General Copyright Information
All photos on this website are copyrighted material and all rights are reserved. This means you must have permission to use the photos in any way that does not fall under the limited rights granted by the “fair use” clause of the copyright law. “Fair use” does not extend to taking the photos and putting them on your own website, even if modified and for non-commercial use. If you don’t believe me do your own research, I’ve provided many links to copyright information below. Or call a copyright attorney, I’m sure they’ll set you straight. If you haven’t already lifted any of my work feel free to call my attorney, he’s VERY good (he also lists a lot of good copyright information and has written several books on the subject). I’ve also included a copyright FAQ below.
ALL photos and text on this website are for personal viewing and evaluation use only and are copyrighted © John Herron / Eagle Stock Images unless otherwise indicated. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. NO commercial, non-profit, or governmental use of any kind is allowed without written permission. Educational use is allowed as permitted by law under the “fair use” clause of the copyright laws. No redistribution of any modified or altered photo is allowed. All images may be commercially licensed.
LINKS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME AND APPRECIATED! AND I DO GRANT RIGHTS TO USE THE PHOTOS ON PRIVATE NON-COMMERCIAL WEB PAGES WITH CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS. Also Note : It is NOT an acceptable practice to have images on your Web pages or load images from Web Chat forum directly from my server. Many people on the Web are charged for file transfer from their site if they go over their allotted amount.
- In addition to the FAQ below see these other Internet resources
- U.S. Copyright Office – Library of Congress
- Books by Attorney Leonard DuBoff, an expert in the field of copyright law (and my attorney)
- Benedict.com – Perhaps the best tutorial and source for information on the subject of copyrights on the internet.
Cornell University – Excellent source of information, case law, and links to other non-biased sources.
- Picture Agency Council of America (PACA) – Copyright Commandments fostering the protection of intellectual property
- Yale Copyright resources/links on-line
- University of Texas Copyright Management Center
- Stanford University Copyright Law: Frequently Asked Questions
- Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia
Copyright FAQ – Not intended as legal advice:
Use without authorization is THEFT. I strongly recommend that if you don’t know where the photos came from on your website (especially if its commercial in any way) that you remove them until you know their legal status. VERY FEW photos are actually in the public domain. Many, many, more show up on websites reporting them to be in the public domain (do you trust some 16 year old kid to research a photos legal status?). This is a very dangerous and costly situation. A copyright infringement will cost your company from $5,000 to $1,000,000 (or more depending on usage). If you decide not to settle out of court keep in mind that the law is on the photographers side. You will be flying (or hiring) attorneys where the photographer resides, and all the photographer has to show is that your company used the photo without a proper license. Intent or foreknowledge of copyright status does not have to proven. If you don’t believe me please study the resources linked above. Do not use any photo without a proper license!
Q: I’ve heard that unless a photographer applies to the copyright office for a copyright its not copyrighted.
A: DON’T BELIEVE IT. All photos are copyrighted the minute they’re created, whether the photographer takes steps to protect the image or not. These rights are international by agreement, treaty and the Berne Convention. The copyright is the exclusive property of the “author”, artist, or photographer.
Q: So how is it there are so many pictures available for download on the Internet?
A: In some cases the photographer has given up all rights to the photo and specifically placed the image in the public domain. However this is VERY rare. In most cases the image is still protected by copyrights. If the image is used for any commercial purpose the photographer can sue for copyright infringement. BEWARE a lawsuit for theft isn’t something a company wants in tomorrows business section of the newspaper! If you can’t track down the photographer DON’T USE THE IMAGE!
Q: What are the penalties for illegally using a photo.
A: Pretty much the same for violating any copyright, its theft and is treated that way. Civil suits have been brought in the millions. FPG International sued Newsday a couple of years ago for $700,000 for creating a composite image out of three separate images. Tony Stone Images sued Corel over about the same thing. This is serious and should be taken serious. If companies this large can fall in to legal trouble image what could happen with your company. Best to buy the rights you need, It’ll cost you a lot less in the long run. There can even be criminal penalties!
Q: What if I properly obtain a license and then decide to use the image for something else?
A: Any use not specified on your license or contract MUST be renegotiated. Rarely do you obtain full rights in a license, if you did you would know it because it would have cost you plenty. Violations of a license are considered copyright infringement.
Q: How long does a photographer get to claim copyright on an image?
A: Unlike a patent a copyright is for life. Actually life plus 50 years.
Q: I’m under a deadline, can I go ahead and use the image and pay later.
A: Absolutely NOT. Fees must be negotiated, what’s to keep the photographer from asking 100 times their normal rate? Besides any shoplifter will tell you that they meant to pay for the item. They either were going out to their car to get the money or simply forgot.
Q: If I touch up a photo in my paint program I’m creating a new work of art so the copyright now belongs to me, correct?
A: Not exactly. Your derivative technically has a copyright but the original art work still has a copyright that belongs to the original artist (photographer). If the new image is even vaguely recognizable you have infringed on that copyright. Even using just the eye from a Eagle image is illegal. See the example above of the lawsuits brought by FPG and Tony Stone above. You may not use a copyrighted image even in part without the permission of the photographer or their authorized agent.
Q: So what is “fair use”?
A: This is a very limited right to use an excerpt of copyrighted work to illustrate or as an example in educational or political discussion. No money may change hands and the use must be strictly noncommercial (this includes institutional and governmental). This generally doesn’t apply to still images since it would be very difficult to “excerpt” a part of an image without destroying the value of the whole. Besides few people reading this fall in to the “educational or political discussion” category. For more information see “The Software Publishers Association Legal Guide to Multimedia”, or one of the many other books on the subject at your local library.
Q: I need an image for a nonprofit organization I work with. Copyright law doesn’t apply to this type of use since its noncommercial, right?
A: Wrong. You don’t expect to get your office space for free. I’m sure you wouldn’t go in to a shopping mall and simple walk out with items and not pay. Copyright laws apply to everyone, no exceptions are made based on income, profits, tax status, or other financial criteria.
Q: How are photo CDROMs so inexpensive, are these photos “legal”.
A: They’re inexpensive for a few reasons. In part because many promise photographers large royalties but usually end up paying them very little. Photographers are often suckers when it comes to business. Most are “legal” in that the publisher acquired permission from the photographers but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in trouble. You MUST read the license agreement that came with the CDROM VERY carefully. Most do not grant full unlimited rights. Many restrictions may apply. Also keep in mind that the images on these disks are often lower resolution and used by perhaps thousands of companies. I don’t think you would be too happy to see your competitor using the same image. Or worse yet, an ironically unflattering company. If you’re a Medical Clinic it wouldn’t be very nice to see the funeral home down the street using the same image. Remember you get what you pay for.
By the way, this page is Copyright John Herron. Permission is hereby given to reproduce it if it is used in its entirety, including the following information.
© Eagle Stock Images / John Herron
ALL OTHER PAGES AND ALL PHOTOS ON EAGLESTOCK.COM ARE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE USED WITHOUT EXPRESSED WRITTEN PERMISSION! I STRICTLY ENFORCE ALL COPYRIGHTS.