Copyright, Linking and Bandwidth
Everything on The Seed Site is Copyright
That means that nothing on The Seed Site can be used on any other website without permission.
- It does not make any difference whether you acknowledge that The Seed Site is the source of the material.
- It does not make any difference that an image does not have the word 'Copyright' on it, or that the Copyright symbol is not on an image or page of writing.
- Copyright applies to files (.html, .gif, .jpg, etc.) making up internet pages just as it does to books, magazines and photographs.
- The rights of the owner of the Copyright apply all over the world, not just in the country the files were created, or to the country where the website is hosted.
- Using material taken from someone else and pretending it is your own is plagiarism. And, of course, stealing!
Everything on The Seed Site is designed to fit together with all the other parts. If someone uses writing or images from this site, and puts them on their own website, it might appear that The Seed Site is part of the other website. If someone takes a picture from The Seed Site and then makes it a different size on their website, the image will not be clear. That might give the impression that all images on The Seed Site are poor quality. Images on The Seed Site are designed to be seen on The Seed Site.
Finally, it takes a lot of time and effort to produce the writing and pictures on The Seed Site. We want you to see them here, as we designed them. After all the trouble we take, we don't like to see someone else just hijack them.
The right thing to do is to write your own page and make your own images.
The Seed Site linking policy
We have links to other websites throughout our pages. These are all websites that we feel might be useful to our visitors, and which we consider relevant to the page the link is on. We do not add links to websites just because they have a link to The Seed Site. Please don't ask.
We are always glad to see links to The Seed Site on other people's webpages. That means that visitors to other websites have the opportunity to visit The Seed Site. If you'd like to add a link to The Seed Site on your own webpage, please make sure you add the correct code to your page:
- For a link to our Home Page, add this code:
- For a link to a particular page, add the URL from the top of your browser to the code. For example, this is the code for a link to the page about the Sunflower:
- Please DO NOT link to an individual image file.
- Please DO NOT use Hot Links (see below)
- Please DO NOT use Frames to make information from The Seed Site appear on your webpage
The right way to link to The Seed Site is to use the code given above
Hot Links and Bandwidth Theft
Like all websites, The Seed Site has to pay for the bandwidth used to show its files to its visitors. The more times a file is looked at, the more bandwidth is used. Obviously, we don't want to pay for other websites to show our pictures to their visitors. This is what happens when someone uses a direct link or hot link to a file on The Seed Site instead of a link to a page on our site. All the files that make up our site are on our website provider's server. We pay for the server to show them to our visitors. When someone has a direct link to one of our files, their visitors have to get the file from our provider's server. We get charged, the other website doesn't. That's why it's called Bandwidth Theft.
- We have Statistics that tell us when someone uses a Hot Link. Most websites have.
- A Hot Link uses the wrong code. Anyone can check whether a webpage is using a Hot Link by looking at the code that makes up the page.
- When someone uses a Hot Link to an image on another website, the website that owns the image file can change it and make something else appear on the thief's website. They don't always just change the name of the file.
- Even if it's just a small file (image) that's been hot linked, it can mount up to quite a lot of bandwidth that's taken. For instance, a small file posted on a Forum will use the originator's bandwidth every time anyone reads any post on that thread.
- It doesn't matter if you reduce the size of an image on your website when you hot link to someone else's image. It isn't the small picture that's used. The larger image will still have to be downloaded from the original server every time it's looked at.
Hot Links can cost website owners money. Sometimes, hot links can cause websites to close down because stolen images use up so much of their bandwidth, so no-one has access to the images. It's also quite a lot of trouble changing your website if someone uses a hot link, so website owners can get quite vindictive when someone hot links to their files.
The right way to incorporate information from another website into your webpage is to use a hyperlink to that website
Posting images on Blogs and Social Network Websites
Using Images from Google
Many people who use social networking or other websites like Twitter, Facebook, Glogster or Pinterest like to share interesting pictures they've found on the web. Often, they find the pictures through Google. But many people don't realise that Google is just a catalogue of images Google finds when it's searching the web. Every image on Google already belongs to someone, and most of them are Copyright. That means you can't use them anywhere else without getting permission from the owner. This applies even if you're a teacher and want to use an image for your lessons. You must ask before you use someone else's work. Somewhere in the small print in the Terms of Service you signed up to it says you own everything you post on the site, and if you use anything that is copyright to someone else, you risk having the post removed or even having your account closed.
Bandwidth for Blogs
Many users of these social networking sites assume their posting is legal, but there are some unscrupulous companies that actually make you steal someone else's bandwidth by providing scripts that use hot links to the original image. This means they don't pay for the bandwidth but they do get the advertising revenue. I've found one social networking website composed entirely of stolen images on stolen bandwidth! I'm sure all the users of that site didn't intend to be part of that.
As a general rule of thumb - if you didn't make it, then you can't use it
This information applies to all websites
- There are a few websites that provide clip art or public domain material that can be used freely by anyone. Most of the things you see on the internet DO NOT fall into this category. It is safest to assume that EVERYTHING you see on a website belongs to someone, and you MAY NOT use it elsewhere without getting permission first.
- Even if the file you want to use isn't Copyright, hot linking is still stealing someone else's bandwidth. Where websites offer you free clip art, they don't offer you free bandwidth. They always ask you to put the file on your own server.
- Remember that you can't put a Copyright image on your own server and then put it on a website. It's using it yourself that breaches someone else's rights.
- Using frames to make something from another website appear to be part of your website is Breach of Copyright (and unethical). Links should take your visitors to the other website, not bring its information to you to use on your website. What do you call taking something from someone else and using it yourself without asking?
- Most people who infringe other people's Copyright do so because they don't know it's wrong.
- Most people who hot link do so because they don't know it's wrong.
- If you're a teacher, please make sure YOU don't infringe anyone's Copyright or steal anyone's bandwidth, and make sure your colleagues and students don't either. You'd be amazed at how many educational websites use Copyright images and hot links!
- Most reputable website and Forum providers will remove hot links and Copyright material as soon as you ask them, because they might be held liable for any illegal activity on a site they host. Sometimes, they close down a whole website or Forum.
- Large commercial websites might be prepared to take legal action against people who breach their Copyright or steal their bandwidth, because they've paid for their websites, they pay for their bandwidth, and they might be losing customers if people look at their files but don't visit their websites.
Always write your own website, use your own images, and use your own bandwidth!
You can find out more about all these topics on these websites:
- What is Copyright?
- Automatic Copyright Protection
- FAQ on Copyright
- UK Copyright Law
- Website Copyright
- Berne Convention on Copyright Law
- Copyright Explained: I May Copy It, Right?
- Information on US Copyright
- How to Create Links
- How using frames can Infringe Copyright
- Explanation of Bandwidth
- Hot Linking
- Bandwidth Theft
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