I have a question about using copyrighted images

Jump to Last Post 1-13 of 13 discussions (48 posts)
  1. NotPC profile image57
    NotPCposted 6 years ago

    HubPages is very firm in their rule to only use photos for which you have permission to use. Hypothetically, what happens if you break this rule? I've seen many people using images that are clearly not theirs to use and I was just wondering if this affects them in any way...

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
      Uninvited Writerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      The copyright holder can sue you if you use their work without permission.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, and I've filed at least one DMCA for illegal use of MY photo.  Let HP get a few of those and I'd think your account would be closed.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hypothetically, probably nothing.   I don't think there is any automated filter to catch copyrighted photos, so it would only get picked up if your Hub was flagged for something else, or if a sharp-eyed reader or MTurk rater noticed it.

      For me, it comes down to a question of integrity.   I think it would be the height of hypocrisy for me to get angry when someone steals one of my  copyrighted articles, if I'm merrily stealing photographers' copyrighted photos.   Photographers are creative people trying to make a living, exactly like us, so we should respect each other's work.

      I also don't buy the argument "but everyone else is doing it".  That's like saying, "I see other people littering, therefore I'm going to start throwing all my garbage in the street."

    3. dup247 profile image59
      dup247posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      This is very dangerous as you will lose money if someone sue you

    4. Rod Marsden profile image73
      Rod Marsdenposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I only use the images I have personally created whether photographs or own art. I'm not taking any chances.

    5. sharingknowledge profile image72
      sharingknowledgeposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Just asking. How do you know that the photo or image id copyrighted? Any mark on them or ? Thanks.

      1. psycheskinner profile image84
        psycheskinnerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        You assume is is copyrighted unless you have convincing evidence that it is not.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image95
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Sometimes you will see the small "c" copyright notice on a photo, but it's not necessary because the copyright law for photos is very simple.

        ALL photos and images are copyrighted unless there is a statement on the page saying it's not.

        1. sharingknowledge profile image72
          sharingknowledgeposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          So it means that no one is allowed to use a single image found on the internet like Google images?

          1. SmartAndFun profile image95
            SmartAndFunposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Think of each photo out there on the web as if it were one of your HubPages articles. Just because your articles are put up on HubPages doesn't mean that anyone who wants to can copy-paste them and use them wherever they want. In fact, when this does happen, we as writers get annoyed, aggravated and often furious that people are stealing our work. If the content thief gave you credit for the article, but did not ask your permission or pay you for the use of your words, you would still be angry, correct? Someone stole your work and is profiting from it.

            Photographers and artists go through the same thing when someone uses their pictures without paying or without permission. Just because you tell the world it is their work does not mean you are in the clear. You must either pay for the right to use it or ask for the photographer's or artist's permission. Just because it shows up on Google doesn't mean it is free. Your articles show up on Google, right? Does that mean they are free for people to copy and steal? It is all the worse IMHO to use stolen photos on HubPages or some other monetized site or blog because you are profiting off of someone else's work.

            Marisa has written a great article detailing exactly how to find photos on Flickr that you can legally use for free. Here is a link to her article:
            http://marisawright.hubpages.com/hub/Ho … -Your-Hubs

            When you try it the first time or two it may seem like you are jumping through too many hoops, but once you've done it a few times it is easy as pie.

            1. Marisa Wright profile image95
              Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Very well explained, SmartandFun, and thanks for the link!

          2. lisavollrath profile image95
            lisavollrathposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            Think of Google images like Google search. Would you search for an article, find one you liked, copy it, and post it? No, because we all know that's plagiarism.

            If you wouldn't do it with text, don't do it with images. Look for images that are clearly listed as allowed for commercial reuse. Don't be that guy who steals other people's original work without permission!

    6. Frederick Green profile image71
      Frederick Greenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      There's also a great way (I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet). You can filter your searches on Google Images so only images you may reuse comes up. All the copyrighted images are cut out. No special skills required.


      There's a visual guide to show you how to perform this action.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image95
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Just be careful, because Google doesn't always get it right.  You still have to go to the original website and check to see what the licence is.   Often you'll find the image is copyright after all.  In particular, that search brings up a lot of images from DeviantArt which is copyright.

  2. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    If some random person flags it the hub gets unpublished.
    If the copyright holder sends Hubpages staff a take down notice they probably don't enjoy that.

  3. NotPC profile image57
    NotPCposted 6 years ago

    Ya that's what I figured. Thanks for the speedy replies!

  4. TheDatingMom profile image75
    TheDatingMomposted 6 years ago

    Not everything is black and white.  There are rules to follow in the HP learning center and rules should be followed.  However, when I first posted pics on HP, I did it wrong.  No one banned me.  The images were NOT okay for use but I was clueless and didn't know it. HP WAS aware of it.  I was very nicely informed how to find pictures that ARE okay for use and I was also told how to attribute them correctly.  As soon as I knew what I was doing wrong, I never did it again.  I was never unpublished (I had at least 5 hubs with pics that were no-nos) but I did go one-by-one and looked for pics that were not allowed and replaced them and learned to attribute them the right way.  It took a couple of days to learn how because I'm a little on the old side so it wasn't obvious to me but I did learn how.  No harm, no foul.  Made a mistake, fixed it.  Time to carry on.  I'm glad people were nice to me about it.

    1. sharingknowledge profile image72
      sharingknowledgeposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      This is cool. I must check the Hub and see what it entails. Thanks you.

  5. xionnguyen profile image60
    xionnguyenposted 6 years ago

    As long as you asked the person and give credit to him/her then it should be okay if they let you use it. Otherwise its illegal.

  6. Simone Smith profile image94
    Simone Smithposted 6 years ago

    A part of me dies every single time a Hubber violate's another person's copyright.

    Every. Single. Time.

    There's... *cough* not much *cough cough* of me left....

    1. Paul Maplesden profile image70
      Paul Maplesdenposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      What you need is 'Reuben Dashe's Patented Originality and Attribution Tincture' Abso-lute-ly one hundered percent gua-ran-teed to perform the miracles of original research, fair use and credit where credit is surely due!

      Try it today.

  7. MelissaBarrett profile image60
    MelissaBarrettposted 6 years ago

    I don't use the attribution box very often because I think it's ugly.  I generally put a line in there somewhere... usually at the end... where I thank the people I used the photo from.

    I have never not found a public domain or "free-use" photo when I have needed one.  To me it just shows laziness to not spend an extra 2 minutes looking for a legal photo.

    1. Paul Maplesden profile image70
      Paul Maplesdenposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I agree - There are plenty of free sites that you can get photos from (I use FreeDigitalPhotos.net) - It might take a bit of searching, but it's always better to use with permission.

      Of course, for those feeling creative, you can create graphics yourselves as well.

    2. aa lite profile image88
      aa liteposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I suspect that a lot of people violate copyright without meaning to (although I am sure some people know what they are doing, just reckon they will never get caught).

        Perhaps HP could make it more obvious by attaching a little warning box in the hub tool every time the image capsule was opened, asking the hubber whether they have a right to the photo with a link to the learning centre bit about proper attribution.  It might look ugly, but if it was informational (no boxes you had to click every time you uploaded a photo), I don't think people wouldn't mind so much.

      1. NotPC profile image57
        NotPCposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        The hubtool absolutely warns you not to publish copyrighted pictures when you upload a new picture.

        1. aa lite profile image88
          aa liteposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          If it does, it's not very effective, or perhaps I suffer from selective blindness.  i've just started a new hub (see what you made me do!) to check this out, and I'm still not seeing it.  It might be that I've used it so often that I go on auto-pilot when using the hub tool, and don't really see what's in front of me.

          What I was thinking that there would be a big reminder (preferably in red) every time you tried another image, with a link to the explanation about proper attribution etc., I can't see it in the image below.

          Probably would be more effective if you had to tick a box saying that your image was being used legally, but it might make adding images cumbersome, and people would whine.


          1. NotPC profile image57
            NotPCposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            I guess it only warns you when you are importing a picture directly from another website. They must assume that you own the picture if you are uploading it from your computer. Flawed reasoning of course! I guess we were both right!


            1. aa lite profile image88
              aa liteposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Ahh ok, that's why I don't see it, I always download pictures first, then upload them (sometimes I like to crop them etc.).  I don't know if many people do what I do, but it makes sense to put the warning on all the options.

              1. NotPC profile image57
                NotPCposted 6 years agoin reply to this


      2. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Not a bad idea.

        1. Jean Bakula profile image95
          Jean Bakulaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          A little warning box may help. I try to list the URL's and sources, but have trouble. I also didn't know what to do when I used pictures that I took myself. I said something like "author's personal photo" or something like that. I have also seen a lot of pictures I took in Jamaica used all over the place, one that I especially liked, and have added my name to it, but taken down most that have any family members in them. That does seem like an invasion of privacy.

    3. Howard S. profile image91
      Howard S.posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      @Melissa: There shouldn't be anything ugly about attribution if used correctly. My guess is that you haven't filled in both "source" and "url" boxes. It looks different if you do that. See my hub about advanced photo capsule techniques if this much isn't clear.

      If attribution isn't closely associated with each photo, it is too easily missed by others looking for free-use photos.

      Public domain and free-use photos still require--or at least deserve--attribution. You just don't have to ask about permission.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        1. Yes I have filled in both boxes before, it still looks ugly to me. I generally attribute screen shots-when applicable- and it really does not look attractive at all.  It REALLY looks ugly if you want to caption as well.

        2. Most of my images are free use anyway.

        3. I am attributing them, just not right beside the pictures.  Most of mine come from a site that specifically says they don't require attribution.

        4. Most of my images come from a common site.  It is not one of those neat "trusted sites" so if I properly attributed each photo in capsule using both boxes, I would get dinged for overly-promotional.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image95
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not sure that matters.  After all, if there is a photo with no attribution, that means it's copyright and cannot be used.

  8. mary615 profile image91
    mary615posted 6 years ago

    While we are talking about photos......how come we can't use images and photos from Google???  I read a Hub recently about "my Granda's garden".  She listed all the flowers in the garden and had used a photo for each flower.  There were about 10 of these beautiful photos.  No attribution or any note about the photos.  If I had been hopping Hubs, I would have flagged the Hub.  I just didn't have the heart to flag the Hub!

    1. aa lite profile image88
      aa liteposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      The reason we can't use photos from Google is because G images just returns photos on the web tagged with the query.  There is absolutely no guarantee that the images are not covered by copyright, any image on a website is copyrighted unless it specifically says it isn't. 

      Just because images on hubs don't have an attribution doesn't mean they are illegal.  I used to not attribute my own photos.  It is possible that the photos in the flower hub you saw where taken by the hubber, in which case they were hers.  Also you don't legally have to attribute public domain images, although it is polite to do so.  So I don't think we should be flagging hubs with unattributed photos, unless you know for a fact that the image is copied from another website.

      1. Sally's Trove profile image79
        Sally's Troveposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Another important point here about attributing images or not: I suspect some hubs include an attribution of a copyrighted image (with or without a source url) without having received permission from the owner. In other words, attributing without permission is not enough.

      2. mary615 profile image91
        mary615posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I agree.  I would never flag a Hub because photos were not attributed.

        1. psycheskinner profile image84
          psycheskinnerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I do flag whenever I *know* the pic is not used legally, especially when it is my photo.  I image search for my best selling photos and request takedowns from anyone who used them without paying the usage fee.

    2. psycheskinner profile image84
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      For the same reason you can't use text from Google. Unless you think that by writing a hub you are permitting everyone to take and use your article for free?

  9. profile image0
    Educateurselfposted 6 years ago

    Well i think it is not dangerous because you are using there url to post the picture and if you write the source name of the picture than definetely you are not in the circle of copyright.Because i personally think if there is a problem of copyright than why hubpages give us this option.

    1. aa lite profile image88
      aa liteposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Not at all true, as Sally's Trove has pointed out, attributing the source of a copyrighted picture is not enough, you are still using the picture illegally unless it is public domain or creative commons (in the second case you often need to say what the licence is to be legal). 

      HubPages gave us the option so that we can use it on public domain/CC images not on just any image out there.

  10. profile image0
    Educateurselfposted 6 years ago

    You are right aa lite i agree with you but if you give the url of the owner of the photo and mentioned it that this image is not mine and there is a url of the owner of picture than i think it will help us.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I just finished filing over two dozen DMCA's for copied material, some of which gave a link back to my original.  It doesn't matter whether it is text or photos, it is still theft to copy and publish material that is not yours.

      It is illegal and unethical to copy work without express permission unless it is in the public domain.  A url back to the owner is NOT permission; whether it is there or not it is still theft, and I have in the past issued a take down request for copied photos with or without a url.

  11. Hideki-ryuga profile image72
    Hideki-ryugaposted 6 years ago

    Some users will just use public domain images. They are not theirs but these images lost their copyrights. Once an image is placed in the public domain, it becomes free for personal and/or commercial use.

  12. Mark Ewbie profile image85
    Mark Ewbieposted 6 years ago

    I find a subtle watermark is good for dissuading the copiers...

    1. Arco Hess Designs profile image68
      Arco Hess Designsposted 4 years ago

      There are very specific reasons why you might be able to copyrighted material. However, most people will never get to that point. Look for "free use" images, public domain, commons, etc. you can generally use those as long as you follow the guidelines.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)