Using an artist's work without permission is theft. Rationalizing that theft by saying the usage is not for profit is no more valid than justifying stealing a washer & dryer because you are not opening a "for profit" laundromat. Artwork is personal property. The usage of that work has real value, and if you are a moral and ethical person who respects the arts and artists you will obtain permission from the artist before using images you find on the web.
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works provides legal protection worldwide against infringement. If you would like to use an image you see on this web site please call or e-mail with your desired usage. I make my living licensing usage of my images, and must pursue violators to the fullest extent of the law.
Below are some legal facts about copyright.
1. It is a myth that all artwork on the web is in the "public domain." If you did not create it or license the right to use it, you may not use it for any purpose without permission from the copyright holder.
2. Since 1989, it has not been necessary for the © symbol to accompany artwork to preserve copyright ownership for the copyright holder.
3. The creator of any artwork automatically and immediately owns the copyright to his/her art as soon as it is created.
4. Artwork that is registered with the United States Copyright Office is granted powerful legal protection. Unauthorized usage will result in the infringer being liable for up to $150,000.00 in statutory damages for each image willfully infringed plus attorney's fees. This includes infringers outside the U.S.A.
5. ALL WORK ON THIS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH THE UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT OFFICE.
Thank you to Steve Feldman for the succinct and clear explanation of copyright.
You can visit Steve's web site at: http://stevefeldman.com
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