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Using Book and Album Cover Images from Amazon

  1. EricDockett profile image91
    EricDockettposted 3 years ago

    Like many Hubbers, I use Amazon product images when I'm writing about a product, as allowed by the Associates operating agreement.  However, I'm wondering if book covers and album/CD covers fall under the same license. 

    The difference (to me) seems to be that product images were created by the company for the sole purpose of marketing the product, while a book or CD cover is often a work of art in itself, created by an artist.  If the band or author is only using the cover image under license from the artist, it seems strange that that license would be transferable to Amazon for use by Affiliates. 

    I guess maybe I don't fully understand what rights an artist is granting to a musician or author when they create a cover.  Does Amazon really have the authority to grant affiliates the use of these cover images?

    On the other hand, in the very links Amazon provides they use the image of the album or book cover, so there must be some leeway for the sake of commercial use and advertising the product. 

    I'm interested in your opinion on this, especially if you know what you're talking about.  Thanks! smile

    1. profile image0
      sheilamyersposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I've used a few album/CD and book covers in by hubs as graphics not linked to Amazon as an affiliate. I don't think most people will have a problem with it unless you use it in a derogatory manner. Whether it's a graphic or simply text, if you bash the artist you could get sued for defamation of character or whatever it's called. I used album covers for my hub about hippie music as main graphics and sourced them to the record company that released the album. I feel comfortable with doing that. Give credit where credit is due and most people won't complain because it's free advertising for them. On the other hand, if they don't want you to use it, they'll see you gave them credit and be nicer when they contact you to remove the graphic from your page. At least that's what I found the one and only time I had someone ask me to remove the graphic from my old website.

      1. Earl Noah Bernsby profile image88
        Earl Noah Bernsbyposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I was unsure of this grey area as well, when I wrote a book review about Poland.  I opted to scour wiki-commons for actual photos and art concerning Polish culture, instead.  I was even fortunate enough to find a creative commons photo that was very similar to the cover art on the first edition of the book!

        I have been hesitant to write any more reviews, though, before finding out more about using book related art in such a hub.

  2. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 3 years ago

    If you are being swayed by the notion that there is such a thing as 'album art', think again. No such thing. So morality is not an issue.

    There is only the law.

    Is someone going to sue you for forcing people to look at some terrible PR photo, or pretentious CD cover? Not impossible but very, very unlikely.

    1. EricDockett profile image91
      EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      In some music genres album art is indeed very important, at least to the fans.  For heavy metal bands in particular there are some artists who are very well known for their album covers. While the mainstream may not consider them artists, they and their fans (and the bands they create covers for) certainly do.  Legally I would not want to compromise their work, but out of respect for the artist I would not want to do so ethically either. 

      However, I get your point in some cases.  But I'm still unclear on to what extent, legally, Amazon is allowed to extend their license.

  3. quiterandom profile image74
    quiterandomposted 3 years ago

    If I'm understanding your question correctly, the Amazon link is for purchase of said product, correct? If so, of course the image is going to be used, and Amazon is selling the product, and a picture of the product is implicitly allowed for use of sales and marketing.

    1. EricDockett profile image91
      EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      That's my logical line of thinking as well, but when it's artwork created by a 3rd party . . .  or 4th party, I guess . . . it seems like maybe there's more to it.

      1. Writer Fox profile image77
        Writer Foxposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        The company which produced the album owns the artwork on the album cover.  Typically, it's produced under a 'works for hire' copyright, which means that the artist never owned the copyright personally.  If the product is on Amazon, you are free to use the image if you an Amazon affiliate selling the product through Amazon.

        1. EricDockett profile image91
          EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          There's a case from a couple of years back where a photographer sued an artist for creating a derivative work of a Miles Davis album cover, for which he (the photographer) apparently owned the copyright.  So, while it seems to make sense that a record company would want to own all copyrights to album art, it may not always be the case.

          Obviously that case is much different than what we're talking about here.  I suspect the crux of it is probably as you said, if Amazon is making the image available to affiliates it's probably okay.

          1. quiterandom profile image74
            quiterandomposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            I'm not familiar with the case. It sounds like artist was selling a piece of art that too closely resembled the original to be an "original" itself.
            http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201106 … y-up.shtml
            I'll have to spend some time reading it.

            However, this has NOTHING to do with your use of Amazon images designed for selling a product as advertisements to sell said product on your hubpage articles.

            1. EricDockett profile image91
              EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              You're correct.  I was just making the point that the image creator may in some cases own the copyright to the cover.  That case is far different than what we are discussing here.

          2. Will Apse profile image90
            Will Apseposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            As far as I am aware no one on HP has ever been sued for copyright breach of any kind. People get their hubs unpublished for using images inappropriately but that is the worst that has happened so far. In the circumstances, I would risk it.

            I should point out that big stock photo concerns like Getty can be really nasty, so avoid their images.

            1. EricDockett profile image91
              EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              I can remember a guy coming to the forums about a year or so ago, all panicked because a photographer found out he used his photo illegally and hit him with a bill. 

              The guy didn't understand he was violating the photographers copyright by snagging a photo he found on Google search and using it in his Hub.  Eventually the photographer was kind enough to work it out with him.

              Also, I don't sleep so well at night as it is, and the fewer things I have to worry about the better.

  4. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 3 years ago

    Eric needs to decide whether he should trust the ultra-responsible person that he was raised to be, the drunk, or the guy in the hoodie.

    1. EricDockett profile image91
      EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      LOL!  Typical of the dilemmas I've faced my entire life, it seems.

  5. quiterandom profile image74
    quiterandomposted 3 years ago

    It was a cold day on the Oregon coast after a 200 mile motorcycle ride, what would you suggest I wear? smile

    1. Writer Fox profile image77
      Writer Foxposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      A self-declared drunk should not be your fashion consultant.

      1. quiterandom profile image74
        quiterandomposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I suppose that's true. wink A hoody, while not my favorite garment, is quite a good thing to have on a ride because once you get where you are going and take your helmet off, a simple adjustment of the hooded sweater you are already wearing keeps your ears and head warm!

  6. profile image0
    darkprinceofjazzposted 3 years ago

    Also related to the subject, your own pictures of vintage album covers and or record labels, 8 tracks, what ever I believe fall under the fair use guide lines, look at eBay for instance, that's actually selling vintage items with photos, for nothing but commercial intent that the artist doesn't even earn from, apparently that's OK. I Believe if the resolution is lesser than the stock copy you are OK.

    This leads me to believe technically the Amazon images are OK to use as an affiliate, but if you used those photos just on your own, you could run into problems,  even then would it not fall under "fair use"? If I did an article about Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon for instance, and used a high resolution photo, I believe this would still be covered under fair use.

    The main point is, you are not supposed to hinder the original artists ability to earn from the original. You could make the case that an article would enhance that ability and not hinder it.

    The fair use doctrine is vague and open to interpretation, I guess it boils down to who is doing the complaining and who is enforcing a take down. Take what I just said with a grain of salt, I am not a copyright expert.

    1. EricDockett profile image91
      EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Good points.  I don't think I'd ever feel comfortable relying on Fair Use in a commercial setting.

  7. quiterandom profile image74
    quiterandomposted 3 years ago

    Writer Fox and darkprinceofjazz are both correct.

    1. Will Apse profile image90
      Will Apseposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      It is a convocation.

      Now we just need someone to sit on the papal throne for the ritual examination.

      1. quiterandom profile image74
        quiterandomposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not terribly religious.
        I'll pass on the ceremony.

        1. Will Apse profile image90
          Will Apseposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Wise man. Being tested is not for everyone.

  8. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 3 years ago

    I have been writing very commercial stuff for many years and if anything smacks of a PR photo then it is fair game, as far as I am concerned.

    A photo of an album cover that is being used to the sell the album is a no different to  a photo of a toaster that is being used to sell the toaster.

    Forget the 'album art' crap and sleep well.

    1. EricDockett profile image91
      EricDockettposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Good enough, and everyone appears to agree with you. 

      If anyone has a dissenting opinion I'd like to hear it, but otherwise I'll move on.

      Thanks for everyone's input!

      1. quiterandom profile image74
        quiterandomposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I have lots of dissenting opinions, but not on this topic.

  9. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    I once had a publisher tell me to take down the cover art of their book from a blog post I made about the company (a not very positive one).  My response: go for it.

    They never did anything about it.  The cover is there to be the public face of the book.  Therefore it is used widely and no sane publisher will object to that.

  10. Cee-Jay Aurinko profile image59
    Cee-Jay Aurinkoposted 22 months ago

    Hi guys. This 'How To Use Photos Legally' is freaking me out. I promote authors and books. The authors provide me with their copyrighted material themselves. Now, what about all those ads running on the hubs? Will I still be able to monetize my hubs if the author or owner of a particular photo personally gives me the go-ahead to use his/her photo/book cover/whatnot?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 22 months agoin reply to this

      I wrote a Hub about how to use photos legally, it's a bit simpler than the HubPages official version but it still meets the legal requirements.   You'll find it in the slider on my profile.

      Provided you have the documentation to prove you have the author's permission, you can use their photos in your Hubs.  Just caption the photo accordingly (i.e. copyright photo used by permission of the author).

  11. Cee-Jay Aurinko profile image59
    Cee-Jay Aurinkoposted 22 months ago

    Thank you so much Marissa! Okay, I'm scooting over to that post of yours.

 
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