Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Fair Use of Copyrighted Cover Images?
    Most book covers, CD covers, DVD covers, magazine covers, and art are copyrighted. Merchants use these images every day on their sites and allow their affiliates to use these images. But is it legal for us to do so?

    I got an email from the copyright holder of an item I'm promoting, requesting that I remove their cover image with 7 days. I can do that, or I can take their product down totally (somewhat spiteful), or I can swap it out with a competiting product (even more spiteful).

    From everything I've read, this type of use of a cover image qualifies under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. copyright law.

    I'll probably consult with my lawyer sometime within the next week (or take the cover image down), but I'd like to hear if any of you have already gone through something similar.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    November 26th, 2005
    Posts
    560
    I got an email from the copyright holder of an item I'm promoting, requesting that I remove their cover image with 7 days.
    Assuming that the copyright holder is someone other than the merchant, even though prima facie, it should appear to be of fair use, but I think, if we go deep into the legal wordings, the law would side with the copyright holder and they can still claim that your use of the images doesn't fall under "fair use".

    Disclaimer: Just my personal opinion
    The Best Forums
    Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance
    . Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistance and determination are omnipotent.
    Abestweb Store

  3. #3
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    1,685
    I've come across this a few times and have generally just chosen to remove the product from my site. If its a product that sells well for me, I replace it with competitors if there is one available. I also notify the merchant who is selling the item and let them know of the demands I received.
    Heidi
    "Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true"

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    12,360
    It seems a little stupid if you are selling said product. Bookstores regularly display images of books they're selling or the actual book itself in publications and their windows. Is THAT copyright infringement? I'd say not. What is the difference if we're selling the book (or product) on our pages? We sometimes need an image to go with a product. Duh - should we use another image? I'd guess that would be worse for the copyright holder.

    I would ask said copyright holder what the big deal is and if they are opposed to me (or any other publisher) using the NAME of said product, too. Doesn't make sense if you are selling the product legitimately.

    I use book cover images for certain books I promote all the time. Haven't yet been asked to remove any of them. I'm very interested to know the end result of this discussion.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    U.S.A
    Posts
    2,777
    I have seen some copyright holders use this tactic in order to lead to the response of "remove the competitor ads if you want to use my copyright images" goal. This type of tactic is a high risk move if you ask me ... but I can see how it can be effective if tactfully done .... if I look at it from that angle. If the copyright material is being used to market their product correctly ... what's the big deal I ask.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager inflatemouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 28th, 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    172
    It is Fair Use to use copywrited images to sell said product. Legally Affiliates are not "selling" the item they are referring visitors to a merchant. Affiliates use the images in good faith that they are in fact participating in the sale.

    I can't really think of a precedent that classifies Affiliates as sellers. Most copywrite holders don't have anything to gain by restricting the use, but have the right to do so.

  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    The owner may have conveyed use rights to a network, who conveyed them to you and the owner might not be aware of it and just sees your site out there... has happened to me... twice.

  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2006
    Posts
    9,578
    Michael,

    An interesting article often cited is Thumbnails, Fair Use and Hyperlinks: The Ninth Circuit Breaks New Ground in Kelly v. Arriba Soft
    http://tinyurl.com/mqaqc

    That focuses upon the famous "Ditto.com case." The gist of that was small thumbnails of a lower resolution do not clash with the profitability of the original graphics.

    Your case, however, reminds me of
    Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. v. Bleem, 214 F.3d 1022 (9th Cir. 2000). http://tinyurl.com/mvqb6

    You might be interested in looking at Copyright and Licensing Digital Materials - A Resource Guide
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Trying to Win's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 7th, 2006
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    The owner may have conveyed use rights to a network, who conveyed them to you and the owner might not be aware of it and just sees your site out there... has happened to me... twice.
    I think that this is probably the case; However I would send them an email containing a link to a page with the competing product, after there’s was removed, and ask them if that is what they were looking for.
    Just a squirrel trying to get a nut, in the Internet jungle.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    February 20th, 2006
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    110
    Just had a question for the forum on the copyright issue. Is it ok to use an image from the merchant you are promoting on your site? It is not a product image but more of a spash image that merchants often have for main categories.

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2006
    Posts
    9,578
    Quote Originally Posted by Xion
    Just had a question for the forum on the copyright issue. Is it ok to use an image from the merchant you are promoting on your site? It is not a product image but more of a spash image that merchants often have for main categories.
    An affiliate can use a product image (a pre-determined product image already has clearance), but express permission is NOT implied for the use of a "splash image" or any other image the copyright holder might want to use exclusively. You would need to obtain express permission from the copyright holder.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,423
    I have removed the product. Put up a page explaining why and offer other products from more tech savvy companies. Play it to the tech crowd, and especially when it happens because you outrank them in google for their own product, and watch the publicity and free links come pouring in.

    I love these threats. Every single C&D i have ever been serverd (okay almost all, a few have been private) has resulted in an increase in traffic and sales.

    Haven't gotten any lately, so they may have passed their peak in raising interest but it worked in the past. One of the first ones got me some paper and web press.

    Favorite C&D is from coke threatening me for running coke ads that they were paying me to run.

    Chet

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    February 20th, 2006
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    110
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    An affiliate can use a product image (a pre-determined product image already has clearance), but express permission is NOT implied for the use of a "splash image" or any other image the copyright holder might want to use exclusively. You would need to obtain express permission from the copyright holder.
    Thanks for the clarification. I used a couple of splash images to spurce up my website - I will remove them now.

  14. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Free images? good quality images cheap?
    By breakingtheborders in forum Blogging, Mobile and Social Media
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: November 18th, 2011, 09:47 AM
  2. Ugg Images = Copyrighted images!
    By it2shoes in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: March 13th, 2009, 08:32 AM
  3. Google Halts Scanning of Copyrighted Books
    By Trust in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: August 12th, 2005, 04:47 PM
  4. The cover up
    By SandraR in forum Virtual Family and Off-Topic
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: February 4th, 2004, 04:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •