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Thread: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?


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Permlink Replies: 16 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Jul 17, 2012 1:37 AM Last Post By: fresiegrant
jfed115

Posts: 37
Registered: 07/11/12
is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 15, 2012 11:55 PM
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I am confused by the legalities. It is a free stock photo site with these requirements:

http://www.sxc.hu/
You may use the Image
In digital format on websites, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video, cell phones.
In printed promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, CD/DVD covers, etc.
Along with your corporate identity on business cards, letterhead, etc.
To decorate your home, your office or any public place.

You may not use the Image
For pornographic, unlawful or other immoral purposes, for spreading hate or discrimination, or to defame or victimise other people, sociteties, cultures.
To endorse products and services if it depicts a person.
In a way that can give a bad name to SXC or the person(s) depicted on the Image.

SELLING AND REDISTRIBUTION OF THE IMAGE (INDIVIDUALLY OR ALONG WITH OTHER IMAGES) IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! DO NOT SHARE THE IMAGE WITH OTHERS!

Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use the Image
For creating printed reproductions that You intend to sell.
On "print on demand" items such as t-shirts, postcards, mouse pads, mugs (e.g. on sites like Cafepress), or on any similar mass produced item that would contain the Image in a dominant way.


I wanted to use a photo for a romance book that has a sex scene in it, and then for another short story that is non-romance. I am not even sure if the terms of use allow it in any ebook.

It says: "For pornographic, or other immoral purposes"
Well, immoral to who? Pornographic in what way? Amazon defines pornographic if it's images, not writing.

It says: "In a way that can give a bad name to SXC or the person(s) depicted on the Image."
That is subjective too.

It is so frustrating. Can anyone decipher some of this legal talk?

Message was edited by: jfed115
76year2

Posts: 1,552
Registered: 11/29/11
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:08 AM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
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SELLING AND REDISTRIBUTION OF THE IMAGE (INDIVIDUALLY OR ALONG WITH OTHER IMAGES) IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! DO NOT SHARE THE IMAGE WITH OTHERS!

Read that selling and redistribution.

Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use the Image
For creating printed reproductions that You intend to sell

Always ask permission.

I would think you could use them with a writen permission from the photographer.

diamondlifestyle

Posts: 4,193
Registered: 07/02/11
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:18 AM   in response to: 76year2 in response to: 76year2
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generally that clause is taken to mean the selling of the image, not the use of the image as a book cover. however always ask the owner, it's easy enough to do using the messaging service on the site
vlgallas

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Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:20 AM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
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The "selling and redistribution" statement is referring to selling the image itself or distributing it as if you have some sort of rights. So ignore that part.

I suggest that you purchase images from istockphoto.com. It's not at all expensive and they can be used on book covers. Just include the photographer copyright info on your copyright page. Here is the cost and info:

http://www.istockphoto.com/help/buy-credits
politeia

Posts: 1,081
Registered: 07/16/11
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 6:29 AM   in response to: vlgallas in response to: vlgallas
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I like iStockphoto generally. But the standard license agreement for books doesn't specify ebook uses (unless I missed it in the legalese). I'm sure they don't mean to exclude them, but I'd be more comfortable if their license agreement specifically listed ebook covers, as well as print book covers.

Also, if you need the extended license (who does?) it can get pricey.

If you only want to use part of the image, then you may need to get a large file, to preserve clarity, and it can get even pricier.
livingmydream

Posts: 8
Registered: 06/20/12
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 6:58 AM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
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I think the more pertinent statement is this one:

"Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use the Image for creating printed reproductions that you intend to sell. On "print on demand" items such as t-shirts, postcards, mouse pads, mugs (e.g. on sites like Cafepress), or "[b]on any similar mass produced item that would contain the Image in a dominant way[/b]".

Which brings you back to asking the photographer. Of course, that opens a wide range of other options, too. You could just as easily search of Creative Commons licensed content on Google Images and Flickr and contact the image owner for permission, also. You will find far more photos to consider going that route.
politeia

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Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 9:09 AM   in response to: livingmydream in response to: livingmydream
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I don't think a book cover is a case of containing the image "in a dominant way." That is, the main creative act here is the writing. The cover image is only a secondary element in the book as a whole considered as an artistic production.

Creative Commons is a good alternative way to go. It suits the "one off" relationship authors are really looking for. Many of the Stock Photo sites really cater to businesses that use images on a larger scale than a single author looking for a cover image for a single book. Their services are aimed at the art director of some going concern.
livingmydream

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Registered: 06/20/12
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 9:51 AM   in response to: politeia in response to: politeia
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"I don't think a book cover is a case of containing the image "in a dominant way."

That is the equivalent of saying it is not a "dominant way" for an image on a T-shirt, Cup, or other item. They are really buying a coffee cup or t-shirt.

The image is the primary and most dominant visual selling element of your book. The words inside may close the sale and give you future sales, but that cover gets the sales process started. That is a pretty dominant portion of your product.

Of course...now we are just getting into semantics and opinions, and we both know to be safe he should be asking for permission to use it on the cover.
vlgallas

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Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 1:59 PM   in response to: politeia in response to: politeia
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No it isn't stated in the standard license agreement. I think I found it in FAQ, but I do recall searching for a while and it stated "book covers" specifically.

I doubt that any self-published author would ever need the extended license. Well, perhaps John Locke would have. ;)

Found it under [b]How does a Standard License compare to an Extended License?[/b]

http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses

[i]Books and book covers, CD & DVD covers

Yes, up to 499,999 impressions

Unlimited reproduction/print runs license required for 500,000 or more impressions[/i]

I agree that it didn't use to state this in the "licenses" section. They must of tired of all the questions because I really had to search for it a couple of years ago.
politeia

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Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 6:50 PM   in response to: vlgallas in response to: vlgallas
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But it doesn't specifically say "ebook cover." That's what worries me. I know I'm just fussing here, but I worry about stuff like this.
politeia

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Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 6:53 PM   in response to: livingmydream in response to: livingmydream
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A book is not the same as a printed t-shirt or a cup. The t-shirt is virtually a commodity. It's the image printed on it that mainly makes it valuable. If you price them, you'll see that Hanes Beefy-t's cost about a buck (purchased in bulk), while the printed t can sell for $15 or $20. In this case, it's pretty clearly the artwork that is the primary value here. The arithmetic is similar for the coffee mug.

But for a book, the value comes primarily from the writing, not the cover. In cases where this might be arguable, we'd be talking about a pretty lousy book.
vlgallas

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Registered: 05/13/09
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 8:31 PM   in response to: politeia in response to: politeia
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Well no, but a book is a book. There are different formats and ebook is one.

I use iStockphoto covers for numerous books - the paperback version and the ebook version because they're the same book. I have done this since May of 2010, so clearly it is not an issue. I also credit the photographer and iStockphoto on my copyright/publisher page in the front of each book; each with their respective year of copyright. I have since read on these forums that you have no need to credit iStockphoto, but back when I started using their images, I was told that both were required. :)
politeia

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Registered: 07/16/11
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 8:33 PM   in response to: vlgallas in response to: vlgallas
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I suppose you're right. I just worry that they distinguish carefully between printed media and digital media elsewhere. So I'd like the reassurance here too.
vlgallas

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Registered: 05/13/09
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 8:36 PM   in response to: politeia in response to: politeia
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With iStockphoto.com you can easily email them for all the reassurance you could need. I did... because it wasn't on the licenses page in past.
jfed115

Posts: 37
Registered: 07/11/12
Re: is this free stock photo site ok to use for ebook covers?
Posted: Jul 16, 2012 8:55 PM   in response to: jfed115 in response to: jfed115
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I emailed the website sxc, their reply was:

"As per the terms and conditions of the image license agreement use on book
covers (both print and digital)is permitted."

Message was edited by: jfed115
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