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View Full Version : Legal Issue: Using Photos From Other Websites



twalters84
08-18-2009, 12:21 AM
Hey there,

On my website, I am creating a section that allows green businesses to upload photographs. I have a few legal concerns.

I realize that all photos on the internet are not in the public domain.

1. As the website owner, do I need to try to verify that the image is in the public domain before it actually appears on my website?

2. Verifying each image can become very time consuming if thousands of photos are eventually added. I noticed facebook has a little disclaimer when uploading a photo:

"I certify that I have the right to distribute these photos and that they do not violate the Terms of Use."

Is this message all I need to have on the website?

3. If somebody complains that an image is copywritten, can they sue me before notifying me that the image is copywritten. For instance, if I find out an image is copywritten, I would gladly delete it from the gallery.

4. Does anybody know of any good websites to find environmental photos that are in the public domain?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

Sincerely,
Travis Walters
admin@green-watch.org

tomws
08-18-2009, 02:50 AM
1. As the website owner, do I need to try to verify that the image is in the public domain before it actually appears on my website?
This is impractical in the real world. I wouldn't take the time to do it.


2. Verifying each image can become very time consuming if thousands of photos are eventually added. I noticed facebook has a little disclaimer when uploading a photo:

"I certify that I have the right to distribute these photos and that they do not violate the Terms of Use."

Is this message all I need to have on the website?
If I was running a similar site, I'd include something like that in the TOS and the uploader screen(s).


3. If somebody complains that an image is copywritten, can they sue me before notifying me that the image is copywritten. For instance, if I find out an image is copywritten, I would gladly delete it from the gallery.

I doubt a judge would do anything with a case that hadn't been preceded by a takedown request.


4. Does anybody know of any good websites to find environmental photos that are in the public domain?

Google for "stock photography" or even "environmental stock photography". I get free pictures from Stock Exchange (sxc.hu). They also have a pay version with better quality pics. There are tons of stock photo sites with good images that require payment but are quite inexpensive.

twalters84
08-18-2009, 04:49 AM
Hey there,

Just wanted to say thank you for the great reply.

I can't wait to get started uploading some photos and getting this environmental gallery going.

Thanks again.

Sincerely,
Travis Walters

medigerati
08-22-2009, 02:38 AM
Yeah, I'd agree with tomws. While some sites have been sued for the content users published to them, I think a judge would require the offended party at least give you notice of the issue and allow you time to take it down.

When in doubt though, I suggest getting actual legal advice from a certified lawyer. Us web developers tend to stay out of the law system.



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