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  1. #1

    Copyright law regarding posting unoriginal material

    Moving on to my question: I'm interested in the legal stance on using potentially copyrighted material (say, pictures and quotes showing up in Google searches/on DeviantArt/you get the idea) on ones own website, given that you provide information about the material on the site not being one's own work, as well as clearly pointing the viewer to the original source.An example of this would be that which happens over at Tumblr a lot, both through reposts and through uploading non-original material from other sources.

  2. #2
    What does the big book of laws say about this? I am not stationed in the US and frankly have little idea of how these things work. Does it differ between countries or is there an Ultimate Law of The Internet (ULoTH) that I should be aware of?

  3. #3
    Finally, is there any change to the verdict if one were to make money off the site at which this (unoriginal) material is posted, for instance through advertising?
    If you have knowledge, feel free to share. Do, however, please refer from simple speculation. I've got myself for that.

  4. #4
    Second, there is always fair use. Keep in mind taht fair use is not a defense, but what’s called an affirmative defense. Essentially, it only applies if you get to the courtroom, and you can say, essentially, “yes, my use infringes the but it’s ok because of fair use.” Bottom line there, don’t bank on fair use. It’s a slippery fish and hard to pin down. Google the case Campbell v. Acuff Rose, the seminal court case outlining the fair use affirmative defense. The profit you make off your site wieghs against you here, but is not a death sentence. THis is mostly hinging on HOW you use the piece. If you are using it as the focal point of commentary, reporting, parody, satire etc, then you are more squarely within fair use.

  5. #5
    If you just use it as an illustration for a blog post, then you’re getting away from fair use. If you’re just posting it for fun, even farther away, and the farthest you can get is claiming it as your own. it’s a continuum.
    Be aware of the DMCA as well. It has requirements for providing contact information so a rights holder can submit to you a DMCA takedown notice, which is a nice way of saying, “take down my art or I’ll sue.” Providing this info, and reacting to any notices helps you fall under a protection scheme called a safe harbor. Again, it’s like Fair Use and not something to hang your hat on, but it’s a best practice.

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