January Infringements

angry bird

Am I an internet pirate?

While you enjoyed a little Moon Walk, the SOPA deal got me thinking. Is this blog in danger of infringing copyright and trampling intellectual property?

I scoured the images in all 146 published posts of everyday epistle, confirming permissions and source attributions for the handful of photos I didn’t take myself.

Scrapped a few. Replaced others, some with my own pictures. Like this striking candid  of an Angry Bird I snapped for The Lost Art of Tying Shoes.

You may be relieved to know Rosie the Riveter from Crows and Eagles and the mammalian trio from The Three Bears Go House Hunting are public domain.

Celebrities are more complicated. For this blog, I figure covers of books, albums and movies are legit under fair use. So are publicity photos celebrities post of themselves on their own sites, as well as most logos.

However, I am left wondering about the images of The Bangles and Kurt Cobain in Murder by Muzak, Jackie Kennedy in High-Rise Jeans, and Vivien Leigh in Wichita. Ever see those names in the same sentence before? Me neither.

Rose the Riveter

Are they public domain? Would my use of them be considered fair use? I’m not sure, but they’re staying put for the time being.

Comic book characters were deleted (Boo!), except for the picture I took of Wonder Woman at MAC Cosmetics for American Beauty.

I don’t want to step on someone else’s copyright any more than I want them to step on mine. I don’t want to go back to school for a law degree either.

This blog has been scrubbed clean-er. Not perfect, but better. My, there is so much to learn.

Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God.
May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10 NLT

Correction tastes like medicine. One more spoon of Cough Syrup now…

Advice is welcomed in the comments.
Commiserating, empathizing, disagreeing,
and general discussion is fine too.

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10 Responses to January Infringements

  1. I’ve been wondering the same thing for a few weeks now, and now I’m pretty sure that I might be an internet pirate, however unintentionally. Especially since I’ve been getting traffic for images that aren’t originally mine :(

  2. Aimee,

    Sounds like you are doing your due diligence. I will tell you this… Go to morguefile and use their free pictures there. They have a ton of them and they are all free to use with no attribution (though many appreciate an email to know where you used them for curiosity) They have a ton of great pics in virtually every category you can imagine. Make sure you specify the free section in your search and you are good to go. I also know several other places if you would like a list.

    • Thanks for the tip, Rodney! I have used Flickr some. Would love it if you could comment on the ones you like the most in addition to morguefile. I bet I’m not the only only blogger who wants to stay legal and could benefit from your list of favorites.

  3. I think you are good to go. Don’t think the long arm of the law will be hunting you down anytime soon.

  4. I feel ya’. Thankfully, I pretty much only use my own pictures, but here’s an idea. Most photographers on Flickr have their pictures licensed under Creative Commons – you can use it on your website as long as you name your source. All of the pics on my Flickr are the same. If you’re looking for more “artsy” stuff, most of the things on DeviantArt are the same way – name who did it, give a link, and it’s all yours to use.
    From what I understand, as long as you name your sources, and give them proper credit, you will be just fine – though that does not mean I agree with government encroaching on my free speech rights.