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  1. #1
    Regular Coder syco__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Missunderstanding of Stock Pictures.

    I am currently making several websites and making banner after banner for them. I am having trouble understanding from a legal point how it works if i take a picture from a web site and cut in paste it edit modify etc do i have to back link to the site?

    I heard something a while back if you change something say 51% you don't have to show copyright of the image, is there any truth to this.

    Can someone please clear me up on what you can and can't do on this issue and even what you do when you make a site. I ask this because i rarely see a site where they thank anyone for the pictures they use.

    .pLeAd InSaNiTy.

  2. #2
    Senior Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Thanked 401 Times in 398 Posts
    I'll give you the USA Copyright info, I don't know how it may differ from that in Australia:

    From US Copyright Office:
    How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else's work?
    Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. Accordingly, you cannot claim copyright to another's work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner's consent. See Circular 14, Copyright Registration for Derivative Works.
    So if you were in the USA, the answer is "no, you can't do that, and it doesn't matter what percentage of the image you've changed.". Also "linking back" and "showing the copyright" are not even relevant to the discussion. The owner of the copyright on the image is still the owner, and you providing links back (unless you and the owner worked out such an agreement) is immaterial to the discussion.

    What do I do? I take my own photos and create my own images. I pay for stock photos when needed.


  3. #3
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanked 932 Times in 919 Posts
    Your rights to use stock images will be defined on their web site. Generally they will prohibit making any changes to the image - being allowed to display an image generally doesn't give you the right to make any changes to it at all.

    If you do have permission to make changes to the image then what you end up with is a derivitive work and even if you changed 99.9% of it the original owner still owns the main copyright and you only own the copyright on your changes. Your use of the changed image would still be subject to the same copyright rules as if you hadn't changed it at all (at least for your use - for anyone wanting to use your changed image they'd need to comply with any conditions imposed by either of the two copyright owners - you and the owner of the original).

    The only way for you to own the copyright on an image is if you either create the image yourself or buy the actual copyright from the original owner (in the latter case the time the copyright lasts for is unchanged by your having purchased it - it still lasts the set number of years after the original owner's death). The only other alternative is where you employ someone to create the images for you in which case you will be the original owner even though it was your employee who created the images.
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