Copyright & Trademark

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Unsun, Feb 14, 2015.

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  1. I just have a question dealing with this sort of thing. I'm not one to steal or anything, but I was wondering if you cropped a trademark thingy off of a picture, properly sourced the image, would that still be considered stealing even if you didn't claim it as your own?
  2. I believe so, but I'm not 100% sure. There was a nice little flowchart that answered this question.

    *slinks off to find it*
  3. *waits patiently for @Jerelin's return* :3
  4. Okay, so. I can't find the flowchart that I was referring to, but I found a few links that you can look at. Image Copyright and the Internet is a pretty gray area on what is allowed and what isn't. Usually the best way is to ask permission from the artist, like if it's a dA. I also link back and say that I didn't create the work nor am I using it for monetary gain. I always leave the copyright on the image regardless. Here's a few of the links. Really, all you can do is just research it. Like I said before, it's a gray area. Just because one person does something and thinks that it's right doesn't mean that it is.
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  5. Stealing? Not exactly. Scummy? Definitely.
  6. It depends a lot on what kind of copyright they're actually using. Some people slap the © symbol on their work when it really isn't covered under traditional copyright laws. Take a look at their profile or website to see if they list specific information about their copyright. If they don't have any special specific information about it, then you're probably totally fine to use it as long as it's properly attributed to its creator and you're not making money off of it. If they do have specific copyright rules and information, then abide by them to avoid problems, even if they're stupid rules. Most things will probably fall under the general rules for created works that say essentially "attribute the work and don't profit off of it without the creator's consent."

    As far as removing a copyright watermark goes, the only thing I could find was a provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It says that extra fines can be levied on someone who removes a copyright watermark to disguise infringement. Going by this, it seems that unless they specifically have some rule saying "do not alter my images at all," then you're totally fine to cut out the watermark so long as you properly attribute the image in another way. Include a link to where you got the image from too, just to be on the safe side.
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  7. @Jerelin I've never seen anyone else do it before. This was all on me, wanting to make sure whether or not it was O.K. to crop before I did it. Thank you for the information. I'm glad I asked before I did it because now I know it's probably best that I don't. :P
  8. tl;dr Copyright: If it exists, and you didn't make it, taking it is probably stealing under a strictly technical point of view.

    That being said, most people don't tend to care if it's used in a non-profit manner, and you can get a legal exception via Fair Use in the United States. (Other countries typically have similar laws to Fair Use. In the Commonwealth, it's called Fair Dealing.) This exception lets you use it for a small variety of purposes, but mostly fall under public criticism, education, and research.

    Ergo, if you take a picture, and someone asks you to take it down, and you aren't using it for a fair use purpose, by law, you have to take it down. This is typically done through a DMCA Notice.

    Final Thought: Using pictures for stuff like characters in a role play isn't really morally wrong. Legally? Yes, it's probably wrong. Morally? Not really.

    Though, you probably shouldn't take a copyright notice off of a picture. That doesn't make it any less copyright infringing and it, in all honesty, is kind of scummy when someone is obviously trying to inform you that they don't want you copying their works for your own purposes.
  9. I actually looked this up recently. So long as you don't re-host the image yourself or re-upload it (barring significant alteration to it; removing a copyright mark on it does not count), your showing the image doesn't cause 'Consumer Confusion', and unless explicitly stated otherwise, it's fine. Or, in short, you don't reupload, you don't use it to be lying scam-artist bitch, and no one tells you otherwise, you're good.

    MID POST EDIT: Standard Fair Use or similar things apply as well otherwise.

    NOTE: This holds true in the United States of America (as of 2007). I cannot speak for other countries.

    That said, don't be scumbags people. It's not cool. If you're going to use someone's image, give an actual hyperlink back to them and credit them. I mean, you don't have to do those extra steps, but, it's not hard to.
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