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Images for Fic Banners/Manips?

What would be the rules involved in using images in banners/manips? I know that unless you took the image yourself, it's copyright to somone else, but could any random image still legally be used if no profit is being made on the manip? Do most people just use stock images?

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stmarc
Jul. 8th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
While I am an attorney, I may or may not be licensed in any particular jurisdiction relevant to the reader, and this is not legal advice. Always consult an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction and familiar with the relevant law before making legal decisions.

The fact that you are not using it to make a profit, while relevant to the overall situation, is not determinative of whether you are infringing a copyright. And, depending on the license granted with the stock image, excessive manipulation might be a violation of said license and therefore a violation of the accompanying contract if any.

If the manipulation is so transformative as to make the original image unrecognizable, then you are probably okay. If the original image is still recognizable, for varying definitions of recognizable, in the final product, then you have an issue which you need to be concerned about.

The short answer to your question is that there is no short answer to your question.
rubymiene
Jul. 13th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
The rules for fair use are complicated, though I would argue that most banners/manips tend to be transformative enough to qualify. As a practical matter, if you use random online images (as opposed to fanart, for example) the photographer is 1) unlikely to discover your use and 2) unlike to sue over it (if you have no money, it's not worth suing you, and if you have no obvious source of profit, you probably have no money). As another practical matter, if you did get sued, it wouldn't matter if it was in fact a fair use or not, because you probably can't afford to hire an attorney to defend you and the odds of finding pro bono representation are low. The best bet is to use Creative Commons licensed images (there are plenty out there).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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