1. Eternity
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    Eternity Member

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    Pictures - A Breach Of Copyright?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eternity, May 25, 2010.

    I can't draw to save my life, so, for my new fantasy novel, I got on "Google Images" and started looking around for clothing, weapons, landscapes, etc, to use in my book. Is this a breach of copyright, or am I free to use the images, since they're available to the general public on the internet anyway?
     
  2. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    I'm not an expert but I would assume you are breaching copyright and that you have to take them out. I would suggest finding someone who can draw for you or just taking out the pictures all together.

    You can't just use pictures taken by somebody else just because you can see them for free on the internet. I can see complete novels on the internet, it doesn't mean I can copy and paste them into my book!

    There are places that offer photographs/images you can use but you have to pay and usually have to credit the photographer or artist.

    I would just take them out or try to include simpler images that you can draw yourself, like a map instead of a landscape for example.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Copyright does apply to images, and you need permission. But you shouldn't be wasting time with illustrations anyway. Publishers want manuscripts only, no illustrations. They will bring in one or more illustrators, as needed, after your manuscript is accepted. Tey will almost never include the author's own illustrations, and will certainly not be interested in third party images.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why are you including illustrations?... what kind of book is it?

    as for legality, listen to cog... he's right on that and everything else he said...

    if you want to be a writer, you should learn about the legal issues... go to the source: www.copyright.gov
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, those images still can, and probably do, have full copyright protection. There are some sources of free images online - I use Wikimedia Commons for most of my blog images, for example - but in general, simply being online doesn't influence the copyright status of an image.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. Eternity
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    My aim is not to have the pictures published when (if) I get my book published. Just the pictures I want to use for myself, to clarify what these things (clothes, weapons, landscape, etc) look like. To get a feel for my story, you know?

    The book is a fantasy novel, and my first attempt at fantasy. That's why I want images. To get clear in my head what I'm really writing about and trying to describe.
     
  7. Feign
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    It's best that you leave it up to the reader to imagine the image you have described to them. If you're unable to convey the image, or at least what you think it should look like (everyone sees the same thing differently) then it would be better if it was just rewritten.

    You can use the images for your own use, and I'm sure that describing the specific clothes of a copyrighted image isn't infringement.

    Plus the description doesn't have to be perfect, I mean it's fun but getting into too much detail would slow down the plot.

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Clothes, weapons and tools can't be copyrighted (at least not in the US, and not really in other countries either--the legislation for protecting apparel in the EU and Japan, for instance, is farcical and largely ignored even by the people who (theoretically) stand to gain from it). So yes, you can use the images to help you write. Putting the actual images in your novel is a no no, though.
     
  9. Tamsin
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    Tamsin Senior Member

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    Ok, you have changed your mind since your previous post then which said you wanted to use them in your book.

    You can look at anything you like. If you aren't planning on publishing the images, obviously there is no copyright issue.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah - in that case, then the fact that the images are copyrighted should be irrelevant. Aside from copying text from the image, I can't think of a scenario where the copyright on an image could affect your right to publish a written description of that image.
     
  11. scribller1
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    scribller1 New Member

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    Learn facts about copyright law.
    go to www.loc.gov -- find circular 92 -- download circular 92 -- about 369 pages --

    Also you may file a copyright via www.loc.gov

    Best wishes for a successful career.

    Scribbler1
     
  12. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think there was just a misunderstanding.

    I think what they were trying to ask was, could you use whats in the image itself and put it into your novel.

    Like a picture of a sword with a golden hilt with gems running along the handle. Could you take that sword, and put it into your novel.

    This is what I thought they were meaning when I first read the post.
     
  13. Mila
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    Mila Member

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    Yes, by all means have a file full of pics of things to help you remember what they look like. I do ! ( I can draw, so it's all my own work anyway ). But if all you want is to remember that a certain sword is single-edged with a dragon hilt, then does it really matter if you can't draw ? A rough sketch, or written description in your character file will do, surely ?
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The indicated site is a collection of links. You're better off going directly to the U. S. Copyright Office site at http://www.copyright.gov/ if you are in the United States, or the corresponding site for the country you live in.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good point, cog...

    that's the link i provided in my post, also... there one will find a Q&A section, as well as 'copyright basics' and info on fees, etc., plus links to other areas of the loc, such as patents and trademark issues, et. al.

    for the uk: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy.htm
     
  16. raian
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    raian New Member

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    As a photographer I can tell you... please don't "steal" photos online.
    They are copyrighted and owned by the person who posts them.
     

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