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Online pictures... when is there use illegal?

When its used to make profit for someone other than the creator?

What if you google search a random picture and use it as a profile image on here or Myspace or FB, could they sue you (assuming they ever found out?)

or is that something that would be deemed harmless (as long as there was nothing defaming anyone by name and no money was being exchanged)?

I like saving images I like from online to my hard drive to use as backgrounds or for just looking at sometimes. Its kinda like collecting post cards, except I'm collecting free online images of things that catch my eye and they sit on my hard drive or sometimes I upload them to my photo gallery on FB or Myspace. Is that wrong of me? Is anyone gonna really care?


Asked by Zoeyis at 2:42 PM on Nov. 18, 2010 in Just for Fun

Level 31 (46,808 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (3)
  • There's a lot of gray area in it. Most of the time, if the image wasn't taken or made by you specifically, unless you're selling it or claiming it as your own, the most that will happen is a request to remove it. Some people may be hardasses and hit you with a C&D (cease and desist) but as long as you remove it, nothing should go further.

    There are some professional artists, photogs, etc. that are EXCEEDINGLY hardassed, and will immediately C&D and threaten legal action, but they'd have to prove your use of their image caused them damages in order to win.

    TL;DR answer:

    As long as you're not using them for profit, and credit the sources, you should be okay.

    Answer by geminilove at 2:46 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I don't know about the legality of it, but I know that if someone has a photo or digital scrapbook design of mine I am pretty annoyed if they don't at least say that it's mine.

    Answer by DigiScrapperMom at 3:00 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I never do credit where I got it from (never seems to matter, its some cute pic I found).

    Even if they got you to take the picture down...uhm.. not to be juvenile, but couldn't you just put it back up after a certain time has passed and your reasonably sure they've gone away?

    I suppose they could do a reverse image search to see if their pics are being used elsewhere, but how many poeple really know about those things and they aren't 100% reliable.

    Comment by Zoeyis (original poster) at 3:01 PM on Nov. 18, 2010