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Avoiding Legal Confrontation?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by charlie3, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. charlie3

    charlie3 Senior Member

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    If I were to take pictures off the internet of actual people and use them as profiles pictures on different sites what is the amount of trouble I can get into?

    Are there any foolproof ways of avoiding legal confrontation? I mean I don't want the person who's picture it is to find a lawyer and decide to sue or something. Maybe photoshop the picture a little bit to make it an 'original'? Does that work?

    These aren't like professional pictures either, more like facebook profile pictures or the like. What do you guys think?

    Thanks :D
     
  2. wes_one

    wes_one Junior Member

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    Once picture gets on google,no copyright law is worth for it.I mean if it is released in public,for everyone to see and use then no one can stop you from using it on your facebook.And besides what are the chances that person whos picture you used will ever know about it?
     
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  3. cornkernel

    cornkernel Regular Member

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    i'm wondering the same thing... about naked photos of people.... can i get in shit for that (using their photos?) i do also think, that once it's on the net, what's the problem? they put it on the internet....

    but i'm still paranoid about it. so is it ok or not??
     
  4. Autumn

    Autumn Elite Member

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    From a legal point of view you technically can't just use photos you find on the internet. They're not in the public domain from a legal standpoint. The only time you can use photos of other people legally is when you (or you legal agent eg. a photographer you've employed) take photos of them in public yourself - the courts in the US have already ruled that if you're in public, you can legally be photographed and those pics can be published without your permission.

    However in reality it's not a problem a) because the chances of any particular person seeing themselves on your site is so slim and b) because there are already 8 million other webmasters already doing it.

    I personally have several thousand pics of pretty girls I scraped off G Image Search that I use for my Twitter profiles.

    To reduce the chances of getting snapped (eg through Tineye), randomly crop, resize and reoptimize the pics to change the filesize and so they don't match any existing hashes out there. Also remove or change the image meta data. You can do it in an automated way using Imagemagick (my favourite), or Photoshop etc.
     
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  5. Subsonic

    Subsonic Regular Member

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    Well, even if the photos are "public" in the Internet, someone still holds copyright for them. To be 100% sure you need a written agreement from the original copyright holder to use the image without fearing legal issues.

    However, wes_one is right when he says that what are the changes that the person knows you are using his/her picture. Might be wise to choose people who are not celebrities because they won't take action (because it requires money to sue someone from using a photo without permission).

    Edit: Oops, Autumn was faster than me.. Basically the same answer :)
     
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  6. charlie3

    charlie3 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the answers. I did assume that was the case, but there's always this fear in the back of my mind of being sued. I live in America, the land of the free which is also the land of those who love to sue!
     
  7. hrolf555

    hrolf555 Newbie

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    In my regular job I work in high-tech marketing. I would never recommend using pics you find through google image search. NEVER, EVER, EVER. Technically, if the photo is taken by a federal employee(except for Obama pics) they are in the public domain. Still, I would never do it.

    Go to photostock dot com. There are good pics and they are cheap.