What is the best way to get pictures for a sports blog ?
March 18, 2011 12:29 PM   Subscribe

I have a sport blog and i would love to illustrate my stories with the pictures of sport personalities without infringing copy right . What is the best way to go about it ?
posted by Yiba to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Flickr?
posted by goethean at 12:34 PM on March 18, 2011


Search Flick and narrow the search to Creative Commons licensed photos.
posted by COD at 12:43 PM on March 18, 2011


Is your sports blog free to read and news-like commentary? Then it's Fair Use.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:51 PM on March 18, 2011


"Is your sports blog free to read and news-like commentary? Then it's Fair Use."

That is, unfortunately, not correct. Just because his blog is free to read, then it does not mean it is not a commercial endeavor.

If your commentary is *about* the photograph, then it *may* qualify for fair use. But the asker used the word "illustrate." You cannot use copyrighted images, for free and without license, as illustration under fair use.

Flickr creative commons "for commercial use" is a GREAT source.

There are also some inexpensive photo services you could look into. See what some rates are out there.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:07 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Note that Fair Use doesn't really matter in terms of practical things that can happen to your blog though. If a photographer or publisher sends a DMCA takedown notice to whoever hosts your blog and they decide to delete your blog and ban you, a Fair Use defense doesn't really matter at that point. If you want to remain unambiguously legal and save yourself any headaches around having permission to post photos, Creative Commons is a good option as other have said.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:11 PM on March 18, 2011


That is, unfortunately, not correct. ... If your commentary is *about* the photograph, then it *may* qualify for fair use.

No, you're wrong. Lotsa people simply don't understand Fair Use, which is why I included the link so you can read all about it.

For example, under your definition of Fair Use, there'd be no ESPN, because they could never show footage of a football game on SportsCenter.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:55 PM on March 18, 2011


For example, under your definition of Fair Use, there'd be no ESPN, because they could never show footage of a football game on SportsCenter.

I believe ESPN licenses all of the clips they show (or already has access to via its parent company). This is why ESPN has not been able to show clips from the Olympics or other footage from other companies without having to make deals with the copyright holders.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:17 PM on March 18, 2011


Lotsa people simply don't understand Fair Use, which is why I included the link so you can read all about it.

Yes, reading that link is an excellent idea. You will note that nowhere does that link support the assertion that use of a picture would automatically be fair use just because it appears on a blog which is free to read and news-like commentary.

For example, under your definition of Fair Use, there'd be no ESPN, because they could never show footage of a football game on SportsCenter.

My understanding is that ESPN obtains permission from the copyright owner to show footage.

As to the original question, in addition to Flickr creative commons, another source might be Wikimedia Commons (but be sure to note which particular license applies, as not all images there fall under the same license).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:20 PM on March 18, 2011


Use the Creative Commons search
posted by arnicae at 2:27 PM on March 18, 2011


My understanding is that ESPN obtains permission from the copyright owner to show footage.

Flat wrong, sorry.

It's fair use, it's fair use, it's fair use.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:42 PM on March 18, 2011


Note that we're talking about the difference between a commercial broadcast (Monday Night Football) and a news broadcast (SportsCenter). The former is licensed, the latter is not. For example, SportsCenter will include snippets of broadcasts from games shown on other networks, such as Fox, CBS and NBC.

News and magazine-like commentary content is covered under fair use. Go back and read up. It's the first consideration -- what is the nature of the use?

Do you really think Roger Ebert licenses each snippet of a movie on his show? Forget the cost -- do you have any idea how long that would take? The movies would be out of the theaters by the time the review was run.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:51 PM on March 18, 2011


Lotsa people simply don't understand Fair Use, which is why I included the link so you can read all about it. Do not listen to this person.

You can not illustrate an article with copyrighted images, UNLESS the article is a critique on those images. Just using them to supplement an article is most likely not going to be considered fair use.

What Papa is spewing about if your blog is free and news-like commentary, that you have carte Blanche to now use images is DEAD WRONG.
posted by travis08 at 3:54 PM on March 18, 2011


Wikipedia's internal image use policy is a good resource for determining what is kosher to use, and it even includes a set of links to sites where you can go search for available images.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 5:45 PM on March 18, 2011


Intellectual property lawyer here, but not your intellectual property lawyer. Cool Papa Bell is in error. Do not follow his advice. Instead, look at the University of Texas-Austin's site on copyright, specifically the section on fair use. It's a treasure trove of information--reliable information--and it's free. Find it at http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/cprtindx.htm
posted by Jenna Brown at 7:09 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I like to point out that the sports blog is free and there are no adverts. Do i take it that my best bet is to use creative commons licensing for the pictures ?

The arguments for and against fair use is confusing.
posted by Yiba at 2:00 AM on March 19, 2011


Use of creative commons is the cheapest way, but that doesn't mean best. The downside here is you have the same photos as everyone else.

The best is to take your own, but that often isn't practical.

The other suggestions were to use a photo service. You can license the use of a photo. Often they have different levels of licensing. So for a blog photo is might be $15, but if you need to reproduce it in high quality you'll pay a lot more. Some services are a subscription, others are on a per image basis.

I love reading about copyright and fair use, and often recommend this book.

The fact that you make no money of the blog does not make the use of images fair. That's a total non-starter. It's irrelevant. Commercial entities are entitled to fair use. It's the usage of the image. What you're describing does not fall into this category.

Copyright allows the infringed party to sue for damages that amount to the money you made off the use and to the money you denied the holder. So if I put up a Robert Coover short story on my blog I can get hit for the money I made of it (none) and the money I denied him in sales for said story. Now if this same blog was a for profit literary analysis and I did a breakdown of one of his stories and used several long passages to illustrate a point that's fair use.

The chances of your sports blog being hit by a copyright infringement notice is probably pretty super low. Even when it happens it's unlikely to result in more than a "take that down, don't do it again" notice.

I'd also point out that some of this varies by the state, but now you're into total weirdness. There are laws in Florida for example that limit who can make a profit off a person's likeness. These laws allowed that guy arrested for huffing gold paint to sue for the profits on the tshirt sales bearing his likeness.

Fair Use isn't really that hard of a doctrine to understand. It comes down to how it sounds. Quoting the passage of a book in a review is fair (even if you are charging money for people to read that review). Putting the first two chapters on your blog wouldn't be fair.

Using someone else's copyright images without permission is not going to be fair use.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:49 AM on March 19, 2011


Don't listen to CoolPapaBell. ESPN absolutely licenses the footage they use.
posted by mjohns1999 at 7:00 AM on March 19, 2011


Isn't there that oft-mocked spiel from sporting broadcasts, such as "the accounts and descriptions of this game may not be rebroadcast or retransmitted without the express written consent of Major League Baseball"?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:11 PM on March 20, 2011


Movie review shows, like Ebert's, get the clips from the studios. Nothing to do with Fair Use.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:49 PM on May 16, 2011


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