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Can you use copyrighted images on your personal website without permission from the copyright holder, and if so, what are the legal implications of doing so?

Fair Use Exceptions: Copyright laws allow individuals to use copyrighted material for specific purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, and research under "fair use" exceptions.

Strict criteria must be met for each exception, and using copyrighted images for commercial purposes typically requires permission from the copyright holder.

Public Domain & Creative Commons: Many images available online are in the public domain or licensed under Creative Commons licenses, which allow for free use and adaptation with certain conditions attached.

Always check the copyright status and license of an image before use to avoid infringement.

Google Images Filter: Google Images allows users to filter results based on public domain and Creative Commons licenses.

Upload an image or paste an image URL, and filter results by usage rights to find images with appropriate licenses.

Fair Use Doctrine: The fair use doctrine permits limited use of copyrighted images without permission from the copyright owner.

Factors determining fair use include purpose, nature, amount, and effect of the use.

Creative Commons Licenses: Creative Commons licenses allow image users to use, distribute, and modify images under certain conditions.

Understanding the different types of Creative Commons licenses is essential to ensure proper use.

Unpublished Works: Using unpublished works without permission from the copyright owner can be considered infringement, even under fair use.

Publishing unpublished works without authorization deprives the owner of their right to decide when and whether the work will be made public.

Image Attribution: Properly attributing the image source and creator is a crucial condition for using images under Creative Commons licenses.

Statutory Licenses: Some statutory licenses allow for the use of copyrighted material under specific conditions, such as the TEACH Act for educational purposes.

Copyright Infringement Penalties: Copyright infringement may result in legal penalties, including fines and legal action, depending on the severity and financial impact of the infringement.

Orphan Works: Orphan works are copyrighted materials with untraceable or unreachable copyright owners.

Using orphan works can be risky and may still result in legal action.

Public Domain Dedication: Copyright owners can choose to dedicate their works to the public domain, allowing unrestricted use and adaptation by anyone.

Finding Image Sources: Tools like TinEye or Google Images Reverse Search can help identify the source of an image, making it easier to obtain permission or verify copyright status.

Copyright Registration: Copyright holders can register their works with the U.S.

Copyright Office to establish a public record of their ownership.

Transformative Use: Transformative use refers to repurposing copyrighted material in a way that adds value or provides new insights.

Transformative use may be considered fair use under certain circumstances.

Copyright Notices: Incorporating a copyright notice (© [year] [creator/copyright owner]) can be a deterrent to potential infringers.

Copyright Myths: Contrary to popular belief, copyright protection is automatic upon creation of the work, and registration is not required for protection.

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