Is saving an Image file to your computer stealing?

Ok I’ve been hearing a lot lately on what can break this and of course you Shouldn’t Steal material Goods, indeed. Also you can’t “Steal time” from an employer, but recently I’ve heard a lot about the way you can break it with Free Downloads of music. It’s only justifiable if the Artist says it’s free. But we know that pretty much all music is free on the web by some means. I heard on EWTN radio that it’s ok to listen to this free music on the web AS you would on a Radio. You just can’t download… but you can listen all you want… ok so here’s my main question. What about Art??? Art is everywhere! And people Copy & Paste and Save GIFs JPEGs and all kinds of things for free. Some of these images are made by Artists like me or are copyrighted material like let’s say video game characters. I****s saving an Image file to your computer stealing?

It is absolutely NOT stealing. Any image available online from legitimate places is save-able. It is only stealing when you use the image for commercial gain, or outside of the intended purposes.

Copyright protects against uses, not downloading.

I hope its not!!! :smiley:

Artists can protect their files, even if they are online though. If you go to some art webpages, or photographers pages and try to “right-click” it…it will say its protected, and you can’t copy it.

So, effectively, anyone who posts an image online is giving it away for free in my opinion. They might as well be putting it out on the curb for someone to take! :slight_smile:

Free to download, not free to use. You can download whatever images you want, you can’t use them unless you know what the license is. And by use, I mean anything whereby it might be used for financial gain, or for personal projects.

Actually, the way browsers work, when you view a webpage you download the entire content, text, images, software, etc. So you’ve already downloaded it whether you intended to or not. You can go to your temporary internet files and grab the image from there.

In my case, I allow for my images to be downloaded so that people can enjoy them.

Only the person who actually purchases the painting will get to enjoy the real thing - and once someone buys it, I take it off the web site. So, before it’s purchased, anyone can enjoy it off-line, but as soon as someone buys it (or as soon as something happens to the picture that makes it unable to be sold), it’s removed from the public domain.

I think the “use” can be tricky. Can I use it for my computer desktop background? Or use it in an email I send to a friend to make a point? What if I print it out and use it as a poster on my wall?

I can see how making money off it might be bad, but I’m not sure about using it for personal projects.

Check the copyright status of any material you intend to re-use in any way. Even if you are using it non-commercially, it could still be a violation.

Some material is copyright, all rights reserved. Assume this license unless you see an alternative one. Becoming common these days are Creative Commons licensing schemes. These have various elements, such as non-commercial use allowed, remixing allowed, attribution required. Wikipedia uses these licenses extensively. Sometimes material is released into the public domain; this is always done explicitly by the author.

Many times, you can obtain permission to use material by simply contacting the author in writing or in e-mail. I’m not a prolific producer of photography but I have been contacted twice for permission to include something in a commercial work and both times I agreed. Both times I was actually found through my Flickr account, and I was inspired to apply a Creative Commons license after that.

Always attribute copyrighted material. Once again, always assume something is copyright; look for an explicit license.

I’m thinking that all of those would be 'fair use" - I used to cut out magazine pictures and put them on my wall - kids make collages out of magazine pictures all the time - and I’m sure neither I nor the kids were violating any kind of copyright.

In the case of my pictures, you would lose a lot of quality if you tried to make them into pictures, because they are pretty low-resolution.

Well, you can get any picture you want (even ones that are protected) by viewing the source code and/or taking a screen shot. If you really want to stop someone from stealing, put a watermark on your picture. Then they still might take it, but at least everyone will know to whom the image belongs.

There is no process you have to go through to copyright material. Once it is produced, it is copyrighted, with all the protection that the copyright laws provide.

I have several articles posted with copyright disclaimers, and when I’ve found abuses (hard-copy reprints, articles republished elsewhere), I’ve raised heck with the abuser. I also freely allow reprints whenever I’m asked to do so.

Pictures fall under the US copyright laws, so you are in violation of those laws if you use it in any way.

You don’t ever want to be on the wrong side of the copyright laws – in the early days of computers, my corporation was investigated for proper use (not duplicating) software versions, and it was a thorough and brutal investigation. Even when we were able to produce proof of purchase for every copy, we were treated like criminals.

Recent (very harsh) penalties were assessed for some who used the peer-to-peer music downloading software – although millions of others weren’t prosecuted. The law isn’t applied fairly – but there’s always the danger.

Chances are no one will KNOW that you have downloaded and used images or other material – but that doesn’t make it right.

I brew my own beer, and I use images I find in Google Images to make my labels. Of course, I don’t sell any of these, its just for my family and friends.

Like a previous poster said, I likened this to cutting out pictures in a magazine and pasting them together. If this is illegal…it is not fair. :frowning:

I hope it isn’t illegal to use images downloaded off of the Internet for personal uses. I sometimes download images off the Internet and use them as my background image or my avatar on one of my instant messaging programs.

(the original title of this Thread was the 7th commandment but I changed it. So the post looks funny… heh)

Ok then so what about music? If it’s ok to have pictures that other people made on your computer and you can do anything with it except claim it as your own… How about music? If you download for free BUT you claim that YOU DID NOT make the song. Then that’s like what’s being said about Art… So by claiming this in the Art realm it seems that it should be claimed in the music realm as well. Artists are just like musicians, they need money for there goods, they don’t have CDs or DVDs (actually they could have with pictures) but they have their paintings and art. So if someone receives it they should pay just like a Musician. Unless of course the Artist gives for free (as I do). I think this in large part is how we always here of the Starving Artist. I know people with degrees in Art but they do some ordinary boring job that their Art expertise doesn’t even help in because they just kind sell art. I actually would prefer if images were free but these questions keep coming to mind…

This makes sense. So I think if someone is selling their art, you should pay to use it. If it is just some random pic on a webpage…it should be fair game.

no, no, and no.

Copyright protects the image. You do not have to make money off of something to be violating copyright protections.

Hmm, very interesting. What if I alter the image a little bit, and make it my own?
Or if I make a free-hand scetch of the image and then use it?

These may seem like trivial questions, but I’m trying to wrap my head around this.

This might be classified as a derivative work, and would be a violation of copyright protection.

This could be substantially different from the original and therefore not a derivative work. But, I would think that depends on various factors.

If you freehand draw Superman, he’s still Superman and he’s protected. If you freehand draw a landscape that sort of resembles a picture or painting, but is substantially different, then maybe not.

Because you’re asking on, I assume you’re not soliciting legal advice, but rather, moral advice?

Examining the letter of the law might lead you to a different conclusion than moral introspection will.

I consider whether I’m expressly avoiding paying for the information I want to download to determine if I am stealing. That’s the standard I use in examining my conscience, anyway.


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