Illegal Use of Images

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  1. brittanytodd profile image79
    brittanytoddposted 11 years ago

    A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had not read the ToS about image use correctly and had to go back to all of my hubs and make sure the images were cited properly and were available through the creative commons.  I see a lot of other hubbers that do not cite their images correctly and wondered if we should have the option to flag those hubs for using images illegally. 

    What do you think?  Does it bother you that you took the time to properly cite images when others do not?  Or do you not care at all whether the images are used properly?

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't care if other hubbers have used photos illegally or not. It is their problem not mine.

      I only recently started property citing photos, but with 500 odd hubs I'd have an awful lot of work to go through them all and sort out the photos I've put on them.

      I would hope they don't get flagged for that, because as things stand, if someone sees I am using an image of theirs illegally, they can contact me and demand I properly acknowledge it is theirs with a link or whatever, and I am happy to do so. Or even remove it if they prefer.

      1. brittanytodd profile image79
        brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        In your case, I can see why you wouldn't care or even start to edit your hubs.  Thanks for sharing.

        1. Barbara Kay profile image75
          Barbara Kayposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I think most people don't realize they need to properly credit images. My attitude is that they will learn and I don't want to discourage new hubbers.

          1. brittanytodd profile image79
            brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I agree.  I just wish I knew that before I started posting, so I wouldn't have to go back to all of my hubs and edit them.

      2. SimeyC profile image90
        SimeyCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm in the same boat - only started using legal images fairly recently when I understood the fact that I simply couldn't copy them - I've seen arguments that if an article is heavily related to the pciture then it's OK - but from now on I am always going to cite the source, and where I need to, gain permission to use photos (I did this on a recent Harry Potter art page).

        I will go back to my old hubs, but I'm more likely to replace the pitcures I have rather than trying to track down the owner!!!

        1. brittanytodd profile image79
          brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          That's what I did, SimeyC.  I couldn't go and ask permission to each of the authors, so I just got legal images.  But, it is hard when you can't find any related to your source.  Then you have to remix.

          (Loving the new picture too smile )

    2. Jason Marovich profile image88
      Jason Marovichposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If you have Adsense, Google cares:

      "AdSense publishers may not display Google ads on webpages with content protected by copyright law unless they have the necessary legal rights to display that content."

      1. brittanytodd profile image79
        brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        True, but are these things able to report or have you heard of someone being banned for that behavior?

  2. melbel profile image94
    melbelposted 11 years ago

    I've definitely thought about this, too.

    I did find a problem with it after much thought. People would just make up some sort of citation for their images.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      And they do.  But, I find Izzy's example interesting.  I don't know what I would do if I had that many hubs to edit.  When I did it, I had about 60 hubs and it was some work, but I thought that I better get them legal to avoid any problems.  Thanks for sharing, Melbel.

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I had to edit all of them twice or three times after Panda, when new rules were brought in over the number of Amazon capsules and other changes. I am in no hurry to go there again. sad

        1. brittanytodd profile image79
          brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I can see why.  You have so many hubs!  I don't know what I would do.

  3. profile image0
    The Writers Dogposted 11 years ago

    Being a newbie, there is a lot to take note of. I for one think that you should cite pictures, but also see it as a bit of a free for all, where people who haven't bothered can just edit the source to read GooglePics or similar?

    If it is really obvious that the picture is ripped off or being passed off as original, then I think they should be flagged if they don't respond to a polite request to credit it or remove it.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I just think it's mean to cite "Google Images" and not the actual site it came from.

  4. Rising Caren profile image82
    Rising Carenposted 11 years ago

    I might comment on a hub about how they need to make sure that they can use the image and to credit it accordingly.

    If the hub is violating some other thing, I might also mention the picture in the flag comment, but I typically wouldn't flag just for that. Though, if you think about it, they really should be flagged. I don't want my work stolen, I'm sure photographers don't want theirs stolen either and it's not quite as easy to find stolen images as it is to find stolen text, so it makes protecting your own copyright even harder.

    Admittedly, the only time I'd flag JUST for a picture is for celebrity (non-political) pictures. Without a credit, it's hard to know if that picture is public domain (wikimedia or other places where the picture author states is it acceptable to use) or if that picture is available for use but requires a credit or if that picture is a private picture. Chances are it's a private picture.

    After all, it's not enough to just credit the source. You can't just get a picture off google and put "from google Images" in a caption because google doesn't know if that picture is allowed for public commercial use or not. A proper license has to be used. That's why I almost always use wikimedia; they easily state out the license.

    There are some pictures that don't require credit, because the author doesn't require it, but I still would give it simply because it's a way of knowing exactly where I got it from.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I totally agree with you.  I use Flickr with the CC licenses.

  5. whoisbid profile image61
    whoisbidposted 11 years ago

    I have a website that does not contain a single copied image. Every image is unique and first time upload. There are hundreds of images but it does not mean much since people can copy and use them. You can't stop people using your images but I believe Tumblr has a good way of sharing images with the reblog. It kinda solves this problem for everyone and there are now millions of incredibly good images on Tumblr which you can use if you are active in it.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It's great that you don't use a single copied image.  The Tumblr stuff is good to know too.

      1. whoisbid profile image61
        whoisbidposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        One more thing. If you "like" people's images and posts on tumblr you will increase in page rank rapidly for your tumblr blog because tumblr don't use the nodofollow attribute like hubpages do. They believe in something similar to comment love leaking link juice and  it is working really well for them. Tumblr is now a page rank 8 website. Since the steps up in page rank are logarithmic it means that tumblr could be 10x more powerful than hubpages in theory

  6. Richard Craig profile image60
    Richard Craigposted 11 years ago

    I only really use images as a title banner for my hubs which I design myself.  If I were to use a second hand image, I'd edit it before uploading partly because most images need a little retouching and partly because if it's a clear edit, it's not technically a copy.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      True, I "remix" a lot of photos too, but I make sure that the CC license says you are allowed to "remix" it first.  It's always good to just use your own too smile

  7. LuisEGonzalez profile image80
    LuisEGonzalezposted 11 years ago

    Images that are not yours should include the source. Most owners of the pictures will gladly take it as free publicity. However. if you are writing an article and using images to prove a point(like light,f-stops,shutter speed etc), if the article is for educational or instructional purposes,to demonstrate a technique or for a critical review, most of the time its use would be covered under the Fair Use Doctrine. But this doctrine is mostly a defense and should not be taken as a Carte Blanche approach. Always give the proper credit. If the owner of the pictures insists that you remove the images, then by all means do so. I have been approached by a few image owners and asked to provide proper citation and this is mostly all it has

  8. Mark Ewbie profile image80
    Mark Ewbieposted 11 years ago

    I'm just wondering if a large number of uncredited (no source) pictures could be a Panda problem?

    Anyway, I went back through all of mine and put the source on which was me of course.  Slightly odd, but rules are rules.

    I tell a lie.  One of them is accredited to the Indian Reserve or similar, can't remember now.

  9. DonnaCSmith profile image82
    DonnaCSmithposted 11 years ago

    It its not your image and you do not have permission to use it then you're violating copyright. Giving credit does not mean you can use it, you MUST have permission, unless it is in public domain. Copying images is just like copying writing content. Same laws.

  10. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 11 years ago

    With the exception of the ones I've made myself, mine are almost all public domain (and you can tell because they're pretty rotten looking compared to a lot of other people's images).  Originally, I didn't add "public domain" to a lot of them because it either wasn't necessary, or I didn't know it was (not sure).  I have a couple that say, "public domain, free to use, but please give credit" (and I've done that when it has said that).  I always check the type of license that's associated with any public domain image and go for the one that says (essentially) "anybody can use it for anything, including commercial sites".  One reason I didn't put "public domain" on a lot of them was that the already kind of cheesy-looking images would look even more cheesy with that underneath them.  I've always tried to go by what looks best to whoever happens on the Hub.  I suppose my thinking has always been, "If there's nothing cited, assume it's public domain; because I expect to be trusted not to use something I don't have a right to use."  Maybe it's too much to expect people to assume that no citation means public domain with "x type" of license for public use, but because I know how careful I am I guess it's natural to think a lot of other "legitimate" people would be the same, and assume just that.

    With rare exception, I've always just thought that if anyone ever questions me on it I can show them exactly where I got it and that is says, "public domain".  I can't absolutely guarantee there's no slip-up somewhere, but I tend to use the same sites that offer public domain stuff.  (Again, that's why my pictures often stink.   lol  )  Recently, I've begun using my own photos or, occasionally, "artwork".  Most of them stink too, but they're better than most of the public domain ones.

    I don't have the 500 Hubs Izzy does (have 300-something), but I'm in the same situation, and share the pretty much the same sentiments that she posted earlier.  I have the task of typing "public domain" on a whole bunch of images "one of these days".  If not having "public domain" on every last one of them is ever an issue I'll be glad to remove the images (or maybe the Hubs or maybe myself).  I've got some product photos that a long-time and expert Hubber and Internet marketer told me were OK to use since I was essentially selling the product on the Hub for the entity that created the sales photo.  Personally, I think what someone posts for, or on, their Hubs is between them and HubPages.  I don't mind doing my part by flagging really horrendously bad Hubs or spam, but that's it.  I pretty much don't worry about what other people do, and I don't worry if it happens that I put in more of one kind of effort or another than someone else does.

    This is from HP Help.  I've always just gone by this and assumed that using a public domain image with the right kind of license offered with it amount to "legal use". 

    "When you sign up for HubPages, you agree to use only content to which you hold the necessary rights. Basically, this means that if you did not create the content yourself (write the text or take the picture), you must have permission to use it from the person or organization that did. There are many Hubs about where you can find photos that are free to legally use in your Hubs."  I've always just assumed that the PD status (assuming the right kind of license for use) essentially gave me those "necessary rights" to use the image legally.  If there's since then been the addition (by HubPages) of the requirement to actually cite the whole public domain thing, and license thing, etc., it would be good if someone could post a link (or something) to that.

  11. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 11 years ago

    Well all this citing where you got photos from got me into trouble yesterday!

    I got a photo off a website that showed a particular product, and linked them in more or less just to say where I got the photo.

    I got unpublished because I hadn't checked the site out well enough and they sell counterfeit designer items that are against HP TOS.

    Just a warning people - check the sites you get images from, because if they are doing anything remotely illegal and you link them through the photo, you are committing a Hub violation.

    Think I'll go back to not crediting, or at least not linking.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wow!  How interesting.  Thanks for sharing, Izzy.

  12. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
    mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years ago

    This article on HP is very helpful when it comes to this subject. I can also recommend as having a great selection of free photos on most subjects, (I just discovered them recently, and I am very impressed with them).

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This is the article that made me go back and change all of my photos.  Thanks for sharing on here with people so they know where to go when having trouble.

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
        mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Glad you found this helpful, I certainly did when I found it smile

  13. Bard of Ely profile image83
    Bard of Elyposted 11 years ago

    I see loads of copyrighted images of celebrities that have been posted with no  sourcing given even. This happens on lots of websites. I think many people think it is OK to do this but technically it is not. Nearly all images of famous people are copyrighted but if you are lucky you may find some in the public domain in Wikipedia.

  14. Bard of Ely profile image83
    Bard of Elyposted 11 years ago

    If you are now required to cite source and details what happens if you haven't? I mean I have lots of hubs with public domain stuff that I have just posted the images. What about your own photos? Are you supposed to say you took them? I am just dreading now hearing that I have to go through all my hundreds of hubs and doing photo details! This is so complicated!

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I see the celebrity photos all of the time that are not sourced, and you can find so many on the Flickr CC Search. 

      I know you probably don't want to go back, but I love your point on "what happens if you havent [cited your sources]"?  Well, nothing.  That's why I started this thread. If there are no consequences, why don't we all use photos without citing?  At the same time, I hated going back through 60 hubs to replace photos...I couldn't imagine what hundreds would be like!

      1. Lisa HW profile image61
        Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The following "addressing of this issue" (as well as I can address it anyway) isn't intended to come across at all like a big lecture, or "reading the riot act" just because it's a long post.  The OP isn't the first new Hubber to raise one of these "new people/old people" issues.  I thought seriously trying to address this particular issue might help anyone else who's new (on the new side) to understand the context within which something like un-sourced images on older Hubs has often taken place.  I figure, there's probably a lot of newer people who may wonder the same kind of thing but be reluctant to ask about it in the forums.

        There's a difference between "using images" and "using images illegally".  It's obvious from a few examples that have been offered on this thread that the absence of sourcing doesn't particularly, or necessarily, indicate that the image is being used "illegally".   Although, on the one hand, I, personally, don't give a rat's bottom whether some other Hubber on here wants to risk his HubPages and/or Ad Sense account by intentionally posting illegally used images; there's the point that people who have been operating under the belief that HubPages requires "legal use" but not necessarily "sourced use" (if/when the circumstances allow it) only really need to know whether or not they're correct in believing that HubPages doesn't require sourcing on absolutely every image that is used.

        I, personally, don't know that I'm not correct in my belief that as long as the image is legally used and sourcing is not required by the license under which it's used, it's OK not to source and it's not required by HP.

        If I'm wrong I wouldn't mind someone showing me something that would let me and others know that.

        All I've been able to find is that same few lines about not illegally using images, and the list of things we can/should flag for.  Here's that list:

        Overly Promotional
        Unrelated Links or Products
        Purely Personal
        Deceptive or Miscategorized
        Watermarked or Pixelated
        Copied Content
        Spun or Poorly Translated
        Not written in English
        Low Quality
        Alcohol or Drug Sales
        Weapon Sales
        Hate Speech or Personal Attack

        The only thing "un-sourced images" could fall under would be "Other", so it appears to me that "un-sourced" hasn't yet been established as an official reason to flag.  I'm assuming that "illegal use of images" (again, a different thing sometimes) might be, or become, reason to flag; and as far as I'm concerned, if anyone wants to go around and dig up which images are illegal and which aren't , he could (if has the time to waste on discovering that so many longer-term Hubbers have been using images perfectly legally, but haven't yet had the time to go back and source them (in view of recent changes in standards awareness that it's best to include sourcing since Panda took place (at least if people want to get their Google traffic and not have Google "notice" anything that would cause their subdomains to be "sandboxed".  (Keep in mind that one reason for subdomains has been that each Hubber is essentially responsible for his own material, so the idea is that this site won't get a site-wide "Panda slap" as it did back in late Winter.  In other words, if someone else does something Google doesn't like they won't get traffic to their subdomain.

        My own take on the matter is that the reason nothing happens to people for not including sourcing on one image or another is that while sourcing is now recommended and encouraged it still isn't one of the reasons HP wants Hubs flagged for moderation.  Keep in mind, too, that it would be a rare long-time Hubber who had anything substantial to lose (in terms of traffic, earnings, and/or his AS account) who would intentionally risk any of those by using images he knew weren't legal to use.

        I used to try to dig up (sometimes lame) PD images to add to my Hub just because it was said that images made a Hub look better.  I didn't particularly think so, but then I'm from an age and a world where writing doesn't always come accompanied by pictures just for the sake of having pictures.  When  Panda happened, and nobody really knew what they should or shouldn't be doing; I decided to stop worrying about doing what "everyone" (and even HubPages) said and just do what I thought was right for any, individual, Hub.  I posted some giant, long-winded, Hubs with few or no pictures; and I did whatever I thought made that particular Hub look as professional and/or appealing as possible to any reader.

        Because the kind of stuff I write about doesn't particularly lend itself to a wide range of pictures anyway, I decided to take my own pictures of some things that applied to some Hubs and use my own "non-subject-specific" images on a lot of other stuff.

        Since that "new awareness" of sourcing has come about, I've been adding sources (which, of course, always amounts to, "L. Warren, 2011") these days.  If it turns out that having old public domain (and an occasionally other) images without a specific source is an issue with the people who run HubPages then I'll delete the images (most likely) and will leave my Hubs with no images and only my writing on them.  Maybe it's time the Internet culture figure out that all writing doesn't always have to contain pictures with it anyway.  The way I see it, if Google wants "more professional" and "more credible" - then getting rid of images that are "just for the sake of adding pictures" may be just what Google would like anyway.

        In answer to your question, "Why don't we all use photos without citing?", one answer could be that including sources wasn't considered important in the past and now it is.  There's a new awareness of its importance, and people who want to do what is required/recommended by HP and/or Google will include sourcing on the images the same way that anyone else who is "new" on here will do (so newer people shouldn't be thinking that things "aren't fair" because there are pre-Panda Hubs that don't happen to have sourcing on something like public domain or one's own personal images.  When Panda happened HubPages unpublished a whole lot of Hubs and told authors they had to bring them up to the new standards or else not have them re-published.  Images without sources didn't happen to be among them, but HP could decide to make them "among them" the day after tomorrow (or whatever).  If they do the people who haven't had the time to go back and fix what they may not even now believe is a problem for HP will have to deal with it one way or another.  Either way, it's those "old Hubbers" potential problem and HP's problem.
        "New people" should be happy it doesn't need to be theirs.

        I, personally, just go with whatever HP says anyone ought to be doing at the time.  I aim to comply with terms.  I've seen first-hand that if a Hub is a problem for HP they'll unpublish it and request the writer to correct whatever the problem is.  Anyone who was on HP right after Panda knows that HP doesn't generally "give people a break" when it comes to new standards, because they've put in a lot of work or because they've been on the site a long time; because one reason a lot of people stopped writing Hubs was that, in fact, HP required everyone to "clean up" their Hubs in order to be in compliance with Google's new standards.

        New people are fortunate to have signed up here after Panda, because when that hit last year it meant a whole lot of people had years of online efforts tossed up in the air and the need to figure out how to do things to get their traffic and/or earnings back.  Panda affected whether some people could pay their bills, even their rent - so it wasn't some minor, online, change.  It was an Internet-wide and dramatic change that affected long-time Internet writers and marketers well beyond just the online world.  People (and HubPages) lost serious income and traffic with Panda, and people (and HubPages) have put in a lot of effort to make whatever changes have been necessary or recommended in order to get them back. 

        New people, of course, can't be expected to know that, or know how bad things were with the losses of income or drastic reductions of it; or with the work required to improve things again.  They should, however, rest assured that "old people" "don't get away with murder" on this site and just get to do whatever they want to do, or not do, because they're "old".

        Having said all that, I can see how even if there is newer policy about ALL images requiring sourcing, I can imagine how there's also the chance that HP is applying that policy first to Hubs written after that policy went into effect.  Maybe they'll go after the older Hubs in time.  Maybe they're hoping old-Hub writers will get around to sourcing all their images.  Maybe the idea is even to give some of those people with hundreds or thousands of Hubs a little more time to do it.  Either way, any unsourced images I have were used before this reasonably new policy/rule/"awareness"/recommendation was in place; and that, I'd think, might answer the question about why "we all shouldn't just not-source" now.

        (When I was a kid and would complain to my parents about something that other kids in school were doing, my father would say his "famous" words, "Don't be worried about what other kids are doing.  You just worry about what you're doing.  Let other kids and the teachers worry about other kids are doing." It turns out those were some real "words of wisdom" when it came to helping me be a happier person who uses my own time in a way that best serves my own purposes/aims.  My including those "words of wisdom" here isn't at all intended to be a "smack" to your thread here.  Honestly, with some of things that a lot of those "other people do" on a site like this, I'd never have lasted writing online if I worried about what those other people do.  smile  This is a nice site.  Enjoy it, and enjoy writing your Hubs and aiming to be in compliance with whatever the latest rules are on here (the same way so many of those "old" Hubbers have done since they've been on here).  Life is short (as so many of us on this site have been reminded in just the last couple of days).

        1. brittanytodd profile image79
          brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          If you look at the link below that Melovy posted, you will see that you are required to source your photos.  During the Arts contest, many people were disqualified due to the lack of proper photo citing.

          I noticed that your most recent hub does not cite the image correctly.  I don't know when the (new?) rules about citing images was put into effect, but I try to stay legal on all fronts just to make sure I am not going to lose my HP or AdSense accounts.

          I totally agree with you that we should just worry about ourselves, I just thought it was an interesting thing happening here.  Older hubbers would waste hours trying to replace or source their photos, so I thought it was interesting to discuss.

          Thank you for your input. smile

  15. jenniferrpovey profile image76
    jenniferrpoveyposted 11 years ago

    I use only my own photos (which is why some of my hubs don't have photos...because I need to go take some suitable ones) and always put 'Self' in the credit field.

    I'm only a competent photographer, but I honestly feel most comfortable only using my own. Then I KNOW I won't get into any kind of trouble. However, unlike a lot of people, I came here knowing it is not okay just to use random photos from the internet.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That's great.  It's always safer to just use your own.

  16. Melovy profile image91
    Melovyposted 11 years ago

    Miss Olive has written a very useful hub on this, listing many sites where you can legally access photographs and illustrations to use on hubs.
    Since it’s not my hub, I think I’m allowed to link to it here, but just in case I’ve got that wrong and it gets snipped, the title is:
    Free Photo Websites for Blogs and Hubs … s-and-Hubs

    1. daughterson profile image73
      daughtersonposted 11 years agoin reply to this is a great place to get any photo you could possibly want.

  17. Alternative Prime profile image60
    Alternative Primeposted 11 years ago

    Adding a little more perspective to the mix related to "Copyrights" in general. There are several factors that are considered when "Testing" the "Fair Use Doctrine" here in the Untied States to determine wether or not it applies to your specific situation. One of the elements is "Commercial" purposes.

    Traditionally, protection under the "Doctrine" can be significantly diluted, diminished, or possibly even rendered "Impotent" or "Useless" so to speak, if indeed the copyrighted work is used for "Commercial" purposes or "For Profit". Regardless of the "Informative" or "Educational" nature of the article in which the photos are to be used.

    Common sense dictates you should proceed with caution and resist importing another Creator/Owners images that have a "Copyright" attached. Moreover, even if the work is not "Officially Registered" and current status is "Non Copyrighted" the images in question still belong inherently and exclusively to the owner and cannot be copied unless express permission is granted to the user. If you're unsure about ownership, simply exercise discipline and move on to find another source.

    There are of course several other aspects involved, and this brief summation is a reflection of my personal  perspective, interpretation, & understanding of the basic underlying principles of the "Fair Use Doctrine".

  18. rbe0 profile image60
    rbe0posted 11 years ago

    I have had someone remove my comment from their hub after asking them for sources so that I could more thoroughly research the topic. I guess some people don't care if they steal ideas or pictures and even get offended when you ask them about their non-existing sources. Providing sources when necessary is good writing.

    1. brittanytodd profile image79
      brittanytoddposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wow.  How rude of them.  My mother-in-law is a midwife and complained about the quality of the hubs in her field on this site.  She said she saw a lot of hubs that gave incorrect information and wanted to join HP just to see where these writers were getting their information.  I think citing sources not only avoids plagiarism, but also proves that you didn't just make it all up.

      Sorry that happened to you.  They must have had no sources to share.


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