View Full Version : legal to use pictures

02-28-2008, 12:45 PM
hey all,

I have stumbled upon your site while looking up information for building my first site. I thank you guys for being so helpful and having tons of information.

anyways, I am looking to create a refrence type site that will take lots of information on forums and consolidate them into a single site. I am getting permission from alot of the users to use their posts in full and the forums don't hold the permissions for the material. But some are not allowing me to use their articles and I have no problem with this. I will read up on the subject and write my own (I would just rather not).

but can I use pictures posted by a user (generic pictures of like motors, car interiors (generic for refrence), and tools) without their permission? I obviously don't have the resources to go out and take all these pictures myself.

02-28-2008, 03:09 PM
Technically you can use no creative work produced by someone else without their permission, and photography is definitely included.

IF you need pictures, consider a free stock photo site like sxc.hu or, if you have a budget, a paid one like istockphoto.com

02-28-2008, 04:12 PM
You must also realize that sometimes the person posting information or pictures on a forum didn't have legal permission to post the information or pictures on a forum as they took what they posted from elsewhere and that the copyrights are actually owned by someone other than the individual making the post. I've frequently found my articles copied in whole to forum posts sometimes without credit.

In short, even though you are getting permission from the forum poster, you are still walking into a legal minefield and you will need to proceed very carefully to ensure that the person giving you permission to use works actually has the legal right to grant you said permission. All it will take is one legitimate copyright owner to press legal action against you to take you down.

02-28-2008, 05:20 PM
is there a way to find out if they are indeed the ones who originally wrote the article? or should I just rewrite everything.

and i doubt I will be able to find pictures of individual steps to rebuilding a b16 motor out of a japanese civic. so I guess using their pictures is out?

02-28-2008, 05:30 PM
While you can use services like Copyscape.com to help detect plagiarism there is no 100% silver bullet.

You are correct, that without proper copyright permission using other people's pictures is out.

In general, your idea for a website is on very shaky legal grounds. In general any copyright lawyer worth their salt would advise you to come up with a new idea and dump this one.

02-28-2008, 06:07 PM

checking out the pay for content sites and what not, how does that reduce your chance for copyright infringement. Obviously it's best to write your own, but I understand that a few people on here have atleast bought some content and does paying for the content change the liability status? I know you are not lawyers, but I figure someone might have run across someone that has had to deal with this.

02-28-2008, 06:22 PM
I don't use "pay for content" sites. I recruit writers independently and check out their backgrounds, I also use tools like Copyscape.com to detect plagiarism. Then I require writers sign legal copyright releases.

What you must remember is that the cheaper the content is, the more likely it is that it is plagiarized. Ask any operator of a good quality website and they will tell you that acquiring content costs them a lot of money.

If you are looking at putting up some cheap/free content and making lots of money, you are probably wasting your time. I personally look at a three year plus return on investment for articles I pay people to write.