A question about copyrighted images/video

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  1. Eric Newland profile image61
    Eric Newlandposted 7 years ago

    When I joined Hubpages, I was pointed very early on to HubPages' policy on copyrighted images. As I understand it, you're allowed to use:

    1) Public domain images
    2) Creative Commons licensed images (honoring the rules of the exact license type)
    3) Images I made and thus own the copyright to.
    4) Images that I have acquired legitimate rights to (e.g. purchased stock images)

    Presumably these rules also apply to videos.

    So say I write a movie review hub. This means I can't use promotional artwork, screenshots, or clips from the movie, right?

    I can't use album covers or music videos. I can't use logos. I can't use book covers, and so on. Because they're copyrighted, and especially because, unless I manually disable ads and don't use any of the other affiliate programs, I have an implied intent to make money off of any hub containing such material without paying royalties to their creators.

    And yet I constantly see hubs that use any and all of the copyrighted media I've just mentioned. The latest Hubnugget hub, for instance, contains a Train music video. Since this is apparently allowable I can only conclude that I'm missing something.

    Is there any allowance for fair use if you're writing a hub about a copyrighted work? If so, where can I find the definition for it? Sorry if this sounds pedantic, but I'm really determined to follow the rules. I've scraped Wikimedia and Flickr for CC photos for my hubs or taken goofy pictures of myself, but several of my current hubs and I'm sure many future ones could benefit from a screenshot or two if I'm actually allowed to use them.

    1. brittanytodd profile image89
      brittanytoddposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Okay, you have posed a ton of questions and I will attempt to answer them the best I can.

      For images, you must use legal images like you said.  They will have a CC license or something.  You can search for them here: http://search.creativecommons.org/

      Now, if you want to use album covers or posters for films, you may find some on the Flickr (CC) search.  Even if the image is of some copyrighted material, you have not uploaded it and therefore can use it under the CC provided.

      Videos can be used as long as they enable embedding.  For instance, if the video you want to use does not show up when you put it in your hub, it cannot be used.

      Screenshots of videos confuse me and I really don't know if that is allowed.

      I see a ton of hubs with improper image citing, but try to set a good example.  You can look at my hubs to see how I do it if you still have any questions.

      I hope this helps!

      1. capricornrising profile image59
        capricornrisingposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Hey Brittany - nice to see you in the forums!

        I use search.creativecommons.org too, or wikimedia commons, when I'm not posting my own images. And I agree - I see tons of hubs who don't properly attribute their images, or who use images that they've just assumed are free to use without permission, just because they're on flickr. Some authors don't realize they're not quite following policy.

        I'm going back through now and adding links back to the original photos, just as an extra measure of compliance.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      First, just because you can see people doing it, doesn't make it right! Unfortunately HubPages doesn't have an automated filter to identify stolen photos and images, so thieves do often get away with it.  And many of those thieves don't even realize they're stealing.   I'm amazed how many (otherwise knowledgeable) writers think they can copy any photo or image they like, while becoming most indignant if anyone copies their articles!

      If you're advertising the movie or music in an Amazon capsule, you can use a larger image of the product on your Hub as well (including album covers, DVD covers etc). 

      As for video clips - if it's on Youtube, you can use it, because you're not copying, you're just embedding. However I agree with CapriconRising:  check who's posted it on Youtube. If it's not an authorised clip, chances are it won't last long and you'll be left with a broken link.

      1. capricornrising profile image59
        capricornrisingposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Great point about broken links - uploaders are hit with copyright infringements and their content taken down without warning all the time.

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

    You can normally freely use material distributed for the purposes of promotion--trailers, posters, book covers etc.

  3. Eric Newland profile image61
    Eric Newlandposted 7 years ago

    Thank you, this does help. I guess if there are exceptions it would be nice to see them in the FAQ. It's a gray area, but it's also an area I can see a lot of hubbers wanting to exploit (or just exploiting and keeping their fingers crossed they don't get pinged on it).

    1. brittanytodd profile image89
      brittanytoddposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Here's a great hub that helped me learn how to use the images correctly: http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/legal-image-use

      I know it is confusing, but just follow the rules and good things will come.

  4. capricornrising profile image59
    capricornrisingposted 7 years ago

    Hi Eric - I think I answered a question about this some time ago, and I can't remember if it was you who asked it. At the time I said I wasn't sure about the answer, until I wrote a movie review just now.

    I've discovered that several of the movie studios post trailers and movie clips on their YouTube channels, and enable embedding. My assumption then is that they WANT us to embed their promo videos, as for them it's free advertising. Win-win.

    So my feeling is that if you can find the studio's channel on YouTube, you can use their videos. I searched for Fox Searchlight Pictures and Sony Pictures Classics, for example, and found their channels, where they posted several trailers and clips. I would NOT, however, use movie clips uploaded by people other than the studios, because they probably didn't have permission to upload them.


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