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Copyright Question

  1. Jan 22, 2005 #1
    Greetings, I know its been awhile but I am in need of some legal advice...

    I am getting a lot of grief from people on a forum about a new website I have created. It is for www.quantumninja.com/firstpictures It is a history of pictures of robots through the years of the FIRST competition. I made the site by taking all the pictures off www.firstrobotics.net and putting them on the site. The person on firstrobotics.net got the pictures by taking them, having people sent them to him, and by taking them off other sources like I am. I have includded credit on my homepage to firstrobotics.net. I was wondering am I in any kind of copyright danger?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2005 #2


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    You could be. You still needed to get permission to use photos taken by someone else, even if you give them credit. Since you say you took ALL the photos from the other site, that makes it more blatant as a copyright infringement. You still could be in trouble if it was only one or two pictures, but might not have been bothered over it. Since it doesn't sound like an educational site, but a hobby site, you can't even claim educational fair use. I'd suggest you take them down and get written permission from the photographer to post them with appropriate credits (and a link to the original site if they ask) before putting them back up.
  4. Jan 22, 2005 #3


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    I think what Tom meant was that the site he took the pictures from gathered them from other sources and do not own the copyrights to the pictures either. This still does not make it legal to use the pictures as someone could still hold copyrights to them.
  5. Jan 22, 2005 #4
    yeah... its kinda what evo said...

    It is for educational use though... USFIRST is a highschool robotics competition

    does that make a difference?
  6. Jan 22, 2005 #5


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    Providing photographs from the competition still wouldn't count as educational, even if the competition itself is. Copyright laws include a fair use clause that allows you to use a reasonable amount of copyrighted material for educational purposes (I can go to the library and photocopy a journal article for my research, but I can't photocopy an entire book and hand it out to my class to save them the cost of buying textbooks).

    You would need permission from each photographer to use their photographs. If the person running the site you are taking them from took the pictures, you can get permission from them. If you don't know the source, then safer not to use them. Getting material posted from a site already infringing on someone's copyrights doesn't exempt you from the same laws.
  7. Jan 23, 2005 #6
    Thank you for the clarification
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