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How To Legally Use Images And Videos On-Line
Legal Use of Images, Videos, Charts and Graphs on Hubpages
I've been struggling with some of the questions I raise for some time and have to admit that I am still not 100% clear on the answers. My questions all revolve around how to legally use images, videos, charts and graphs on Hubpages. After much research and reading various sources on the web in general and on Hubpages, I feel that I am coming closer to a better if not nearly complete understanding.
I read and review many people's hubs every day on Hubpages and I have had these thoughts quite often as I read through them:
'Wow - cool hub and cool graph - where did they get that?'
'Awesome hub - is it legal to have that picture there that says merely "courtesy of xyz.com" or did they find that somewhere special that I don't know about?'
'Fantastic information - but are those images legal to use?'
Photo Credit: WikiCommons by Kozuch
I decided that I would start asking questions, not because I am relatively new to Hubpages and am blond, but because I sincerely want to know - and I want to do as I do in real life - live within the law. I believe in rules and regulations being set up for us to follow and I also believe strongly in the general population following those rules and regulations. In my humble opinion, it makes things easier in the long run and hopefully helps us avoid repercussions.
Nothing could be more important in my opinion than the proper and legal use of images, videos, charts and graphs on Hubpages (or anywhere else such as blogs) - unless it is plagiarism of the written word. The tenets of original content or giving credit if you are quoting something someone has already written should also hold true when you are creating part of your hub that contains images, videos, charts and graphs.
People who have created these images, videos, charts and graphs obviously have put much thought and time into the creation of their 'works of art' - and unless they are part of the public domain, they deserve what we should be giving them - attribution.
By the way, a screen shot of an image, etc. is considered a copyright violation if it is a not free image to use simply because we have manipulated it and/or changed it in some fashion by doing a screen shot - unless it was covered by a Creative Commons license that allowed change of that image. In other words, we cannot use it without permission or we can use it as per the licensing attached.
I did get a bit messed up myself when I first started on Hubpages because I did not understand the FAQs regarding images. I learned quite a bit and still think there is more to learn about how we use images. After researching about legal image usage on Hubpages, I began to apply this theory to other forms - hence my inclusion of videos, charts and graphs. This also extends to images that are present on websites. Let's take for instance an image of a certain car on any given website. Is that image legal to download and use on our hubs?
In my opinion, many people are using images, videos, charts and graphs thinking that their usage of these entities falls under the category of fair use. There are many criteria that are considered when it comes to fair use and basically each individual usage of someone's copyrighted work is considered to determine copyright infringement. I believe we all should consider the usage of copyrighted material and be aware that we are on Hubpages, which means that we are part of a commercial venue, no matter how you look at it. That impacts to a certain extent the way that we should view using anything created by someone else.
Some of the criteria used for different media regarding fair use:
- Are you quoting someone else's work such as quotes, opinions and writings or are you paraphrasing it a bit and calling it your own?
- Will you profit by using this person's work or are you merely showing the work as an adjunct or illustration to your own writing?
- Do you intend to compete with this person for personal gain using their work?
- Are you doing a critique of this person's work or a parody of their creation?
- Are you using the image, video, chart, or graph as a way of showing how something is in comparison to something else for learning purposes or demonstration? This is also a murky area when it comes to commercial use in my opinion.
- What is the intent of the use of your video? This is a widely interpretable fair use question and one I am still not sure about. There are so many applications. For instance, you are showing a video to demonstrate the technique for CPR. You are using a video to demonstrate how to accomplish your recipe. You are using a video to teach others about a great singer and bring him or her to their attention. Are any of these fair use?
These are just some of the criteria for the term fair use. However, all that said, it can still be very murky as to what is entirely legal to use and how.
Let's take for example the use of a recipe. Whenever possible, if I use a recipe, I attribute that recipe to the original website or magazine, cookbook, etc. However, if I change the recipe or come up with new ways to make the recipe, I believe I am safe under the laws of fair use because I have outlined a different or more nutritional way to make the recipe but have still given attribution back to the person or organization who published the original recipe. My using the recipe does not infringe on the people who created it - in fact it gives it more exposure. But it also does something else - it gives a new dimension to the recipe in that it can be made healthier or it can be thought of in a different context entirely. I wonder though if this is an incorrect assumption?
NOTE: Fair use does not mean 'free use' - we cannot use anything we want even though it is available on the internet!
LEGAL USE OF IMAGES ON HUBPAGES
I have been trying to get this right since I started and unfortunately, there are still several unanswered questions; however, I think I am at the tip of understanding this issue and that was truly the purpose of this hub.
Anyone who is into photography, or graphic design for instance, knows the sheer jubilation that one feels from a 'perfect' picture - something you created with your imagination and tools and that is unique, something you treasure. I try to remember that feeling when I am searching the internet for images if I need some for a hub and I do not have ones that I created myself. The point I am trying to make is that it is essential that we attribute these images, whether they are graphic images, digital photographs, videos, charts or graphs to the person who has created them. Also of even more importance is that the images are free for us to use in some fashion in the first place!
The Creative Commons issue is a huge one and I will not delve into that in more depth so as to keep this readable and easily understood. However, suffice it to say that ANY image that we use that is not our own should be either a part of the PUBLIC DOMAIN or should be licensed for COMMERCIAL USE under a Creative Commons license. If it is not, we are in violation of copyright law. Pure and simple, there are imprints on these images if they are obtained over the Internet, and someday, somehow we might be filed against for a copyright infringement for using these images. The creator can efficiently track where and how many times the images are displayed on the internet.
Are there CC licenses on websites enabling us to use images? You bet! If you use the Creative Commons link here, you can search for all sorts of images that are legal to use - whether they are digital images, videos, charts and graphs. Then if you attribute them properly, you will know that you have legally used them.
I have read several different variations on the appropriate way to attribute images as well and these are my own personal decisions as of a few days ago. I understand, however, that Hubpages is currently working on at least a Q&A for us all to review and participate in and things should be clearer a bit down the road. There are many unanswered questions about images, videos, charts and graphs but I do believe we will be given concrete instructions soon and that there will not be any doubt. My wish would be that we all follow the same guidelines - while our creativity is an individual thing, legality is a universal necessity.
I believe in the case of digital images, for instance from flickr, we should search under the CC licensed photos available, explained in several other fine hubs on Hubpages (see below) - and attach a text capsule under the photo because that way we can actually add a link back to the person who created the art. That seems only fair. Typing in 'courtesy flickr' or 'flickr' or 'flickr - James Smith' is not true attribution.
The link should go directly to the picture we have used and the attribution should not be so 'flimsy' as to have folks searching all over for the source. In my humble opinion, ANYTHING that we put on our hubs that is quoted, based on or that in any way reflects another person's talent should be directly linked back to them - in a hard link wherever possible.
Also of note, this applies to clip art of any kind! Many folks think that because it is clip art that it has no copyright. There are legal images to use and images that are not legal to use. Again, it has to do with being in the Public Domain or under a Creative Commons license.
LEGAL USE OF VIDEOS ON HUBPAGES
This, too is an area that is a bit murky and I am hoping gets clarified soon. Since Hubpages has a capsule available for videos and allows embedded videos from such sites as youtube, blip, yahoo, etc., it is supposed by many of us that the videos are legal to use. I have asked this question of the team at Hubpages and was assured that it was okay to use them. However, on researching it further, I'm worried that some of these videos may be illegal to use because they are derived from other sources, such as TV shows, concerts, movies, etc. I believe we truly need clarification on this issue to make sure that we are legally using the videos.
Further, do we need to attribute these or is it sufficient to use the embedded video via the link? I do not change anything on the videos that I use; I may add a title to the capsule to make it more clear why I used the video - but the capsule is linked directly back to youtube or whatever site I have found the video on thus giving it a hard link and attribution. But is that really attribution or should we be noting more succinctly who uploaded this video onto youtube or whatever site?
Again, questions abound and theories are voiced on Hubpages and elsewhere that we should not use embedded videos but rather make a hard link in our text back to the video. (The video would then of course not show in your hub.) You would be telling someone in effect 'go here and watch this'. Is that legally smarter or are we okay to use embedded videos from allowed sites as decided by Hubpages? Do we need to check the CC license on every video we use or is that possible to do on say youtube?
LEGAL USE OF CHARTS AND GRAPHS ON HUBPAGES
I see lots of graphs and charts on Hubpages and wonder where folks got them. I wonder sometimes if they imported them or if they possibly created them themselves. It is worth pointing out that charts and graphs are truly images and should fall under the rules and regulations for copyright just like digital images. That means anything from a website that is NOT Creative Commons licensed or in the Public Domain should not be used.
However, that said as well, I believe that if I am doing a comparison on calories in recipes and I want to verify my opinion or lend an expert opinion on the difference in fat and other contents of said recipe done 2 different ways, that it is legal for me to recreate a graph or chart of my own depicting the same information or part of that information.
I am telling the reader that this is where I got the 2 recipes, these are the changes I made, and here is the 'proof' in the graph or chart that there is a difference between the 2 recipes. I am not stealing the author's beautifully designed graph or chart or violating their copyright. I am merely 'quoting' as it were the facts or figures that I have researched - while of course attributing the sources where I retrieved any and all information.
FREE IMAGES, GRAPHS AND CHARTS
On flickr, you can find thousands if not millions of Creative Common licensed images - including graphs and charts!
Another great source for legal-to-use images, graphs and charts is WikimediaCommons. Some of the images, however, on WikimediaCommons need attribution but if they do, they are all Creative Commons licensed or Share Alike, free to use and only need attribution. There are also videos on WikimediaCommon or by searching via Creative Commons Search.
The only time you can use images, videos, charts, and graphs from the Internet without attribution is if an image, video, chart or graph is listed as part of the Public Domain. No attribution is required!
You can also find images on Wikipedia but make sure that you check the images for licensing parameters. The same goes with Google images.
Of course, if you do your own images, graphs and charts, no attribution is required - although just to be clear, I generally now state 'photograph by Audrey Kirchner' just to let people know I created it. I also make some of my own videos, upload them to youtube, and then download them back into my hubs via the embedded video capsules.
Q&A IN MY MIND STILL UNRESOLVED
I believe that Hubpages is a great site to write for and that if we all dig in and put our thinking caps on, we can resolve many of these issues and come up with appropriate terms of usage for these confusing areas. These are some of my questions at the moment.
- Best practice - flickr image with text capsule beneath pic with a hard link back to Creative Common licensed image - whether it is a chart, graph or digital picture - or how to do this legally?
- Website image usage - only use images from a website that has a Creative Commons license clearly visible - then attribute by text capsule beneath with a hard link back to the website where the image originated?
- Video usage - are all youtube videos acceptable as embedded links to use in the video capsule or do we need to do a Creative Commons search on any and all videos before incorporating them into our hub?
- Attribution of videos? If we use an embedded video from youtube or elsewhere, do we need to attribute it as well with a text capsule stating who uploaded the video to the source or regarding licensing?
- If we want to use graphs and charts - if we cannot find a Creative Common licensed graph or chart that we need, may we create one and list the source as an attribution but then using graph or chart software to create an image, post that new image to our hub?
- Fair use - how does it apply to images, videos, charts and graphs on Hubpages if importing from another website more specifically?
- Now that we have all of this knowledge, should we go back and redo any images, graphs, videos, charts, etc. that might be considered a violation of copyright law?
Internet Image Downloaded from Website with CC License to Use
Internet image licensed to use by Creative Commons license at this website - posted on the website itself in clear view
Summing Up How to Legally Use Images, Videos, Charts, and Graphs on Hubpages
As you can see, there are loads of sites to obtain free images and Creative Commons licensed images, videos, charts and graphs for our use on Hubpages. I plan on making use of many of these thanks to my research on this subject!
Most of all, I will be very pleased with myself to have finally laid to rest the question of copyright. As proud as I am of what I accomplish with my own creativity, whether it is photography, videography, writing, etc., I know that the people who create these beautiful images, videos, charts and graphs must feel the same way. I believe that we all should have a care and respect others' creativity by making certain that we attribute their fine work to them and direct other people to the location of these works of art.
If we feel that they are good enough to display on our hubs whether it is to convey a point or just add beauty and contrast to our words, I believe that we owe these folks our sincere thank you for making us look a little better, for adding to 'just' the written word. If we use these things, I strongly believe that they, the owners in truth, have every right to be acknowledged for their creativity in kind. Wouldn't we expect attribution if our hub was used elsewhere or quoted in some fashion?
Here's to clarifying further any questions remaining and to many, many more years of happy hubbing for all of us!
- Creative Commons
- US Copyright Rules and Regulations
- Example of Website Creative Commons Licensed Chart
- Creative Commons Frequently Frequently Asked Questions
- Charts and Graphs Flickr
SOURCES AND MORE SITES TO OBTAIN IMAGES, ETC.
- PicApp (this is used with Word Press)
- Copyright Laws - copyrightlaws.com
- Easy Way to Attribute on Flickr (this tool may not be compatible with some programs)
- Image After
- Pixel Perfect Digital
- Free Foto
- Big Foto Stock
FREE STOCK IMAGES AND PUBLIC DOMAIN PHOTOS
- Repository for the Public Domain Pictures
- Open Photo
- Free Stock Photography
- African Wildlife Stock Photography
- Public Domain Images
- Open Clip Art Library
- Royalty-Free Clip Art
- Free Clip Art Free
- Barry's Clip Art Server
- My Site My Way
- Web Design Freebies
- Vintage Images
- Microsoft Clip Art
- Public Domain Clip Art
- Graphics, Buttons and Banners
- Icons and Web Graphics
- Educational Clip Art
- Pop Art
- NASA Image Library
- National Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Park Service
- National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration
- White House Photo Gallery
- US Government Photos
- Huge Collection of Creative Commons on Flickr
Many sites attributed to listing found on squidoo.com
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More Information and Sites
- PDClipart.org - Public Domain Clip Art
PDClipart.org - Public Domain Clip Art.
- Wikipedia:Public domain image resources - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Free Website Images: Where To Find Free Images For Blogs And Free Images For Websites - Mini-Guide,
A list of the best online resources to find free images for blogs and free website images for websites to complement your visual projects, blog posts, brochures. All the resources listed offer royalty-free stock photos that you can re-use at your own
- copyrightlaws.com Legally Using Images
Legally Using Images
- Free Web Graphics: Where to Get Them (Legally!)
With all the clip art, free web graphics, and stock photography sites out there, it's easy to make your lenses and webpages look great without breaking copyright! Some people think images posted on the web are up for grabs. They aren't, any more than
Attribution on Flickr Made Easy
Creative Commons Licensing Explained
Fair Use Explained
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