for now your website may or may not be too popular. but when it grows in popularity it will be seen by more people and if one irritated picture owner catches hold of your site using their picture without permission, you could be in deep trouble, depending on the county you are in! so be safe and take permission for every picture that is not users. most people give permission as long as you link back to their site. good luck!


pyost

It would also be a good idea to take a look at the topic from the other side - what if you are the one whose pictures are being used? And I am not talking only about the Internet. People's art is "stolen" way too frequently both online and offline, even by some major magazines.

 

As I am an amateur photographer, I browse many photography forums, and people regularly have to deal with art thefts. Luckily, if you can prove something is really yours, the law is on your side, even if you had not written "© Blah Blah"; if you had made it, it is yours. Those that have their art stolen by influential companies usually get a fair amount of money without going to court, because they would have probably gotten even more had they decided to sue the mentioned company.

 

This is why you should never, and I repeat, never publish the original file anywhere online - keep it only to yourself. If you shoot RAW, upload only JPG files. If you shoot JPG, crop them at least a bit, so that no one has the full picture. If you do vector art, rasterise it. And so on and so forth.

 

While you might think "who would want to steal my art, even I do not like it", you never know what could happen. That is why you must always make sure that you can prove something is yours.

 

Now that you know how bad things can get, it is fairly obvious that under no circumstances should you use anything without permission. And there are no exceptions.


levimage

I agree with pyost, creative commons is something to look into, if a photo you like is unique and beyond your creative abilities and you don't have funds to purchase commercial work. Then again if you have a decent camera and some photo editing experience you can always try to reproduce the shot yourself. Or have a photographer/photography student take a shot and them or some else do the post work - photoshop/photoediting for you. The new work would then be a collaboration of artists - including you, if added your creative input. So you would have rights to the work.Other things pyost mentions about not posting the original is true. Rename it something else. Cropping the photo to general aspect ratios, stripping the EXIF Camera information and adding your own VIA your photo editings software. Some things I do when presenting before and after shots of my photography to clients are... post at a variety of smaller resolutions, or add compression so people wont have the full quality image, and an annoying water mark, or my company logo, adding artifacts into the image or inducing noise.Other efforts to use javascript to not right-click a Save an image can all be circumvented by going in the cache or temp files. Maybe if you can embed you images in a flash program - like a portfoliio and or have a SSL certificate to the you photo gallery is encrypted. Or run some form of web application that make use of various plugins which require other plugins to query, retrieve, and display you images. That might also work. Then again that might be too much, but it is possible.Well those are my tips for safeguarding your media. :)


yordan

Well those are my tips for safeguarding your media. :D

Thanks for your tips. However, remember the topic start post : The question was not "how can I safeguard my media", the question was "Is it allowed to steal somebody else's picture?" :) And the answer is clearly : "of course no!" Not here, and not at all !

H.O.D

Thanks for your tips. However, remember the topic start post : The question was not "how can I safeguard my media", the question was "Is it allowed to steal somebody else's picture?" wink.gif

And the answer is clearly : "of course no!" Not here, and not at all !


another good ending to this question would be - there are thousands of people stealing pictures to use on their blogs and websites so you might think you can also get away with it. most probably you may get away with it because there are simply too many sites to trace, but it is still illegal and nothing will change that. so never use the images without proper permission.

vhortex

The question can be easily solved by asking the owner of the image. I used a lot of watermarked pictures from the past but on each use I asked the owner. Most photo was selling at $15-$100 each but telling them that the image will be used for a site that targets users of photography and photo editing. I was granted free access on most requested images.The deal was, I will provide a random area that showcase 'featured' images chosen by the image provider on thumbnails linked to a low resolution copy with a 'preview higher resolution' and 'buy' button going to the original creators site. It is a free advertisement and a link at the footer saying 'Professional Images from site.com"There are always a drawback to this approach, you cannot resell the image, modify the image without writing them on your plan. You cannot find another image provider for your photos (unless you pay for them before you made a deal). No advertisement on your site that will lead to a competition image provider. They will also ask you to put either a banner, a text ad or a review article for there service.Overall it is faster to buy them than to agree on all conditions that they will set. *******************If you use them with no permission, they can sue you and even if there are no laws covering your crime on your country, some companies will file a case on international court and can cause your hosting service terminated. Worst case scenario, you can also loose your domain.


mahesh2k

Attribution is what creative commons came up with to give value back to the author. Some of the authors allow attribution while some want to deal with business for this. So you need to see what is the author's inclination towards products i.e. images or other content.If it's in creative commons then you can surely see what license it has and take your action respectively. Violating these rules will surely put into trouble as well. Will you see any fun if someone takes your image and distributes freely on the internet ? Ofcourse not, so give credit where it is due. Don't waste time with watermarked images.