Are web page illustrations copyrighted?

Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:07 am
I edit an in-house newsletter and one of my contributors wants to use a picture of playing cards from a bridge instruction site to illustrate a list of bridge scores. Would the picture in the instruction manual be copyrighted? And if so, does that include the illustrations? How does copyright apply to online material, anyway?
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:34 am
Possibly. But there are ways to find things that aren't copyrighted. Just google public domain illustrations and then whatever you want, e. g. playing cards. Could also try doing a search on royalty free illustrations.

I just did a search on public domain illustrations playing cards and got a little over 33,000 hits. The first one looks very promising.

You can also ask for permission to use an image, which may or may not be acknowledged, let alone granted.
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Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:47 am
I investigated copyright when I wrote a trialware program, once.

The very act of creating a work means that it is copyrighted. However punitive damages can only be assessed if the work is marked copyright "(c)" or the copyright symbol. Without the symbol, only real damages can be assessed.

This was the law as of 10 years ago.....
ebrown p
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:57 am
I think DrewDad is pretty much right.

If you use someone else's art from the internet without permission in a way that earns lots of money, they can sue. They will certainly be able to force you to remove their work (and I am not sure if in a commercial context they might not be able to get money).

But in a internal newsletter, the worse that could happen is a cease and desist letter. This is highly unlikely for lots of reasons... not least of which nobody cares.
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Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 08:02 am
I will agree with Jespah that finding a public domain image is the right way to go; I was simply addressing the thread question.
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Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 09:02 am
Thanks everybody. I've passed your info along to my contributor - seems like we'll have plenty of sources.
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Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 11:21 am
You can find a lot of images you can use on flickr (pay attention to what their licensing restrictions are), which is one of the largest photo sites on the internet.


Creative Commons

Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.

Some of them are free to use as long as you give attribution to the owner.
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