What? Haha, are you kidding me? That is completely illogical.
It is your responsibility to find out if something has a copyright or not – not the person who originally created the material. If you can’t figure out who owns the material – don’t use it, simple as that.
Ever heard of the term “possession of stolen goods”?
Once something has been created or published, the publisher of that content has immediate copyright on it in most all countries.
See the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works
So pictures you’ve taken from an official movie theater website that didn’t note copyright information are copyrighted automatically if created after 1988-89. Just because you don’t see or can’t find copyright information doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
This is the general rule everyone would be wise to follow:
Unless you know and have proof otherwise, always assume any work that is not your own is copyrighted and requires explicit permission for any form of use.
If you choose not to follow this, you unnecessarily open yourself to the risk of legal and/or financial implications. Also, if I’m not mistaken, claiming ignorance of the matter is not a valid excuse.
It’s best not to guess on legal things like this or take legal advice from anywhere except a qualified source.
Ok, convinced, sorry guys
Jarel, thanks for explanations.
I don’t know if I would spend money on stock photos, but I would definitely take the time to produce my own sample images (via digital painting, photography, etc) to avoid legal trouble. Doing this takes a little time, but it’s totally worth it since you can reuse your own work any way you want as many times as you want for free. Those sound like the best license terms to me!
Bit offtopic, but i don’t want open new thread:
Can I use photos from photodune in theme live preview (and only live preview, without redistribute)? If Yes, what license i should choose – extended or regular will be enough?
Thanks to everyone for chiming in! I didn’t think it would get this many replies.
I believe my question was answered. I failed to realize that Themeforest isn’t actually responsible for the copyright infringement of others, therefore of course all these themes with Pixar images get accepted!
I’m well aware of my own responsibility to uphold copyright laws
Buying stock photos is a great idea, but I wish there was another resource of high quality industry images, such as Pixar or Dreamworks, that are purposely made available for use in demo material. That’d be awesome
Thanks again everyone!
It’s totally OK to use copyrighted images in live previews if you have bought a license that grants you to use these images on websites.
Theme previews are websites.
Of course, you 1) have to buy the license, 2) have to obey license requirements like “on how many websites + in which max. resolution may I use this images” and 3) may not include (redistribute) these images in your theme download.
Many professional theme providers use stock images from shutterstock and other providers in their live previews.
I just wanted to jump in real quick to try and provide a bit of clarification.
1. Yes, using screenshots and other images from movies without explicit permission from the copyright holder is most likely a copyright violation (it just depends on what restrictions copyright holder has in place).
2. When authors submit items, they check a little box that says they have the appropriate permissions to use images and other content in the uploaded item. If an author submits an item and is found to be violating the copyrights of someone, their account will be subject to immediate termination, funds frozen, etc. Not to mention that the copyright holder might take legal action against you. Moral of the story? Don’t steal.
3. The live preview of an item is a sort of gray area because it is hosted on authors’ servers, not Envato’s. If authors want to use stolen images in their live previews, that’s a risk they’re choosing to take, and one that is very difficult for us to moderate. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t remove your live preview link should we find content in your live preview to be excessive (mature content, etc).The real question here is, why risk unnecessary legal and financial repercussion? Just don’t use content you don’t have permission to use and sleep well knowing you’re playing by the rules.
So Envato is like pirate bay, they just provide a means to search for these things? They dont actually store the files themselves.
Interesting post! I was wondering whether or not Flickr images that have a Creative Commons Attribution/Non Commercial license could be used in a theme demo?
I understand that I must provided attribution on the page where the image is used, but is the theme demo considered commercial as it’s used as a tool to drive sales of a product?
No they can’t. Your selling of a theme is most definitely a commercial activity and so CC non-commercial is out.
Just as a matter of interest, the launch of Google Image Search has now provided photographers with an easier means of catching infringers. As many are now finding to their cost…