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Old 01-21-2002, 07:36 AM   #1
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Default Public domain celebrity pictures

I am just about to start a new project which will need some pictures of celebrities (fully clothed ) No, it isn't just a directory with thousands of celebs pictures, I would only need one, maybe two pictures per celeb.

I feel uncomfortable just putting that "the picture came from the internet and is assumed to be in the public domain", as I know a few celebrities can get very annoyed and more importantly, litigious at there picture being used.

I was thinking about going to that persons own site and asking them for a picture for a linkback on my site but this could be very hard work if I have to do hundreds/thousands.

What would you say is the safest way to get a legal picture ?
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Old 01-21-2002, 12:37 PM   #2
Ted S
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The only "safe" way to make sure a picture you get is legal to use without express permision is to contact the celeberity/ agent yourself. Most pictures online are promotional photos which have been scaned or taken from official sites. THis is not legal although it is rarely proescuted.... the idea of britney spears suing every fan who puts up a website is simply not something that happens.

However, legally speaking, you would have to contact the orginal owner to check on the rights, most of the time you wont know who that is and will certianly rarely be granted full rights if you do end up copying them.

Many sites sue the dislciamer "we believe this picture was of free domain, if not, email is". Im not sure how legally binding/ powerful that is (think napster/ mp3/ etc...) but its a start.
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Old 01-21-2002, 08:38 PM   #3
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Take a look at Corbis.Com which is a site for legitimately obtaining images. For example, I just did a search for Nicole Kidman and came up with lots of images of her which presumably can be purchased for use on a website if you follow the restrictions. You'll have to read through the site and figure out what you need to do/pay to be in compliance.

I have dabbled in celebrity sites in the past. I always used that "assumed to be in the public domain" stuff (which is legally meaningless) but have never ever (in 2.5 years) had a single request to remove a single photo. There is no doubt that most celebrity sites infringe copywrites but very few people/companies see to care much and when they do, it generally involves requesting removal of specific stuff. Things never go beyond this if sites comply with such requests.
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for all that, it is pretty much as I thought.

I just tried the Corbis site and of the pictures I checked, you where paying for the photographers licence and not the celebrity, as all the ones I looked at had a restriction that the model (Miss Kidman !!!) hadn't given her release.

I think I will probably just go with the old "....public doman ......... contact me for the image to be removed" line !
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