How To Identify Copyrighted Images?

  • December 25, 2019
  • Blog
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In this technological competitive era, it is essential to safeguard your data on the internet as your contents may undergo security issues like data stealing. Your contents can be texts, videos, images etc and like your textual contents, it is essential to protect the images that you are uploading too. In order to secure the uploaded pictures, one has to avail copyright for the image. Hence, before you begin to copy any image from the internet, it is advised to take a close look at the image’s copyrights. In this article, let’s have a look at how to identify the copyrighted images.

General Signs Of Copyright Images

Even though you may find it difficult to detect an image that has been copyrighted immediately, but still there are a few simple signs which help you to filter such protected images

  • Watermark

A watermark can be either a symbol or text related to the business or company that is hidden secretly or exhibited upfront to secure an image from using it without the approval of the owner. But it is possible for anyone to use this image by removing the watermark and hence this type of copyright is less supported.

  • Small Note

In some cases, a small note can be identified that specifies the ownership or sourcing of the image. The note can be anything related to the company or business which is usually written in small fonts.

  • Copyright Symbol

Some images may contain some symbols that indicate the particular business or company of the image owner. Such symbols are inscribed on any part of the image without affecting the image clarity.

Analysis To Detect If An Image Is Copyrighted

  • Perform A Reverse-Search On The Image

In some search engines like Google, you can perform a reverse search on the image by your search setup through images. This kind of analysis will help you to avail some significant information regarding the image such as from where the image has been posted, initially who posted the image etc.

  • Approach U.S Copyright Office For Official Report

You can avail an official copyright report from the U.S Copyright Office. You can conduct a free search on the copyrighted files and if you require a report, you have to spend an amount based on the search fee. Thus you can attain the ownership of your image and if anyone needs to use the image they have to request for your permission.

Determine Whether A Work Is Unpublished

Some data you have come across maybe unpublished even if it contains no references to any copyrights. Such material may be secured by copyright law. It may not be registered with the Copyright Office because these works are in a tangible form by the law. Hence you need to be more concerned about the usage of such data which are not published.

Verify “CC0” Public Domain

You can refer some of the public domain through the website “Creative Commons” in which you will be able to obtain contents placed by some of the owners of copyrighted works. It can be identified from the public domain through the “CC0” mark.

Point Out The Websites That Save Public Domain Works  

Some of the websites store images, audios, illustrations etc in which the term of copyright has expired or the owner has not resumed the license. You can avail such works from the public domain where they are saved and they are free to use.

Study The Work To Identify The Copyright

Most of the copyrighted works provide proper information regarding the copyright. But, legally it is not necessary to be given. In such situations, you have to be aware of the “copyright notice” that is marked either by a “c” in a circle (©) or the word “copyright” with the date of first publication and the name of the copyright owner.

Rights To Use An Image

Even though some images are copyrighted, they still allow to use it based on certain conditions. Let’s have a look at that

  • Purpose of the image

According to different purposes, the usage of the images may vary. Some of them may be authorized for non-commercial applications or they may have particular terms of usage for non-profits and other fields. Hence it is better to read the agreements before stepping to use the image and this will prevent the malpractice. If you need to prevent the copyright infringement, you need to change or re-purpose the original work considerably. When you are able to determine that the image you are utilized is meant for increasing the value in a different manner, then it may be secured by considering as an “enrichment of society”.

  • What portion of the copyrighted work is being used?

If you copied a small amount of the source, then it will be considered as a small violation that can be justified by the court. 

  • Influence of the copyrighted work

If the copyrighted work exhibits any negative attitude on the audience, then it will affect the income of the original owner as it implies the same effect which is done by the owner itself.

Inquire The Permission

Some cases, you may find it difficult to obtain a clear idea, if the image is officially copyrighted or not. In such situations, it is advised to inquire the owner about the property rights and usage. If you could not notice the image that you need to copy on a public domain, then it is always better to obtain the permission from the original owner of the image.

How Can You Avail Copyright For Your Image?

You can obtain official copyright to your image from the copyright office which will be explained in the coming section of this article.

Even though all the images are not “officially” copyrighted, when we create an image, by default it becomes copyrighted. Only the person who is the owner of the image has the legal right to distribute, reproduce or exhibit the work.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, this article has depicted a good number of points to acquaint you with recognizing the copyrighted images and their usage. Many people utilize the images and contents uploaded on the internet without having proper copyright knowledge that leads them to sever copyright infringement. But, through this writing, you can easily master different methods to detect the copyrighted images and how can we use them safely. Always spend a few minutes to read the copyright notice or any reports describing copyright policies. It is advisable to use copyrighted works with the approval of the original owner which leads to secure usage.

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