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Licenses on photo stocks: not prohibited does not mean allowed

In the comments to the blog article about the best free photo stocks, you can find a few questions regarding copyright for photographs and images. An employee of one of the photo banks tried to answer them, but today I would like to publish a slightly more comprehensive article on this topic and at the same time consider the types of licenses in photo stocks. The material was prepared by Yulia Melnichenko.

Photo Stock License
Not prohibited does not mean allowed

Say the phrase doesn’t sound right? This statement is considered correct for the law: “it is not prohibited – it means allowed.” When it comes to copyright, then everything is far from so unambiguous. Let’s first consider the question of what copyright is in relation to photographs and how it is regulated by law. Despite the fact that this article indicates the nuances of legislation in the Russian Federation, information on the types of licenses of photo stocks is relevant for all countries.

“Any photo taken by a professional or amateur taken with a high-tech camera or the eye of a mobile phone is protected by copyright. Photography refers to works of art in the same way as painting, graphics, sculpture, drawing, caricature, comic book, design sketch, layout, etc., and its author has all the property and non-property rights to this object just because it created it ”(Article 1265 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation)

And more useful information:

“Copyright to a work of science, literature and art arises from the fact of its creation. The creation and exercise of copyright does not require registration of the work, any special design of the work, or compliance with any formalities ”(Article 9 of the RF Law“ On Copyright and Related Rights ”)

Thus, the author is not obliged to register his work anywhere, it is quite simple if necessary to confirm his authorship. Even if a photograph of the author was made public by himself or by a third party, the author does not lose his rights to his image.

What rights to images get users of paid sites discussed in sufficient detail. But there are free image databases. Can I use them and how? The easiest way is to find images released under a Creative Commons license. This type of license in photo stocks allows authors to transfer their creation to public use. But here there are pitfalls, because there are several types of this license.

Types of licenses in free photo stocks
As an example, consider three popular European sites that provide content with bitmap and vector images: Flickr, Wikimedia, and Pixabay.

Flickr and Wikimedia are millionth image repositories. This is not quite literally photo stock, because any user can upload their images and they are not checked. Thus, to find a photo of the right quality, you can spend a lot of time. But as an example, they are ideal for using the Creative Commons license, because here under each image there is an indication of exactly how you can use it.

And the options are as follows:

All Rights Reserved – all copyrights to the photo belong to the author, and this image can be used only after confirmation of his consent.
Attribution (attribution) – you can use this image, and also distribute and modify it subject to a link to the author or the source site.
Attribution No Derivatives (with attribution, without derivatives) – you have the same rights as in the previous case, but you can use only the original image, without modifications.
Non-Commercial (non-commercial use) – everything is clear from the name. If you want to use your blog for design, please, but you can print on T-shirts for sale only with the permission of the author.
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives – the conditions are the same as in the previous license, but without the right to modify images.
Public Domain Dedication (CC0) – Transmission of the image into the public domain. You can change it, use it for commercial purposes, with no link to the author or source site.
According to the latest type of license, the largest free German photo stock Pixabay works. All images on it are licensed under Creative Commons CC0. But this does not mean that you can do whatever they want with them. Even such a wide license has its limitations.

So, YOU CAN change images, modify them, use them when designing blogs, when designing websites, when printing calendars, business cards, postcards, and for any other personal and commercial purposes.

You can not:

use images with identifiable people on them in situations that could compromise them or offend their dignity.

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