Re[2]: Looking for Copyright info

Subject: Re[2]: Looking for Copyright info
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 10:04:38 GMT

>>
> If you have a page about cars, and put a link to Ford's pages, complete
> with a link to a picture of this year's model, the browser will read the
> page from the Ford web site. You have merely invited the reader to take a
> look at the picture, and showed it in its own location. MAYBE! There are
> people who assert that this is breach of copyright, but I'm not sure what
> the truth is.

Iain, are you talking about a link as in "click here to go to Ford's
page" and the user sees FORD's page, or a link where you put the
reference to Ford's graphic in your code so Ford's graphic shows up on
YOUR page? The first is fine, the second is *legally* questionable
(I think it's a copyright violation, but lots of people think otherwise).
<<
I was not very clear. Sorry. Yes, I was originally talking about putting a
link to the Ford site, but with a small (remote) graphic on the link to
illustrate it. In my view, that'd be OK, but I accept that some lawyers
would say otherwise.

>>
But even if you (or your lawyers) decide it is legal, it's still not a wise
thing to do. Why not? Because users are downloading the graphic from
Ford's server, not yours. This opens you up to all kinds of interesting
possibilities.
<<

If you were to do the second - reference remote graphics as part of your
local page, for example, I am less confident about the legality. I don't
think that the 'load on the server' issue would be the decider, because the
web site is there for any member of the public to access, is usually put
there to publicise the company and its products, and you're just
encouraging more of that!

The legal issue is about whether by taking the graphic out of its context,
you are misrepresenting it. Clearly, if the link was used as an
illustration to an article about unreliable, dangerous and inferior
vehicles, Ford would be less than pleased. They may also have reason to
take offence at you using the graphic in a context that fails to show the
graphic in the best possible light in artistic terms, or to 'connect' it in
the public's mind to an unpopular or unsavoury concept.

I think that it is a foolish thing to do generally. It isn't difficult to
download a graphic, then use it as the template to design a new graphic of your
own. That way, you stay legal, have an individual identity, have a reliable web
site, and can have a consistent design to your graphics. You don't want the
world to think your company is just a cheapskate bunch of plagiarists, do you?

Iain


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