Create topic New topics

Forum

Help me, please!  

Please Clarify This Pixabay And Copyright Question

 
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/10/2012

Hi There...

We found some great original art of two famous people on Pixabay that coincides nicely with a new blog we are creating. Again...they are not photos, they are hand drawn original images.

Now I do know enough about copyright to know I cannot use them for blatant commercial purposes (like on Zazzle products, etc.) but is it actually ok to use them once on my blog header, once on a Wizzley page, etc?

The blog is about musicians in general, not one or two in particular. For instance, it isn't an image about Bob Dylan, with the site being everything "Bob." Obviously I monetize my blogs with Adsense and affiliate sales, but my blog is a 95% content site...with a lot to say. Just so you get the picture I'm not selling Dylan things, using Dylan in a header, etc....

Think of it more like a site that talks about various dog breeds, with a picture of Lassie and Old Yeller in the header! Laughing

Thanks for your help!

 


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
MidgeFragnet
Posts: 10
Message
on 06/10/2012

Almost every images on Pixabay are in public domain - that is, the owners have waived all the copyrights. Odds are you are free to use that image. You can also use it in your Zazzle products!

Chef Keem has written about this in his article - Copyright Free Images at Pixabay.

frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/10/2012

Thanks for your reply...

I do know Pixabay is "safe" to use...but images of stars, even if the art was done by me, isn't ok to use for commercial purposes (many legal nightmare stories!). Meaning, sticking with my Dylan example, I cannot make tshirts with pictures I painted of Dylan and sell them because his name is copyrighted.

So my question is, can I use them just for "art" on a header on a blog or in a Wizzley, given blogs and Wizzley are monetized entities...even if I'm not selling the image commercially?


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/10/2012

 

frugalrvers: 10. Jun 2012, 11:10

 

So my question is, can I use them just for "art" on a header on a blog or in a Wizzley, given blogs and Wizzley are monetized entities...even if I'm not selling the image commercially?

You're not making money directly off the images, so I'd say it's ok to use them. That's what public domain images are for.

Although Pixabay images are supposedly free for commercial use, it's probably a good idea to be careful with celebrity pictures. 


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/10/2012

Whew! Gotcha to put it in writing...now I can just blame YOU!! hahahahahaha

I'll sleep so much easier....Wink


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/10/2012

Sure, you can blame me...lol...but I'm not the owner of Pixabay. I'm just another grunt with an opinion.  Laughing 

 


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/10/2012

I seriously would be very careful with any pictures of persons as long as they are not properly model released, there is a whole can of copyrighted worms in that one! SY


frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/10/2012

I completely hear you Sam...and appreciate your reply. I do hope others chime in, too. Honestly, you can find some black/white answers on the obvious...then tons of even experienced onliners battling viciously over the gray areas (when blatant trying to make commercial products in not an issue).

I do agree better safe than sorry...and in my normal niche this just has never been a concern...but I'm on the fence here with this one. The images are straight black/white (look adorable...but I know that doesn't matter!). I want to do the right thing, yet I don't want to overreact either.

I know this sounds silly, but how far does one take it? If I drew a picture of Dylan (I can't even draw a straight line, by the way) and framed it in my home...then I used a photo of me lying by the couch with the photo above me and put the image on a static page on the home page of my blog...because it looked cool and was Dylan and it is a music site...not ok?

Is intent the focus? Or...do you have to blur out or blacken any commercial/trademark/copyright (like if I had a gigantic Bob Dylan tattoo on my arm...and wanted to show it off on my blog...could I?).

I swear I am not being sarcastic here...I truly don't know and have spent a lot of time searching for the black/white answer...but all I get are mixed results with people contradicting one another in my online searches...so thought I'd post it in the best forum around!

Thanks again, Sam...I value your opinion a lot!

Robin


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/10/2012

Very black and white answer here, late in my neck of the wood so sorry for being straightforward:

Did Bob Dylan agree, in writing!, that you can use his likeness on your website / article?

If yes, you can, if not you can not, SY

PS A way out to illustrate articles with celebrity pictures is to use Amazon / Allposter products, these have been released to that kind of use normally ...

 


frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/10/2012

Now I'm going to sound like a loony tune...so please just find some humor in it (if you're sleeping, nite-nite!)...

I am a cynic in these modern times...and it is quite ironic that I work on the internet because Jim and I swear one day we are unplugging! Anyway, this really isn't a big deal to us one way or the other...so no worries about straightforward replies!! Keep 'em coming.

But we all live in this online bubble now...cannot even imagine a brick and mortar store when discussing things.

So here is hypothetical outside of the internet. I own a record store where I sell records. One day Bob Dylan was sitting outside of a cafe and my friend took a photo of me, with him in the background. I blew it up into a wall poster and hung it in my record store (not for sale...decor only) for ambiance on the wall behind the cash register.

It's a place of business that sells things (like my blog that has adsense and affiliate links) yet the image is "decorative." Would I not be allowed to hang my own photo on my wall, with Dylan in the background?


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/10/2012

Bob Dylan, or his heir, still hold the rights to how its likeness / image is used. Very complicated topic, but as long as you don't have a model release you are not allowed to use the image of a person for anything else then purely personal / editorial purposes, SY


frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/10/2012

Wowzerz...what a world we live in.

I've found many examples of people being sued for putting a likeness on a tshirt, etc. and selling it. And I totally believe you, Sam...absolutely...but I'm not finding the warnings about being sued for decoration with no commercial intent.

That doesn't mean it is right, etc...but I would think if this was cracked down on, a whole buncha people are gonna be in trouble? Passive, original images or art of something trademarked in photos on blogs (even if in the background). Look at the commercialism in our world, what isn't trademarked/copyrighted?

Just have to start taking photos of friends/family standing in front of a white sheet (ok, that was sarcasm)...Tongue out

Thanks for all of your help, Sam...Robin


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 06/11/2012

I'm gonna throw a curve ball in here (and I am not suggesting that I know the law in your country - BTW I live in UK).

What's the difference between you taking a photo with a celebrity in it and a paparazza taking one (and selling it to a newspaper)?

The photo is an original image owned by the taker of the image, and it is they that can sell it, use it however they want, and give up the rights to others.

If the image is an original, owned by whomsoever states that they own it, and they waive their rights (or give open access to it) then the image is available to be used as you wish.

If the person whose photo is taken has the rights to the image, and could sue, then no newspaper could exist. 

IMHO you have as much right to show any photo on a commercial or otherwise site as long as the image owner has given you the right (expressly or as a general waiving of rights) to do so.

My argument is further backed up by commercial television using footage of 'celebrities' that has not been expressly OK'd by whomsoever.

The law of copyright is linked directly to the 'producer' of the product in question NOT to the 'subject' of the product (whether used commercially or not).

Certain people however do have the right to sanction certain images if they are used to 'promote' aspects in their lives. For instance: the Queen can say yay or nay to photos of her and her immediate family being used on commemorative wares. However, this is flaunted by overseas manufacturers - and is not, to my knowledge, cracked down on.

Sorry to muddy the waters again.


Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/11/2012

@frugalrvers

The main difference between having the image on your wall in your brick and mortar store and on your blog is that in store it will only stay in one location, on your blog (if you use it in the header, sidebar, background ect) it will be displayed every time when any page loads, so be far more 'important' to the overall layout of your blog then when you would show it only on one blog post for example and therefore it 'could' be considered commercial use as it contributes to the success of your blog. Does that make sense?

The other point is 'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights' the article makes for some interesting reading btw. And then is also the question if you would get sued or not, how high the risk is and how expensive it would be ...


Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/11/2012

@humagaia

Please see this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights

As for why newspapers exist, it is called editorial use of images, so there has to be some sort of public interest to put this image up in the first place. But here the question was about use of images in a commercial content. So, back to the example, if Robin would use that image, provided she holds the copyright / has the license to use it, on a blog post about Bob Dylans visit to her brick and mortar store, that would be editorial use of it, even if the rest of her website sells records or whatever. Using the same image in a header for example, would lean very much to commercial use of the image as it adds value to the website as such.

As for my expertise, I worked for three different image libraries as an image reviewer and set up for two of them the whole review process and trained staff, including in copyright, trademark rights and personality rights etc.


humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 06/11/2012

Point taken on the 'continuous' use throughout a website (as in headers, sidebar etc.) - I had not considered it in that context. My point (off topic slightly, as I am now aware) was as editorial (i.e. as a single or limited use) within a page of content - as we are, in effect, news reporters and commentators when we produce Wizzes.


Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/11/2012

 

humagaia: 11. Jun 2012, 06:19

Point taken on the 'continuous' use throughout a website (as in headers, sidebar etc.) - I had not considered it in that context. My point (off topic slightly, as I am now aware) was as editorial (i.e. as a single or limited use) within a page of content - as we are, in effect, news reporters and commentators when we produce Wizzes.

Yes, but we do produce them with the idea to make money from it, so again, that would be considered commercial use, not editorial ... SY


frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 06/11/2012

Well Good Morning!

I see the conversation continued! Just got caught up reading.

The link was very helpful Sam. The outcome of Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia is interesting (right to artistic free expression in the case of taking street art photos of average people and selling them for a fortune - which ended up being allowed in court).

I don't think we are going to use the images - not really out of "fear" of doing something "wrong" but just because of the icky feeling about it all. Usually, once we get ourselves in a situation where we feel drawn, yanked and pulled back into the modern world and all of its stress and tension, we just cut the cord and let it go...so we're grabbing the scissors.

So I cannot thank you enough for sharing your expertise - our header will still look fine without the sketches...not a biggie, but a topic I did want to understand better. Thanks for that insight!

Robin


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
Message
on 10/16/2012

There's also the difference between "Public figures" and a "normal" person. Public figures, e.g. presidents of the USA, may show up without asking for permission in magazines, newspapers, etc. That is actually commercial purpose to some degree. On the other hand, even with photos of such famous people, you can't do whatever you like, naturally.


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Loading ...
Error!