What are the ethics involved in digital downloads of graphics purchases?


I am starting up an etzy store. I am currently collaborating with others in this endeavor, purchasing graphics for use in websites and poems and other writing for inspiration. What would be the ethics involved in this? I know it would be wrong to just click on these poems and copy them and steal them, and wouldn’t dream of doing that even though its possible to. Im a writer myself and piracy bothers me. I was wondering though, if mentioning a poem in face to face ministry or copying is wrong once I have purchased it? Should I buy another copy and gift it maybe? Thanks in advance.


Depends on the poem. Some poems are in the public domain which means you can use them and copy them with no restrictions.

If a poem is not in the public domain, then copying it would be wrong unless you obtain the copyright holder’s permission to do so.

You may mention and read a poem or any other work of literature from a book you own or have borrowed when you are doing so to small groups with no motive of making a profit from another person’s work.


What exactly is it that you are trying to sell on etsy? Are you making prints of things with quotes from various poems?

There is no blanket answer to this. It all depends on who holds the copyright.

Stella already responded regarding the poetry. For the graphics, you can find plenty of images on sites like pixabay that you can use for free, even in commercial endeavors. Then there are other sites where you can pay a nominal fee for images and, again, use them even for commercial purposes.

The bottom line is, look at where the image and writing is coming from and who owns the copyright. If you are taking images from a site like pixabay that have been released into the public domain and are using poetry that is in the public domain, then there wouldn’t be any issue at all.


I am doing a spiritual ministry involving selling writings of my own of a spiritual nature. I want to include graphics but not ones I do not have the legal right to use, or the moral right.


Thanks Joe, your answer helped me tremendously. I will take it into consideration.


Google ‘public domain images’, no concern over copyright, your free to use them for any reason including selling them.
Also- (almost) all NASA images are public domain so your free to use those as well.


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