View Full Version : Pics from online

Andy Joe
09-13-2010, 10:26 AM
If you download a picture from say google images or deviantart or one of those types of sites, and uou etch it into marble tile, can you sale the tile or is that breaking a copy right or law somewhere?

Andy Joe
09-13-2010, 10:50 AM
Also if you buy a digital print online and reproduce it on marble can u sell it over and over again or do you not have the right?

Dan Ashlin
09-13-2010, 10:58 AM
Yeah, don't do any of that. That's like THE definition of copyright infringement.

Martin Boekers
09-13-2010, 11:00 AM
Chances are good the answer is no.

Even after you buy most clip art books
you are supposed to contact the one
who actually owns the image and negotiate

This has been a hotly discussed topic in
this forum so I recommend searching here
for more detailed answers.

Also Tom "Laser Buzz" is in this forum and
he recently wrote an article about copy
rights, I can't remember which magazine
it was in, but it was agood article. Maybe
Tom can help us out with which magazine
published it.


Andy Joe
09-13-2010, 11:00 AM
so how do you get high quality photos for engraving purposes, and sell them?

Dan Hintz
09-13-2010, 11:08 AM
You either purchase them from the copyright holder or you make them yourself...

Andy Joe
09-13-2010, 11:21 AM
thanks for the info. What if a customer brings in a profesonally taken family photo that they want engraved onto stone? Do i have the right to charge them for that, or do i have to obtain the right from the photographer?

Dan Hintz
09-13-2010, 11:29 AM
Professional photos are usually copyrighted and require the permission of the photographer. Even reprints require the person to go back to the original photographer.

Tom Buzz Bernard
09-13-2010, 12:35 PM
Hi Martin,
The article was in the A&E magazine and just went out in our monthly newsletter. You can see it in the newsletter archives (I don't know if I'm allowed to put the link here?)

Mitchell Andrus
09-13-2010, 1:55 PM
Professional photos are usually copyrighted and require the permission of the photographer. Even reprints require the person to go back to the original photographer.

Dan's got it right. Back in the 'old days' the photographer owned the negatives, not the people in the photo nor anyone buying a print. The photographer's bill for... perhaps a wedding, included a fee for his services, not a cost for the resultant products. Prints were listed separately.

Mike Null
09-13-2010, 5:38 PM
Here is the link to Tom's site where you can find his newsletter files.


Robert Walters
09-13-2010, 7:49 PM
Hi Andy,

Ok, this can become a very long reply, but I'm going to try and keep it brief.
I'm not a lawyer, and don't play one on TV, this is just my understanding within the United States.

Copyright and trademarks fall under the IP (Intellectual Property) umbrella.

As soon as your press the shutter on your camera, you now have copyright to that photo (unless of course you have a prior arrangement or are working for an employer, then they own copyright).

If you draw a square on a cocktail napkin, you own the copyright to that artwork.

Unless otherwise stated, even when a member posts a corel draw file on this forum to share with others, they own the copyright to that file. what license they are giving or implied is another matter.

When you "buy" clipart you are actually purchasing a license for it's use. Unless stated otherwise, it's typically for personal use (as in clipart collections for example). You can't even make a gift and GIVE it to a friend or family member.

There is content that does fall under 'Public Domain' and can be used for any purpose including commercially without any license or permission being required.

Example: I have an original Physics book that was published in 1800's and has now become public domain and I see reprints being sold on Amazon for $20 by various publishers.

In the computer and software world there are a multitude of licenses (GPL, BSD, etc), but the one most relevant in this topic would be 'Creative Commons' http://creativecommons.org/

This allows the creators of artwork (including software, paintings, graphics, font faces, writings (poems), visual, video, audio, etc) to set the license for it's use. Some may allow any use including commercial, some may limit to "not-for-profit", or some other such thing. Many just want to be credited for their creation, not an unreasonable request.

If a customer brings in a professional done photo of themselves, I would believe it would be the responsibility of customer to obtain the authorization of it's usage or duplication, even in a different medium
such as marble. Some photographers permit this, others do not.

If you are looking for artwork that you can use without worrying about paying royalties or getting into legal trouble, search google for public domain, or creative commons. There are zillions of things out there, you just have to sift through alot of stuff.

Googling "public domain <blah>" may help.

This link:

Found this image:

Of course, still use common sense and don't always believe what you read on the internet =)

Tom Buzz Bernard
09-13-2010, 8:24 PM
Thanks Mike,
They have to go to the subscribe section to get the archives (you do not have to subscribe)
http://www.laserbuzz.com/jnewsletter/ (http://www.laserbuzz.com/jnewsletter/)

Mark Ross
09-14-2010, 10:33 AM
From The FAQ on the US copyright website...

When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf).”

Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf)” and Circular 38b (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38b.pdf), Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U.S. works.

I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?
The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.

Is my copyright good in other countries?
The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights. However, the United States does not have such copyright relationships with every country. For a listing of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States, see Circular 38a (http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf), International Copyright Relations of the United States.

Jonatan Padan
11-13-2010, 3:25 PM
Hi Andy,
You can use the images you download for reselling purposes once you pay to do so. For example if you go to fotolia and choose an image you like there are a few licensing options to choose from. One of those options allows you to reprint the image and resell it(not as an image but as an item-tshirts, etc). I purchased a couple of images to use on a different business I had in which I edited them a bit and resold those images as different items and it can cost anywhere from $150-$300 or more per image depending on the artist. Some images allow to be edited some dont all should be listed under the "what can I do" what can't I do" explanations under each image.

Garrett Nors
11-14-2010, 12:17 AM
Note that if you find it on deviant art or google or wherever, a simple email or something will get you the yes or no from the creator. Make sure you get it in writing, and make sure you're talking to the real owner/creator. I've had very good luck in the past with just a simple email. Many times the person is happy to see their work on a plaque or something like that, they don't even care to charge you anything for the rights.

Bill Cunningham
11-14-2010, 9:29 PM
There is an amazing amount of stuff in the public domain.
Google 'gutenberg project'.. If you own a kindle, for example there are over 33,000 free E books for downloading, and they include generally ALL the classics. While googling 'gutenberg project' select images. Then sub select line art, and Black and white. Tons of laserable graphics that can be vector traced and used without worry, many of them surprisingly quite recognizable..