S.T.O.P. Campaign


Unless a website clearly states that the images are free to be used, the display of those images on someone else's website without permission, is considered a case of image theft.

To avoid being labelled as an image thief, one should always ask permission before taking an image and using it on his/herís own website, posting it on chatlines or giving away (eg. via email). {*If you want to send the image to someone else, make sure you ASK the respective creator for permission to do so! Receiving permission to display an image does not mean that one has permission to give away the image as well!} Now if one obtains permission first, and that person credits the respective owner (with a disclaimer and link back to the owner's site), then that is considered FAIR USE and that person is NOT an image thief. Most webmasters are pretty reasonable when it comes to picture usage. They have a delicate balance as they know that people are appreciative of their work if it's in demand yet at the same time, want to preserve their site's originality. Asking and getting permission first ensures that you arenít breaking any copyright laws or risking the webmasterís wrath.

Also, downloading for personal viewing, storing them in your cachť, printing them also considered FAIR USE. You do NOT need to ask for permission to do these things, just so long you donít publicize the images in any way. (If you're planning on using someone else's image on a written report, follow the same method you would as if it were to be used on a website. Placing them on paper or on the web are still both forms of publication).

STOP realizes that copyright laws vary from place to place, but in most countries, the moment something is CREATED, it is copyrighted. (How many times has this been mentioned on this website? ^_^) Some people argue that it's ok to use images found on another person's website on their websites if they are based on a topic of another personís creation (eg. a television show such as Star Trek or the Simpsons) because those pictures don't belong to the first webmaster anyways. This is not true. While the original owner/creator holds copyright over nearly anything associated with the subject (media, images. . . ), should you transparentize, animate, or do any little thing to edit it, then you certainly have a right over the MODIFIED image although the original creator still has a claim over the original image itself (which was what you based it on). Afterall, images donít animate and edit themselves, somebody has to take the time to do these things and therefore have a claim/right over them. You, as a consumer has also purchased the merchandise through direct or indirect means and therefore have a right to use images/multimedia and information as long as the original creator/companies do NOT object. Nevertheless, you may not claim that the copyright of the merchandise or its likeness in the form of any media (image, sound, video clip) belongs to you. Just as encoding a song to mp3 form does not give you the ownership of the music, scanning an image or screencapping does not hand you the copyright. If the original owner/creator does NOT approve of the usage, then by all means, they have the right to request and if necessary force someone to remove even the modified files.

This applies to fanart/fanfiction as well. Characters/scenario and such still belong to the creator although the actual piece of work is yours and the creator's copyright takes precedence over yours. It's difficult to contact the creator for permission in these cases. Generally, the creator/owner permit the usage of images (as well as short/partial parts of audio/video clips) because it promotes their creation as long as it isn't for commercial purposes. It is recommended that all fansites contain a disclaimer about this.

The usage of pictures is a debatable subject, really. If someone took a picture of a celebrity, then the picture belongs to the photographer. However, that does not mean that the photographer can use the picture to advertise without that celebrity's permission first! Nor can the photographer edit the picture so that it contains misleading info about the celebrity (eg. adding mustaches or warts). Consult an attorney specializing in copyright in your country for further information.

© 2000 S.T.O.P. Campaign: Stop The Online Plagiarism Campaign [CoD © 1998] Unauthorized usage of any content without permission is prohibited. The STOP Campaign was previously located at http://www.oocities.org/~stopcampaign and the website there is no longer up to date and cannot be considered completely accurate.