Google Image Search and Copyright

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How does Google Images get around the copyright issues of indexing
individual images for a given site?  Since they're only thumbnailing the
images and point to the original, are they enacting some sort of fair use

There are a few images that I would like to use for my news site, but I
don't know what fair use constitutes.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Re: Google Image Search and Copyright

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I don't know if this will help, but I just checked out the following
three books from the library, you may want to see if they are available
at yours:

"Patent, Copyright & Trademark; An Intellectual Property Desk
Reference" by Attorney Richard Stim

"Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks for Dummies" by Henri Charmasson
Patent Attorney

"Trademark, Legal Care for your Business and Product Name" by Attoprney
Stephen Elias

Hope this helps.

Re: Google Image Search and Copyright

Help With COM wrote:
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Google had some legal rumblings when they started the indexing of
images, but I don't think anything came of it. I think they got off
mainly because there was an easy, established way to opt out of
indexing, using the robots.txt file. I could be dangerously wrong on
this, but I think I have it right.

If you're just indexing thumbs like Google, and obey the robots rules,
chances are you would be fine. Just make sure you link back to the
source. Of course, I am not a lawyer.

The bad think about copyright and fair use is it's all about risk vs.
reward. The more images you use, the closer to original size, the more
popular the site, the greater the chance you have of being sued.

Chances are, unless you're blatently copying large groups of images or
are a very popular site, the copyright owner will usually just ask you
to take it down. But a company with a bug up its butt and a good legal
team could cost you a ton in legal fees, even if you win the court case.

Re: Google Image Search and Copyright

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Fair use allows using a limited portion of the copyrighted work.

Google Images and the thumbnails get around copyright law because the
thumbnails are considered a limited portion of the original work.

But that doesn't necessarily mean you can start putting thumbnails of
copyrighted pictures on your website.  Google and other similar image search
features are given extra leeway because their service offers a greater good
and is generally intended as a benefit to the copyright holder and they
offer a way for the copyright holder to remove his/her work from their
search system.

And even that isn't 100%:  Google did lose a lawsuit filed against them by a
company who sued over the use of the thumbnails.  The problem Google had
there was the company also sold thumbnail sized versions of its full sized
images for people to use as backgrounds/wallpapers on cellphones and so
Google was infringing on the commercial market of the thumbnail sized

Re: Google Image Search and Copyright

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If in doubt ask the owner. It's simple as that. When asked I often give
permission. When people just steal my images, I make sure that they think
twice next time.

The fact that you ask here suggests that you already doubt your actions.

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