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Old 7th November 2007, 09:25 AM   #1
Ben
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Default Use of copyright text and images in forum: FAQ

Hi,

We were recently advised by a lawyer than the posting of text or images in the forum where the copyright is not owned by the person who makes the post, could land us in serious trouble, and lead to Notes from Spain being shut down.

This basically means that you can only post an image in the forum if you own the copyright: if you took the photo, or drew the image or cartoon. The same goes for text: you may not copy text from another source and paste it here - a link to the original source will do.

If you want to show people an image that you do not own, but have found elsewhere on the net, please link to it. People can follow the link, then come back to the forum to comment on it. Of course we fully encourage you to keep posting your own great photos here.

When I wrote to moderators this week about the issue, a few questions came up, which I'll answer here for the benefit of all of us:

Quote:
for clarification - deep linking photos so they appear as though they are on the forum is not permitted, but an ordinary clickable link that opens the pic in a new window is okay.. is this right?
Yes, quite right

Quote:
Do you want mods to pick up these pictures and remove/change link status?
Just remove the offending image and leave a note saying why, you don't have to go hunting for the original image if it is too much hard work!

Quote:
Can anyone provide a little clarification, please? If I had a toy Top Cat, for example, and photographed it, would I be able to show that as my avatar?
Yes

Quote:
On the copyright pictures. Does this include links to pictures on other sites? How do we tell with some, such as uploaded files, where they come from unless they have a watermark / copyright in them. Should we PM the poster first and ask?
It's usually obvious if someone did not take a picture - from the forum post you will know they haven't been somewhere, or met the famous actor in question. If in doubt mods can always PM the person to check and explain the situation.

Quote:
What about creative commons photos and text?
If the text or photo is in the public domain/has a creative commons licence, you may post it in the forum if you link back to the original source. All text and images on wikipedia, for example, are creative commons, so you could use an image or quote from there as long as you link back to the original wikipedia entry.

Quote:
Why do we have to worry about this?
Unfortunately there are photographers, editors and agents out there that are very aggressive about protecting copyright and will sue anyone they can find using their text or pictures.

Many thanks for your cooperation with this matter, it's all about making sure the NfS forum is around for a long time to come!

Last edited by Ben; 10th November 2007 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 7th November 2007, 09:46 AM   #2
omeyas
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[quote=Ben;36514

Unfortunately there are photographers, editors and agents out there that are very aggressive about protecting copyright and will sue anyone they can find using their text or pictures.

[/quote]

Yes, I agree with the "agressive" bit , I have found photographs of mine being used on other web sites, and as they certainly haven't asked permission or bought them, they have stolen them. I must admit to getting a bit more than aggresive, and contacted them and told them in no uncertains terms, to either remove them or pay me for them. I recently found a local caravan site using 5 of my photos, I wonder how he would feel if someone staying on his site just helped themselves to some of his property. Unfortunately, it's impossible to prevent photos being stolen( I do add watermarks, but that's not foolproof) I visit photography forums, and the amount of people having their photos stolen is incredible. Most photographers spend a lot of money on kit, a lot of time and effort to get photos, so you can understand them getting angry when they find their work stolen. I have been surprised by the photos reproduced on this site, clearly without permission, so it doesn't surprise me that you have been advised to clamp down on it.
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Old 7th November 2007, 10:10 AM   #3
gtappend
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Q: my avatar [is] a picture of an actor. Is that allowed?
A: Only if you took the photo.
I'm not so sure about that, I think that very much depends on the country where the photo was taken, the person lives, etc. as copyright law is so different from country to country.

German copyright law has a thing called "Recht am eigenen Bild" - ie. your rights to your own image. This means that even if you photograph a person and own the photograph, you cannot publish it as you please. You need the permission of the person on the photograph. Exceptions are when they are not the main subject (ie. person against a landscape backdrop), a historical photograph (they just happened to be on the Berlin Wall on the day if fell) or if they are part of a group (eg. you and your friends are photographed with a celeb.) I don't think using such an image as an avatar would fall under these exceptions (although I'm no lawyer...)

Of course, different countries have different laws and there is even an EU-copyright law/directive now (which is based in part on the German one).

NFS has the additional problem of not really being attached to one particular country, so which national law would apply?

Spain? because Ben and Marina live there
USA? because that's the administrative proxy address of the Domain
UK? because that's (presumably still) the real address behind the proxy
Netherlands? because that's where the domain registrar is according to WHOIS
Germany? because the Dutch registrar is using a German IP-address according to WHOIS
EU? because 4 of the 5 fall in that area
Other? such as the country of the poster concerned

OK, maybe that list is a bit OTT, but I wanted to point out that just because you took a photo doesn't mean that you can use it!

Very important disclaimer:
This post is my own personal opinion and based on personal experience. It is not intended to be legal advice.
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Old 7th November 2007, 11:03 AM   #4
Elvis
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Possibly some useful information here, American, of course:
http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/copyright-internet.htm

More links to internet copyright laws than you can wave a mouse at:
http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue5/copyright/
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Old 7th November 2007, 04:49 PM   #5
Ben
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Thanks for the comments. It is such a tricky issue that the easiest thing is just to say 'no copyright images'. Which is a shame, images do liven up a forum. That's why I hope people will continue to post their own photos from Spain and beyond.
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Old 7th November 2007, 05:16 PM   #6
ValenciaSon
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Now I'm just gonna have to go to Spain.
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Old 7th November 2007, 06:12 PM   #7
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Or beyond!!
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Old 28th November 2009, 03:37 PM   #8
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Default Use of copyright text and images in forum FAQ

There's a new link in the tab area that will let you view the last 20 posts on the forum.Hope it's something the forum can use. And as usual, any feedback is appreciated. Paddle SafeDave
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Old 28th November 2009, 05:23 PM   #9
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Are you in the right forum?
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