What's the best (legal) method of using pictures from Flickr, Pinterest etc

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I want to run a series of articles in a "Steal this look" type.

Like how DailyMail does with celebrities, show what they're wearing, find similar pieces and link to them.
Only in a different niche.

Problem is, most of the pics that would be relevant would be from people posting on Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and so on. Stock photo won't do and it would be difficult to impossible, to get such pics myself.

I've seen publications print from Instagram and Pinterest a lot and I wonder if they actually get permission to use the pics. Often they'll just throw in a "copyright: Jane Doe" or something. This is not legal I think, but they probably get away with it.

What methods could you use?

Some such as Houzz.com allow embedding and that seems to be legal. You can also embed Insta and Pinterest, but that's not legal without permission. Flickr has a "commercial use allowed" option.

It would be a good idea to write the Insta influencers and ask for permission. I imagine some would accept and others would decline. Quite time consuming.

What are your thoughts on this subject?
 
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You can embed the Instagram post with the image. That's permitted and a way to show the content legitimately.

Can you show images side by side from major media or social? Difficult. But you could do it on a blog post.
 
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There are some legal leeways around "fair use" for critique and parody and others. i'm not expert in it, but there are several criteria to evaluate fair use that might be possible.

you could potentially automate some outreach to photographers and influencers for permission with credit too

most publications play on fair use or direct site embeds from the embed codes (which i think are good to use)
 

Ryuzaki

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I agree about Fair Use. I'm not sure this fits the bill or not. Usually, if the picture is an informational or educational aid then it's all good, such as your case. The problem is your article only exists because the picture already exists, which is quite different.

Also, just because you have Fair Use doesn't mean you won't have to defend that right in court. On the other side of that coin, it's absolutely not sensible for anyone to pursue you legally for that either. They'll try to scare you, demand payment, etc. But that ship flew long ago.

When sites like Getty Images or whatever were letting lawyers join the fun and send out as many cease & desist (or pay us) letters as possible, some judge set the precedent and said "enough is enough, clogging up the legal system with this nonsense." That's why you hardly see emails like that any more, or crawlers related to stock image sites any more.

The "correct" thing to tell you to do is to get permission or don't use the image. Or do the embed method.

The realistic thing to do is move forward and make money. Nobody from Instagram is crawling the net for copies of their images. And if they do and make a huge stink, just take the image down altogether until you find an alternative and then ignore all further points of contact from the person. If you want to try to deflect any nonsense, just give a non-linked credit for the pictures. Credit: Instagram @the_account

In all my years of using images however the hell I want, I've only had an issue one time. I removed the image and the problem went away. I used an image from a vendor of a product that sells for like $200 a pop and you have to buy at minimum 6-8 of them, if not more like 16-20 of them. And I was linking to him everywhere, telling people to buy his product. He managed to find my personal cell phone number somehow too, like he contacted my hosting company or something.

First he wanted a credit byline for the pic, even though it existed in the text. He wanted it as a caption. He got that, then he wanted it as another link. I gave him that. Then I found out he was reaching out to sites that link to my post and asking them to link to his site instead. I looked at his backlink profile and it was full of great links of him harassing people 24/7 to link to him because they or someone else used one of his pictures.

The result of his stupidity is that I removed his picture and all links to him and his products and replaced them all with his main competitor.

But that's 1 time in like 15 years. Everyone understands how the internet functions. Do you think Imgur has an army of people fighting off cease & desists? I'm sure they get them for stuff like celebrity "hanky panky" pictures, but in general they probably don't get as many as you'd think and when they do they just delete the picture.
 
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I agree about Fair Use. I'm not sure this fits the bill or not. Usually, if the picture is an informational or educational aid then it's all good, such as your case. The problem is your article only exists because the picture already exists, which is quite different.

Also, just because you have Fair Use doesn't mean you won't have to defend that right in court. On the other side of that coin, it's absolutely not sensible for anyone to pursue you legally for that either. They'll try to scare you, demand payment, etc. But that ship flew long ago.

When sites like Getty Images or whatever were letting lawyers join the fun and send out as many cease & desist (or pay us) letters as possible, some judge set the precedent and said "enough is enough, clogging up the legal system with this nonsense." That's why you hardly see emails like that any more, or crawlers related to stock image sites any more.

The "correct" thing to tell you to do is to get permission or don't use the image. Or do the embed method.

The realistic thing to do is move forward and make money. Nobody from Instagram is crawling the net for copies of their images. And if they do and make a huge stink, just take the image down altogether until you find an alternative and then ignore all further points of contact from the person. If you want to try to deflect any nonsense, just give a non-linked credit for the pictures. Credit: Instagram @the_account

In all my years of using images however the hell I want, I've only had an issue one time. I removed the image and the problem went away. I used an image from a vendor of a product that sells for like $200 a pop and you have to buy at minimum 6-8 of them, if not more like 16-20 of them. And I was linking to him everywhere, telling people to buy his product. He managed to find my personal cell phone number somehow too, like he contacted my hosting company or something.

First he wanted a credit byline for the pic, even though it existed in the text. He wanted it as a caption. He got that, then he wanted it as another link. I gave him that. Then I found out he was reaching out to sites that link to my post and asking them to link to his site instead. I looked at his backlink profile and it was full of great links of him harassing people 24/7 to link to him because they or someone else used one of his pictures.

The result of his stupidity is that I removed his picture and all links to him and his products and replaced them all with his main competitor.

But that's 1 time in like 15 years. Everyone understands how the internet functions. Do you think Imgur has an army of people fighting off cease & desists? I'm sure they get them for stuff like celebrity "hanky panky" pictures, but in general they probably don't get as many as you'd think and when they do they just delete the picture.

For Imgur, they are protected from DMCA because "users" are uploading them and not Imgur themselves. I believe they do have a separate team that reviews DMCA takedown requests. They are on the hook for reviewing and taking down in a timely manner, but they won't usually be sued for the mere existence of the image, whereas your own site can be
 
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I was threathened a while back by a luxury brand for using one of their pics from a vendor. Didn't go further than a threat, but it has made me think twice about which pics to use. I guess "small timers" would not be worth going after for most Instagrammers.