The use of public domain images for photography :( 2 pages: [1] 2
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 6:41:02 AM
As a store owner who uses his own photography in order to create products, i am rather annoyed when i see store owners who have simply downloaded a public domain image and with no real work involved have reaped the benefits...

I recently found a Zazzle Pro seller (i won't name names) who's top selling designs had all come from a certain well-known public domain website. The images had not been altered/graphically enhanced etc, and the description had not even mentioned that it was a public domain image (is this the protocol?). The keywords tags were also quite simply keyword spam.

For a turtle image the keywords were:
red,eared,ear,slider,turtle,zazzle,top,best,for,him,her,daughter,animals,mother,son,nature,wild,water,cool,colorful, rock, amazing, beautiful, colors, green, birthday, children, lovely, reptile, postcards.

Surely its not right for these kind of store owners to benefit from the hard work of others- where many of these images are rightfully best sellers because a lot of work has clearly gone into creating them.

Does anyone else share my annoyance? Or is the use of public domain photography widely accepted on here?

Thanks- rant over! Smile

Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 6:49:59 AM
Using public domain images isn't so bad, but not crediting who, what, when, or where depending on facts known does seem not quite right. Also, couldn't there be problems using images from, say, a museum? Just because something is found on the internet doesn't mean it's legal.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 7:21:03 AM
@colorwash- Yes, there can be copyright issues for using photos taken within a museum etc, as these places are mostly copyright protected.

I personally think that using public domain images is not only taking potential revenue away from photographers/designers but its also misleading the public. No one/far fewer people would buy a product with a publicly domain image if they knew. Even if it's stated in the description i can't imagine many buyers read these.

I wholly understand those who edit these or add text etc (same for graphics), as this is actually adding to the final product/design. I just don't like the idea of a seller (''re-seller'' more appropriate in this case?)adding nothing to the photo and just placing the image up, where it's then assumed that it's their own. Like i said previously, i doubt anyone/far fewer people would purchase a product if they knew that they could have simply downloaded the image and got the product made for themselves.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 7:28:37 AM
If I'm reading you correctly, you're speaking of modern photos, not the sort taken in the earlier years of photography, which is what I was thinking of: carbon prints, Daguerreotypes, tintypes, etc. If it's modern photos, I'd have a personal distaste for the practice and also a wariness of copyright issues, but in the end, none of us can easily stop such things. Stop one such person, and another pops up.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 7:38:38 AM
@colorwash- I have absolutely no problem with the use of old photos (before the copyright was introduced- can't remember the year....). I'm talking about modern photos yes, anything from an iceberg to a jellyfish to birds, flowers, anything... These can all be found online and used here at Zazzle.

In regards to the Pro seller i was previously talking about i have checked all of the first page of the 'popular' designs and all are from this one public image website.

Personally, i think this should be banned but this is obviously not for me to decide. I was just wondering whether any others shared my anger that this is allowed....?

Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:08:13 AM
I'm too old to by angry. Grin
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:24:49 AM
ShutterSnaps wrote:


Personally, i think this should be banned but this is obviously not for me to decide. I was just wondering whether any others shared my anger that this is allowed....?



No anger here. If they are using the image legally, then good for them. I don't think most buyers care where the image came from if it is something they like.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:33:45 AM
SS, I completely agree. There was a HUGE learning curve when we started stock photography, and I carry those standards here.

If it's not yours, you cannot use it. We agree that we have full rights to the images we use when we upload them. Some things are real tricky, whether or not you can use them. You can upload an image of Seattle, but you cannot include the space needle. You can upload an image of the Eifel Tower, but it must be a daylight photo, the lights used on the tower are copyrighted, so night time images are protected. You can upload a photo of a soda, but cannot upload a photo of a coke bottle, the shape of the bottle is trademarked, etc... But to use a photo you "found" on the internet just seems real dirty to me.

And a lot of people don't understand "Royalty Free" does not mean "you can use this photo to your hearts content", (From Wiki) it refers to a copyright license where the user has the right to use the picture without many restrictions based on one-time payment to the licensor. The user can therefore use the image in several projects without having to purchase any additional licenses.

Some stock agencies allow you to use THE IMAGE YOU PURCHASE on print on demand sites, and some do not allow that type of licensing at all.

I got pinged by a friend who saw one of my designs in a store. It was one of my hidden stores, and it was an older image, and I had no idea we would be recognized from it, so I had to let them know that, yes, that was us Smile But it's good to see that some people watch out for their friends.

So, to summarize, yep, it really "chaps my hide" to see someone use art and photography that they just surfed out.

I even have an issue with Parody art. Where does the line get drawn between copyright infringement and derivative? It's too fuzzy to me, so we steer clear.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:51:40 AM
colorwash wrote:
I'm too old to by angry. Grin


LOL!
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:55:50 AM
AugieDoggyStore wrote:
ShutterSnaps wrote:


Personally, i think this should be banned but this is obviously not for me to decide. I was just wondering whether any others shared my anger that this is allowed....?



No anger here. If they are using the image legally, then good for them. I don't think most buyers care where the image came from if it is something they like.


I'm not feeling any, either.

I agree - - if they're using it as they should, then more power to 'em. When people are just flat-out stealing, then I have some anger.

Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 9:12:27 AM
RGebbiePhoto wrote:
SS, I completely agree. There was a HUGE learning curve when we started stock photography, and I carry those standards here.


Glad to hear you agree RGebbiePhoto- I also came from a background in microstock (SS, DT), so share your annoyance (but obviously public domain images are free so are not even Micro stock).

A lot of time and effort goes into taking photos, editing them etc, and for me (although i've said it already and am probably boring some of you already), to use someone else's photos (that they have donated to the public domain) and pass them off as your own just isn't right.

Some may view it as people using their initiative and i suppose it is, but should this be allowed?

I guess what really annoys me is when entire stores are created off the back of other people's work. I just don't like the idea of someone benefiting financially from the work of others.

I have to say i'm quite surprised that so many advocate it. Obviously everyone has their own opinion and i respect that- it's always good to see both sides of the argument, but it is rather surprising.

Any other photographers have a view on this?
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 9:29:56 AM
ShutterSnaps wrote:


I have to say i'm quite surprised that so many advocate it. Obviously everyone has their own opinion and i respect that- it's always good to see both sides of the argument, but it is rather surprising.

Any other photographers have a view on this?

I didn't notice a lot of people being proponents of the practice.

Copyright, fair use, and even ethics aren't understood by an enormous lot of people. They see it on the internet and believe it's out there for everyone. Another forum I belong to for slide show video has had a repeating discussion over the past 10 years during which I've been a member, that discussion being a need to explain to people that they're not allowed to use the work of others without express permission. Even the public domain music put out there by kind souls ask a person to "pay" by giving proper attribution.

I believe you're seeing more evidence of ignorance than you are of malfeasance.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 9:57:44 AM
ShutterSnaps wrote:


I have to say i'm quite surprised that so many advocate it. Obviously everyone has their own opinion and i respect that- it's always good to see both sides of the argument, but it is rather surprising.

Any other photographers have a view on this?


I'm a photographer, in the sense that I use my own photographs on my Zazzle items. But I'm certainly not advocating people stealing other people's work. I didn't think we were talking about that. I thought the topic was about images that were truly in the public domain, that anyone could use however and wherever they wanted, without attribution. If that's the case, I have no problem with people filling up entire Zazzle stores with them.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 11:36:36 AM
Go find ORIGINAL artist and contact them ASAP.
BTW its doesn't matter if you knowlegde them or not . You MUST have a written document of permission of use or their work. Sent to whatever you are working in as proof.
Alot of The Artist will tell you using the public domain art used for free is a myth. You use it you still can get in trouble. Like I said google has a warning saying this image might not be used for public image and might be copy wrighted. In that case we blame google. Though because google has that warning. They themselves can't be reliable for it.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 12:28:26 PM
UndefineHyde wrote:
Go find ORIGINAL artist and contact them ASAP.
BTW its doesn't matter if you knowlegde them or not . You MUST have a written document of permission of use or their work. Sent to whatever you are working in as proof.
Alot of The Artist will tell you using the public domain art used for free is a myth. You use it you still can get in trouble. Like I said google has a warning saying this image might not be used for public image and might be copy wrighted. In that case we blame google. Though because google has that warning. They themselves can't be reliable for it.

I haven't seen people claiming their own work is in the public domain. Royalty free, yes; public domain, no.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 12:48:31 PM
For what it's worth I'm a photographer and submit images for public domain use. I have a lot of pretty flower photos and they haven't sold well on Zazzle - probably because there are a million other flower photo designs LOL. Anyhow, if someone wants to use it on a POD that's perfectly fine with me. I don't need credit, have fun with it and see what you can make!
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 12:50:38 PM
Because they don't have to. Public domain just means that the image is set up on a Websight which is public that the artist is using or some one is using. If you click you can usually follow the link to that websight and some don't care
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 1:45:06 PM
UndefineHyde wrote:
Because they don't have to. Public domain just means that the image is set up on a Websight which is public that the artist is using or some one is using. If you click you can usually follow the link to that websight and some don't care

"Public domain" is a legally defined term, not at all what you're describing. It has nothing to do with whether it can be seen on a web site.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:09:13 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikipediaStick out tongueublic_domain_image_resources.
Scroll down
http://energy.gov/about-us/web-policies
"Copyright, Restrictions and Permissions Notice

Government information at DOE websites is in the public domain. Public domain information may be freely distributed and copied, but it is requested that in any subsequent use the Department of Energy be given appropriate acknowledgement. When using DOE websites, you may encounter documents, illustrations, photographs or other information resources contributed or licensed by private individuals, companies or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use as defined in the copyright laws requires the written permission of the copyright owners."
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:44:55 PM
The above is specifically for the Department of Energy. It cannot be generalised across the entire internet.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 3:27:46 PM
colorwash wrote:
"Public domain" is a legally defined term, not at all what you're describing. It has nothing to do with whether it can be seen on a web site.

Correct. My photos can be seen on Flickr, but that doesn't make them "public domain" images. They are, in fact, protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. Anyone I catch using them without my explicit permission will hear about it. I've been fortunate enough that people have mostly asked first, or at least provided attribution. But I did encounter one guy who thought he could compile a photo book of any images found on the Internet, and sell it for his own profit.

As for my position on the issue, if something is truly in the public domain, I can't really complain about someone using it. But I'll stick to creating my own art with my own skills, humble as they are.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 11:01:15 PM
ShutterSnaps wrote:
As a store owner who uses his own photography in order to create products, i am rather annoyed when i see store owners who have simply downloaded a public domain image and with no real work involved have reaped the benefits...

I recently found a Zazzle Pro seller (i won't name names) who's top selling designs had all come from a certain well-known public domain website. The images had not been altered/graphically enhanced etc, and the description had not even mentioned that it was a public domain image (is this the protocol?). The keywords tags were also quite simply keyword spam.

For a turtle image the keywords were:
red,eared,ear,slider,turtle,zazzle,top,best,for,him,her,daughter,animals,mother,son,nature,wild,water,cool,colorful, rock, amazing, beautiful, colors, green, birthday, children, lovely, reptile, postcards.

Surely its not right for these kind of store owners to benefit from the hard work of others- where many of these images are rightfully best sellers because a lot of work has clearly gone into creating them.

Does anyone else share my annoyance? Or is the use of public domain photography widely accepted on here?

Thanks- rant over! Smile



I think that what's important here is to remember that we are all different. Some of us have talent in photography, some in art, some in affiliate marketing, some people just want to run a store with everything from vintage posters to public domain photos.

Search engines probably will penalize them for using the same images others are using, further, their competition is a lot harder because they also have to compete against people with the exact same image. But, if they have a turtle pic, and, someone browsing the market falls in love with it, then, what really counts now is the customers happiness. Happy customers benefit us all. On a positive note, at least they are not stealing your images.

It sounds like you've got really good principles and high standards and that's wonderful. Work like yours helps make the Zazzle marketplace great. I'm sure that your customers, the search engines and Zazzle all appreciate your hard work and originality and that's something to be really glad about.
Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 11:46:18 PM
As a photographer I have no problem with people using public domain images, under the terms of public domain they can be used in any way, so why not take advantage of them and use them on Zazzle.
The people who release them into the public domain have no problem with it or they wouldn't have done so.

I've been meaning to release many of my photos, as I have more than I will ever use in a lifetime, and it seems a shame they they will never been seen, if some one can make good use of them good luck.
I've been glad of using public domain images, both photos and graphics in the past for things that I wouldn't be able to do myself, although I do almost always heavily adapt them, to create a new image.
I only use public design images from sites I trust, and only then from selected photographers who I trust and usually do a google search on the image.

The problem comes when people do not understand the term Public Domain and think it is just anything found on the web or on google search.
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 4:34:35 AM
Quote:
above is specifically for the Department of Energy. It cannot be generalised across the entire internet.

Actually if you went to the web sightand click on it you would see the article and hightlight word "fair use". But here is a better sight for it. Not just for the Dept. of energy. The fair use act is only in the U.S. and certain treaties in the international .But you will have to look them up.
This one is a little better.
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/copyright-fair-use-and-how-it-works-for-online-images/
Or you can type in Fair use Act or copy right images for the internet and read it. Also if your interested in international copy wright type in that too.I'm just giving out research for people who want to claim their art work. I think even if the Artist doesn' care its still good to know.
Here is a few with info on both
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/reference/article.php/3472671

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
https://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 9:11:48 AM
The bottom line with "fair use" is that's it's not an outright grant of rights to take any image one finds online and use it for one's own commercial purposes. Among the things considered:

"the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

If someone steals your online images, reusing them for their own commercial gain, they are affecting the potential market for that work and its value. So it's not fair use unless they meet some other conditions; transforming the work, using just a portion (which doesn't mean cropping out insignificant parts while keeping the main), and how they're using it.

Were I to use someone else' work (unlikely), I would make sure I have their explicit permission - either personally granted, or in whatever other terms they offer as part of providing the images. I would NOT assume that their silence amounts to a permission to use the image any way I like, merely because I found it on the Internet.
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 9:32:43 AM
In the context of copyright/intellectual property rights, "Public domain" doesn't refer to all works that are accessible to the general public. In this context, it refers to works where the copyright has expired, works created before the existence of copyright laws, works to which the copyright has been forfeited (such as the holder failing to take the steps necessary to protect it in specific situations governed by statute), or if it is a work of the U.S. government.

In other words, informal use of the term to mean anything accessible by the public doesn't apply to our artwork, which is our intellectual property and protected by copyright.

Like most any word or phrase, context matters.
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2014 7:57:02 AM
I really don't personally care what other people do, I worry about what I do. I know what I would and wouldn't feel personally satisfied doing, and no I wouldn't personally care to just download public domain images unless I needed something specific to add to a collage that I envisioned and was designing (I've purchased one such stock image for a Paris item I did). In this short life, I try not to let the little things or uncontollable things, such as what other artists choose to do, bug me :-) Waste of energy in my opinion. Just create :-)

The other reason I don't bother with that is the topic that is being talked about as well, possible copyright infringement issues, accuracies and worries. Using my own images, I don't need to waste time researching that nor worrying about it at all.

Joss
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2014 1:37:02 PM
ShutterSnaps wrote:
As a store owner who uses his own photography in order to create products, i am rather annoyed when i see store owners who have simply downloaded a public domain image and with no real work involved have reaped the benefits...

I recently found a Zazzle Pro seller (i won't name names) who's top selling designs had all come from a certain well-known public domain website. The images had not been altered/graphically enhanced etc, and the description had not even mentioned that it was a public domain image (is this the protocol?). The keywords tags were also quite simply keyword spam.

For a turtle image the keywords were:
red,eared,ear,slider,turtle,zazzle,top,best,for,him,her,daughter,animals,mother,son,nature,wild,water,cool,colorful, rock, amazing, beautiful, colors, green, birthday, children, lovely, reptile, postcards.

Surely its not right for these kind of store owners to benefit from the hard work of others- where many of these images are rightfully best sellers because a lot of work has clearly gone into creating them.

Does anyone else share my annoyance? Or is the use of public domain photography widely accepted on here?

Thanks- rant over! Smile


I don't share your annoyance. I think one of the best things about Zazzle is that everyone can try to make money here in what ever way they like (as long as it's legit ofcourse). Personally I'm very happy that Zazzle doesn't judge us in any way and just lets us create what we want Smile
Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2014 6:54:10 PM
Zazzle cannot be the copyright police, nor should anyone. Like the speeder who flies around you in traffic.. I always say "Enjoy your ticket" and they will eventually.

If you start going around turning in Sker's you feel are stealing images you may very well do more harm than good. Maybe they have the rights that you are unaware of.. and then they get their products pulled and here at Zazzle they do not get put back.

If it is your art then by all means go for it, but maybe spend more time creating and sharing, learning and earning and leave the results to those who are directly affected.

This did not just start and it will not stop ever. Many times when something is purchased Zazzle has a lot of tools and knowledge of what is what and it never makes it to the buyer.

it really serves no good purpose to inflame this issue its something most here at Zazzle are very familiar with...

JMHO
Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:26:53 PM
I have over 100,000 products in about 8 or so stores. Shocked

It hadn't occurred to me to use public domain photos until I created my flag store.

All of my images and graphics, except for the flag store, are created by me or a member of my family. Grin

My dad and Aunt did help with some of the photos in 2 of the stores.

I don't see the point of doing something like this without original graphics.

My stores are kind of a family thing now. It's a strange dynamic to try to explain. That just to say, how can someone take their stores personally and really care about them if they're using someone elses graphic?

I like creating graphics and capturing photos for my stores. My stores are loaded and I don't advertise as much as I should because I'm always making more graphics! In spite of my crummy advertising ability, I'm a pro-seller!

That just to say, don't stress and worry about the shady ways of others. Just do what you do and enjoy doing it.

While I'm here I'm going to add some back links here with my associate ID. Shocked

http://www.zazzle.com/flowersbydww25921?rf=238612242745795440
http://www.zazzle.com/nerdsgeeksdww25921?rf=238612242745795440
http://www.zazzle.com/vacationphotography?rf=238612242745795440
http://www.zazzle.com/dww25921?rf=238612242745795440
http://www.zazzle.com/fractalsbydww25921?rf=238612242745795440
http://www.zazzle.com/conquestkitty?rf=238612242745795440
http://www.zazzle.com/flagsbydww25921?rf=238612242745795440

That's "legal" and following the rules too. I suppose different people have a different perspective.

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