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Is it legal, ethical???

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by stephenj148, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. stephenj148

    stephenj148 Member

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    I see people talking about it a lot about how they use istock and shutterstock and things such as these in their designs. If you buy the files from those types of sites is it legal to use them in your designs? When I think about it I feel guilty using something that isn't mine, but then again, sometimes I feel like they could be very helpful.
     
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  2. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    You are paying for the right to use them, you can of course use them.

    You are designing in a vector program I assume? Did you create the program? Of course not, but you can use it.

    Did you build your computer? Of course not, people over in malaysia probably did, but you can use it to create something.

    Same with images from istock/shutterstock.
     
  3. stephenj148

    stephenj148 Member

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    Good way to put it. Thanks!
     
  4. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Stephen, do you design your own fonts? Stock artwork, like istockphoto, is just another tool at your disposal. You're paying for it's use, there's nothing to feel guilty about.
     
  5. stephenj148

    stephenj148 Member

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    I guess what I mean by feeling guilty is that I'd prefer to do my own designs sometimes. But still being a beginner/amateur in the design world sometimes I feel like the stock sites are good resources. But I would much rather create my own designs.
     
  6. StopSignGraphics

    StopSignGraphics Active Member

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    I've struggled with this myself a little bit, using IStock kind of feels a little like cheating but take a look at it from a clients point of view. Is it more cost effective to design something from scratch or use a ready made graphic? It really depends on the client but using stock images certainly can be a way to save your client some money on design.
     
  7. Slamdunkpro

    Slamdunkpro Member

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    I do a lot of ad design work and had a client decide that they didn't want something "off the rack" i.e. a stock photo. Fine. I gave them a quote for a full blown photo shoot; location, photography, modeling fees, the works.

    Client's reaction?

    :omg2:

    They decided that a stock photo would be just fine.
     
  8. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    Yea, iStock is great. I have customers freak out that I charge them like $30 to find the file, and pay for it...I can't imagine if we ever created anything from scratch...
     
  9. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    US OLD GUYS...............DID THAT...........all the time!!!!!!! its called TALENT!!!! hahahahahahaha
     
  10. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

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    Those outlets will give you an exclusive on art for a fee.
     
  11. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith Member

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    I can't imagine running into a problem, honestly. I use iStockPhoto all the freakin' time for my design work and love it. However, their license agreement...

    http://www.istockphoto.com/license.php

    ... does expressly forbid using their images in a logo (see section 4).

    So I'm always careful to use their images for "flair" but not for "branding."

    FWIW.
     
  12. acothran

    acothran Member

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    Being a musician, I see graphic design much like song writing. I didn't invent the chords & notes and I didn't invent the English language but I use those to create my own melody and lyrics. It's all been done a million times before and while my song might be a similar style to another, it has to be uniquely mine.

    That is how I see using stock photos/artwork. I try to use them to enhance my design, not be the design. I use lots of Photoshop brushes that I didn't create but I use them to develop and expand my designs. I guess I might feel guilty if I was just downloading stock graphics and passing them off as my own designs (plus there will be many others with "your design"). When I create something the uses stock elements, all of the components of the design may not be my original creation (i.e. typeface, stock photo) but it took my talent and time to make those elements a unique design. Kind of like trying to reinvent the wheel.

    Allen
     
  13. javila

    javila Active Member

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    Unless you're a professional photographer, a skilled abstract artists, a good graphic artists, AND a good typographer all wrapped up in one you won't be able to create "everything" from scratch.
     
  14. netfryer

    netfryer Member

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    Glad i searched before posting a new thread!

    There are a number of vector pieces I have been itching to buy from iStockphoto to use in wrap design. I just went to pull the trigger and started reading the licensing restrictions.

    So iStockphoto's licensing says:

    (found at http://www.istockphoto.com/license_comparison.php )

    I'm only GUESSING, but wouldn't anything we would be printing and selling to a customer be included in those restrictions?

    Any thoughts or views would be appreciated.
     
  15. acothran

    acothran Member

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    Netfryer - I'm sure there is someone who can explain this better than me but from the way I understand it, under the standard license, you can incorporate that stock graphic into a design and sell the design to a customer (i.e. vehicle wrap). With the standard license, you can NOT design a wrap, print a bunch to fit a Chevy truck and sell them on your website called chevytruckwraps.com. Another example, I can download that graphic (standard license), create a design for my customer's retail establishment, and sell him POP posters for his store but I can't print a bunch of posters with that graphic and take them to the flea market to sell, or put them on my poster selling website. I might be missing the point but that is the way I've understood that to work. If I ever need to print in high volume and have a questions, I can always purchase the extended license to be safe.

    Allen
     
  16. netfryer

    netfryer Member

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    Part of what I do does involve offering certain layouts to the masses, most are not just a one-off. Am I correct in my interpretation of the restrictions that I would not be allowed to use a purchased image as a design element in one of my products? Seems silly to design and sell seamless vector tiles on iStockphoto if the licensees can't really use it.
     
  17. OneUpTenn

    OneUpTenn Active Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong but isn't istock's purpose is to SELL their images? I mean don't they thrive on people like us and marketing people? How much does the everyday Joe use them for the extreme high resolution images big enough to print a wrap on?
     
  18. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I think Allen has it right....istock doesn't allow you to design a product for resale using their images (at least not with the standard license). His example is good.
    If you want to do that you need an extended (and more expensive) license.
     

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