My Terms

The Graphics Fairy is an Angel Company. You are free to use all clip art and photos, with the exception of the banner and any guest photos, in any of your projects created for resale or pleasure. Please do not use more than 6 of the graphic images within any one project, or within a single page of a blog or website. A link to the Graphics Fairy is very much appreciated, when including clipart on your blog or website. Thank you! © The Graphics Fairy 2007

Copyright Laws and Public Domain

Copyright Laws and Public Domain: Disclaimer.

I often get questions about Copyright and Public Domain laws, which requires me to make this disclaimer, first in my own words, and then in my lawyer's more formal legalese:

First, in my words:

Although I take copyright laws seriously, I am not a lawyer. Although I respect the intellectual property rights of others as I understand them, I can’t guarantee that your use of the images that are provided through this blog or my other websites will not infringe on the copyrights or intellectual property rights of others. I am providing these images to you for free, which certainly means that I can't take responsibility for any damages or legal fees that you may incur if you get sued because you used images I have provided. Basically, what this means is that you have to make the decision whether to take the risk of using the images that I post. In order to help you assess that risk and make that decision, let me tell you a little bit about my understanding of the copyright laws, and how I choose the images I post.

The copyright laws are very confusing as they changed many times throughout the years and are different in every country. Most of the images I post were created before 1923, because it is my understanding that the majority of images that were published or created before that date are in the public domain—meaning that anyone can use them without permission from anyone. By the way, you should know that just because an image is out there on the Internet where it can be easily copied doesn't mean that it is in the "public domain." Anyway, works that were created or published after 1923 are in more of a gray area. Very rarely, but on occasion, I do post images that were created later than 1923, but I do reread the laws each time and do a fair amount of research on the image to try to determine if it is in the public domain (for the U.S.) before I post it.

I have never had anyone object to my posting of an image on my blog or websites, and I would never intentionally post an image unless I thought the image was in the public domain.

Now, if you can think of a way to be more thorough than I have been in checking out the copyrights of an image, please have at it, and let me know if you find anything I should know about!



For more info about Public Domain laws, you may want to read:

Blog of Burgess - A legal blog written by an Attorney. This article lays it all out in plain terms and breaks the U.S. laws down throughout the years.

Copyright Term & Public Domain in the U.S. - An excellent guide in chart form, that breaks down the Public Domain Laws in the U.S.

Copyright Term & Public Domain outside of the U.S. - Another great chart, this one is a guide to the International Public Domain Laws.


Now the disclaimer in legalese

(all caps is the way this is done in the legal world…my lawyer is not yelling):

THE WEBSITE AND ALL CONTENTS THEREOF AND ALL SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY. WE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. WE DO NOT WARRANT OR GUARANTEE THAT THE CONTENTS OF THE WEBSITE WILL BE ACCURATE, UP-TO-DATE OR OTHERWISE RELIABLE. IN NO EVENT SHALL WE BE LIABLE FOR LOST PROFITS OR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL OR RELIANCE DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH OUR BLOG OR WEBSITES, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY, EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES AND NOTWITHSTANDING THE FAILURE OF ESSENTIAL PURPOSES OF ANY LIMITED REMEDY. OUR LIABILITY TO YOU, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY, IS LIMITED TO THE GREATER OF (A) THE AMOUNT OF FEES YOU PAY TO US IN THE 12 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE ACTION GIVING RISE TO THE LIABILITY, AND (B) $50.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.