A Note on Photo Licensing

Recently on #features I have noticed that many photos submitted are not owned by the submitter. Thankfully this was reduced by this post:

However, I feel that this post has given the wrong message: “as long as you credit the source, everything is fine”. This however is not the right message. Take this photo for example, you will notice that on flickr it clearly states “All rights reserved”. If you see this, you may link to it, but you can not copy and paste it, modify it, or otherwise do anything except look at it. Although it may be kind of an elaboration, copy-pasting photos is the internet equivalent of theft. If you can not find a license that goes directly along with the photo, assume the owner reserves all rights and find a different one. Thankfully finding a different photo isn’t all that hard. On images.google.com you may notice that there is a “Usage Rights” drop-down bar. For the forums, you will probably want to select “Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse with Modification”. This will give you a whole bunch of images that you can use! (As long as you follow the license terms). If you read this, thanks, I hope you learned something about intellectual rights. I know some other forum members have posted on feature requests about having sources provided so I hoped to try and sum it all up in one post. I’d love to hear some feedback on the matter. Here is a short tutorial about internet rights.

Finding an Image for the forums:
As @antek said:[quote=“antek, post:2, topic:93923”]
by default, everything is protected and all rights are reserved by the copyright laws
This is usually true, and means that if you took the picture, you can do anything you want with it. As far as finding pictures there are a variety of ways. Some common ones are listed bellow.

  • Google Images - Select the appropriate license under the “Usage rights” dropdown tab.
  • wikimedia Commons Just search an image and follow the attached license.
  • Creative Commons Search - Use the search function to return a variety of results licensed under a CC license.

Licensing your own work
My own personal preference would to go with a CC license or maybe even the public domain.


all rights reserved has no legal stance and does not play a significant role anymore in legal issues

by default, everything is protected and all rights are reserved by the copyright laws

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the “with modification” part shouldn’t apply unless you actually are modifying the image.


I’m aware. I decided to include the modification status because I am also aware that many forum members make a hobby out of editing images, so I figured it was a better fit for the community.

I know, I made this post to bring awareness to that. Many people take images and don’t understand or realize that simply providing the source isn’t always enough.

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Too much effort.

And you guys wonder why I never post cool pictures anymore.


Being lazy is never an excuse for stealing other people’s stuff. There are plenty of good photos out there with the liscense to reuse, and it’s not that hard to get them.


Well @MishaCamp was right about the sudden influx in new lawyers debating the rules


Won’t be an issue if no one makes it an issue.


@Ksisky are you a lawyer?
You seem to know what you’re talking about.

Attention everyone:

Please stop making BS statements (here and original thread) and learn about the Fair Use doctrine. The whole idea of not being allowed to post someone else’s images is a fallacy.


As someone who has had their work stolen, I know the feeling, so it’s perfectly understandable people don’t want their images uncredited and elsewhere because that takes away from the point of the content.

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Did they use it to make money?

AFAIK FDS doesn’t make money on this forum as it’s own entity (No advertising, No pay to use). It is a support forum for a product and while it may be used to promote their product in a limited fashion, It does not solely rely on it as an advertisement medium.

Here’s a thought, just tell people that any picture that isn’t their’s must be linked. Problem solved. The issue is that discourse automatically saves a copy of the image on their servers, which can potentially be an issue.


I am aware of the fair use doctrine, but (as far as I know) it does not always work in other countries, and even in the US it is not always upheld. As an international forum, I felt it is more inclusive to just use an images that the community can share (and edit) with each other without worrying too much.

Well, you don’t need to be lawyer to know what you are talkig about ;)


I am not debating the rules, simply reiterating what Misha said: “If in doubt, don’t bother and find another image”.

I am not a lawyer, just a internet user who cares about their rights. :)

Just because you don’t make money from it doesn’t mean it’s yours.

That doesn’t concern me.