I am writing a book summary/review. Am I allowed to use the book cover

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  1. sarahspradlin profile image91
    sarahspradlinposted 2 years ago

    Can the book cover be a picture in my review?

    1. theraggededge profile image100
      theraggededgeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, because presumably you'll have an Amazon link to it too?

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I strongly suggest that everybody posting here read this article which clearly explains what you need to know about this issue.  It appears that many of you are misinformed about this issue.

      https://www.janefriedman.com/permissions-and-fair-use/

      1. theraggededge profile image100
        theraggededgeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I don't see anything there about not displaying the book cover in a review. Think about the cover as a percentage of the work, not the whole thing.

        There is no definitive guidance. But I bet Goodreads doesn't approach every author before displaying book covers.

        https://www.copyrightlaws.com/legally-using-images/

        USING BOOK COVERS
        A common occurrence is using the images of book covers in various ways such as in catalogues and bibliographies.

        Is it permissible to scan the cover of a book for these and other similar purposes?
        How about saving a copy of the cover from the publisher’s website?

        Scanning a book cover is a reproduction of a work, as is copying that image/cover from a website. However, before obtaining permission you may choose to do a fair use analysis. In the U.S. Copyright Act, the fair use provision is always a determination you make based on the circumstances in any individual situation. Thus, you have to analyze your own particular situation when using book covers and determine whether how each of the four fair use factors relates to your use. Then you’ll need to make a judgment call as to whether fair use applies to your use of that image or images.


        Re: Goodreads, no they don't: https://www.goodreads.com/help/show/420 … ver-images

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          The difference is that for Goodreads, authors sign up to have that site PR their books.

          Also, the key thing is whether you make money from publishing somebody else's work...which all of us here do when we show book covers as a part of hubs for which we get remuneration.

          I don't need to contact an attorney.  I just don't do it, and that resolves the issue!

        2. Leigha Havard profile image59
          Leigha Havardposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Just curious! as long as you're stating who the work belongs to, would it not be considered copyright?

          1. theraggededge profile image100
            theraggededgeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            If you mean is it okay to use any piece of work as long as you credit the originator? No, it isn't.

            For example, you can't take a photo from any website and reproduce it, even if you credit its owner/and or the site. You have to either ask for permission, or seek out photos with an appropriate license.

            However, you can use a proportion of an original work for such things as quotes and reviews. The recommendation for a book length text is 200 words. With credit, of course. That's called 'Fair Use' but there are no hard and fast rules, and it varies from country to country.

            The argument here is whether an image of the book cover comes under Fair Use. I think it does, others do not. It's a personal judgment call.

            1. Marketing Merit profile image96
              Marketing Meritposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I think it's fair use as well. The cover is purposely designed as a marketing tool to attract readers. A review without the book cover is akin to a toothless tiger.

              If images from the book cover are used out of context, then that is a separate issue. Used in its entirety with a book review, whether positive or negative, is still free advertising.

              Also, I searched for any instances of publishers suing reviewers, for using their book cover, and unsurprisingly, couldn't find any!

              1. Jean Bakula profile image98
                Jean Bakulaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I agree. What good is a review of a book without a look at the cover?

                1. Rochelle Frank profile image92
                  Rochelle Frankposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Right... book covers are designed to advertise the book. The artist who designed the cover was paid for their work and presumably has sold the rights to the image along with the artwork or graphics.

    3. Jean Bakula profile image98
      Jean Bakulaposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Is the "review" a hub about that book? Then just add it into an Amazon capsule. Make sure to explain you read it and what you learned, or liked about it. If you are writing about a specific genre of books, maybe you could use two Amazon capsules, but it would have to be a pretty long hub and the administration isn't really fond of Amazon capsules these days.

      Could you use a picture, in another way, to convey the topic of the book? Something you get off a site like Pixabay, or Pexels? If it is just a book review, it would be odd not to have a picture of it, and why not try to sell it?

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    Yes, promotional or review use of a book cover is expected.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not sure this is true...expected is not the same thing as legal.  You have to remember that most book covers are produced by people who get paid for their efforts.  If you use somebody else's work to earn money, in my mind at least, you are stealing their work unless they give you written permission.  The only exception would be a cover that is already advertised on Amazon because the entire book is considered a product and can be displayed just as with any other product.

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        To be specific, using packaging to identify a product for the purposes of discussing that product is well established fair use, so unchallenged that it is reasonable to call it legal.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          That basically repeats what I said...if it is for sale on Amazon and is being presented as their product, then yes.  However, I've never seen it written anywhere that it is legal to use the works  of other people without their permission, nor would I personally take the chance of doing so.  Don't want to get sued.  Always best to ask and get the answer in writing.

  3. Marketing Merit profile image96
    Marketing Meritposted 2 years ago

    If the book cover is on Amazon, then I don’t see a problem with that. Alternatively, as you are writing a review, you could always take a photo of your own copy of the book.

  4. lobobrandon profile image92
    lobobrandonposted 2 years ago

    In addition to what TT2 says, according to the Amazon affiliate TOS, you are not allowed to use images from Amazon unless you use the API to call those images. You are not allowed to download the image from Amazon onto your computer and then upload it to HP, also you are not allowed to call the image directly from Amazon using a URL. Instead, if you want to use an image from Amazon, you need to go to the product page, sign in and get the image code from Amazon Stripe. This is not something we can do on HP, therefore it is best to not use images from Amazon on your articles. It is very unlikely, but doing this can get your Amazon account banned. I am not sure how HP deals with this, maybe they have a special deal with Amazon.

  5. Kenna McHugh profile image91
    Kenna McHughposted 2 years ago

    Using the cover is fine. The worse that can happen is the publisher or author ask you to take it down. Then, you take it down. Honestly,  it is no big deal. I have never had anyone ask me to take down a book cover I posted on HP or other sites. 

    Ideally, the PR for the author or publisher sends you a jpeg of the cover, but that usually happens when the book is new and just released.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Apparently you didn't read all the posts here.  Furthermore, the "worst that can happen" is that you get sued!  This happened two times in the past six months or so, so don't assume it won't..  We don't like it when people steal our work, and we shouldn't steal the work of other artists.  Yes, people do it, but they take a big chance.  Furthermore, it's unethical and illegal to do.

      1. theraggededge profile image100
        theraggededgeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        That was unauthorised use of photos. Works of art, if you like, complete in themselves. A book cover is different because it forms part of the contents of the work. Therefore the law in most countries is that it comes under the percentage of contents that constitutes Fair Use.

        Use it, I say smile

        1. DrMark1961 profile image98
          DrMark1961posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          If I take a photo of a book on my coffee table, is it legal to use since it is my own coffee table?
          If your answer is yes, if I take a photo of an article I printed, and then reprint it on a webpage, is that okay? If someone steals one of your hubs, and you are upset about it, couldn´t they just reply that they took a photo of it so it belonged to them?

          1. lobobrandon profile image92
            lobobrandonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Some food for thought right there.

          2. theraggededge profile image100
            theraggededgeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Well, if someone did take a photo of one of my articles, I wouldn't have a problem because it won't be affecting my traffic. It'll be an image, not text. Google won't look at the words.

            As far as your book-on-a-coffee-table... if you are advertising/writing about coffee tables, then your use of the book may be questioned, yet it's still Fair Use. If you are reviewing the book itself, it'll be fine. People have to check their laws, specifically US laws if it's on HP.

            I have a hub  about drawing books. I reviewed each one and included my own photos the books. But I did it this way:

            https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/13999063.jpg

          3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

            That's my point.  It doesn't matter whether you own the book or how you take a photo of the cover, the actual artwork and text is not yours.  I don't know why people are making such a big deal out of this.  Why not just contact the publisher of the book and ask permission to use it for a book review...bearing in mind that all book reviews are not positive.  You use a photo of a book cover and then tear the piece to shreds, how do you think the author and publisher would feel about you using that photo then!

            The bottom line is this:  to be sure about what you're doing is fair and legal ASK FOR PERMISSION!

            1. Marketing Merit profile image96
              Marketing Meritposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Fair use includes comment and criticism TT.

              1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
                TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Comment and criticism is a different thing.  You can review a book without showing the cover and comment and criticize all day long, but if you show that cover, you are using somebody else's work.

                The bigger question , though, is why would you want to put yourself at risk by not simply asking permission before copying something?  It just takes a few minutes and is well worth the time.

  6. Kenna McHugh profile image91
    Kenna McHughposted 2 years ago

    I beg to differ.  If the PR representing the client gives you access to the cover, there is no valid reason to sue.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      What matters here is not what any of us "thinks" is OK...what matter is what the law says.  Lots of people violate laws, and lots of people get away with doing so.  However, it only takes one time of getting caught to create problems for yourself.  No point arguing the details.  I've always believed that "when in doubt, don't" and have found other ways of using media when an issue like this comes up.  It's not me that is going to have the problem if things go South, and that's how I like it.

  7. SmartAndFun profile image97
    SmartAndFunposted 2 years ago

    IMHO you are good to use it. Authors typically want the exposure of a book review; often inside a book is a statement which says that portions of it may be reproduced for review purposes. Then there is fair use, which psychskinner already mentioned, which allows "copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and 'transformative' purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work." A photo of the book that is tied to an Amazon link would also do the trick.

    If you are really worried about it, one solution, if you own the book, is take your own photo of the book. You could set up a little photo shoot, photographing the book on your hearth with a roaring fire in the background, or on your kitchen table next to a cup of tea. Or you could take a photo of yourself holding it or reading it. These photos would be 100% yours, and it would be of no consequence that one of your personal possessions (the book) is in your photo.

  8. theraggededge profile image100
    theraggededgeposted 2 years ago

    A review with an image of the cover is Fair Use. Especially if there's a link to the author's website and to a retail seller of the book. Authors WANT people to do this.

    The ONLY exception to this would be if the book cover had a photograph that belonged to someone other than the author/publisher.

    To be safe, it's easy enough to drop the author a line checking that they are okay with it. Most writers have their own websites or Facebook/Twitter accounts. I reviewed a book on my blog and the author wrote to thank me.

  9. Kenna McHugh profile image91
    Kenna McHughposted 2 years ago

    In the final analysis, you should seek legal counsel if it really concerns you.

  10. Kenna McHugh profile image91
    Kenna McHughposted 2 years ago

    This is an excellent thread. It supports my point of view on copyright in regards to book covers.

  11. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    It's legal, everyone from the public library to your church bible study group does it, I have done it about 10,000 times, no one is or could be successfully sued for it, it's fine. A review without a cover pic would be weird,

  12. Kenna McHugh profile image91
    Kenna McHughposted 2 years ago

    Yup! It's legal.

 
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