This site has three authors, the main one, with responsibility for the images onsite, is James Higham. This page now was written on November 26th, 2011.
Copyright has changed through amendments to the law but as relating to blogs and images, the law allows an author and/or owner to assert copyright and give the blogger reasonable time to either take down or pay royalties. In such situations, if copyright is asserted, the image comes down immediately the webmaster here becomes aware of it. This in fact has happened twice so far through legal emails, one from America and in both cases, the image was taken down and an apology issued. In both cases, emails of thanks were then sent to the webmaster.
The vast majority act in this reasonable manner and this remains the policy at this site.
There are certain companies who are known for buying up images and this can render an image previously clear for reasonable use by the blogger into not only a copyright situation but an aggressively asserted right, with the desire for litigation and moneymaking behind it. Again, the law allows reasonable time for the image to be taken down and at this site, it is done immediately the webmaster becomes aware of it. Any continuation after this is covered by Arkell v Pressdram.
All reasonable care is taken, particularly after the mooted amendments to the law, to be assiduous in attributing. This is the letter of the law:
s29.—(1) Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical, etc, work, for the purpose of research for a non-commercial purpose, does not infringe any copyright in the work, provided it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement of the source.
s30.—(1) Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work, or of a performance of a work, does not infringe copyright in the work, provided it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, and provided the work has actually been made available to the public.
… and the spirit is incorporated in this blog’s policy:
1. Images in possession of the webmaster before 2006 fall into three categories:
[i] belonging to him
[ii] not belonging to him and able to be attributed
[iii] not belonging to him and unable to be attributed
The last one is the trickiest because it comes back to the opening paragraph above – that ofttimes ownership is not known until someone steps up and asserts it and then, if that person can verify ownership, either the image is allowed to remain, with attribution or else it is taken down immediately.
2. Youtubes are held to be their own attribution on a blog because they contain a direct link back to the youtube page.
3. Creative commons is all about reasonable and fair use, using one copy only and:
The proper method for giving credit will depend on the medium and means you are using, and may be implemented in any reasonable manner, although in the case of an adaptation or collection the credit needs to be as prominent as credits for other contributors.
The standard method of attribution on a blog is either a hyperlink or a hat tip. Providing the link takes you to where the image came from, that is attribution. It is not necessary for the author himself to be sought out, if he chooses not to reveal this on a site page. The area is grey and comes back to someone asserting copyright and this blog’s reaction to that assertion, as mentioned above.
Occasionally the owner is mentioned by name in the post, in lieu of the hyperlink.
4. Wikipedia. Until some weeks ago, the policy of this site was that if there is not a hyperlink, it’s either found in Wiki under the topic discussed in the post or else it’s the webmaster’s own image. Thus, if it was, say, a picture of a lion and the topic was wildlife, if you went to the Wiki entry on wildlife, you’d find the image there.
5. This site’s policy since October has been that irrespective of whether it is Wiki, Creative Commons, Copyright free for use or in any other form, if copyright is asserted on the source page, the image is simply not used. If it is not asserted, then the fair use policy under law is in effect and a hyperlink, hat tip or the name of the author is fair attribution.
This hyperlink can either be embedded in the image or in some text within that post such that, if that link were to be clicked on, it would take you to the source. An example is this post. The images themselves are not embedded as they need to be enlarged and embedding prevents that so the hyperlink is in the text. This takes you to the page where you’ll find the image[s]. Ditto with this post.
6. Where an owner is unknown and reasonable searching did not find the source, then the image is used, subject to two conditions:
[i] if the right is subsequently asserted, then the image is taken down
[ii] ongoing review of posts is in any case done by the webmaster here to ascertain ownership or the original site. When the original can be established, then the image is immediately embedded with that link.
7. The intent and spirit in which images are used counts in law. This site asserts that it takes all reasonable steps to avoid copyrighted works where an issue might arise and as for any other images, excluding the author’s own, all attempts are made to attribute by the methods above. This site rejects absolutely any assertion that it just uses images willy-nilly. Care is taken on every image appearing onsite, particularly since the mooted amendments to copyright law.
8. This site further asserts that there must be fair play. It has never attempted to “rip anyone off” nor to avoid responsibility and cannot speak for any other blogsites. Almost all the time, it’s not been an issue with anyone. Occasionally, someone comes in to stir up trouble and in that situation, unless he [or she] is the actual author/owner of a particular image in question, this stirring is filed under Arkell v Pressdram.
November 26th, 2011