How does copyright apply to a collage of random images from the Internet?


Question

If I take a bunch of random/misc. images I have gathered from the internet over time (I don't even know their original source) and make a collage and print it, can I use it as marketing material in the form of a flier or post card? Am I free somehow of copyright considerations since now it is a "new" image in the form of a collage...?

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5/20/2015 6:37:00 PM

There is no such thing as...

  • "edit an image enough and it's okay."
  • "I don't know where I got it. So, it's okay."
  • "I don't know who created/posted it. So, it's okay."
  • "It didn't have a copyright symbol or line on it. So, it's okay."

These are all very common misconceptions.


It's always better to assume you do not have the right to use an image and seek direct, written permission from the creator for the use you wish. Realize some artists/designers/photographers may simply not want to support your venture.

If you wish to "edit so it's okay" then you need to edit to the extent that the original image(s) are completely unrecognizable. And, at that point, what's the purpose of using the imagery?

There are avenues to find images which are permitted for use.

There are questions here regarding it:

How do I know which images are copyrighted and not?

And there are even questions with some resources:

Where can I get images for commercial use?

In short, there are avenues for images which you can legally use. There's little point to infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others.

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1/21/2019 10:51:00 PM

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