Somebody anonymous write a "scripture". It's at http://getrichbangbabes.com . It's filled with comedic political satire I think.

Anyone can edit and copy the book. The e-book contains many links to pictures. However, those links may not work too long. What would happen if the e-book copy and paste pictures to the e-book itself but give attribution?

What happens if latter the e-book is made commercial?

2 Answers 2


Nope. Copyright protection is not about attribution, it is about permission. The artist who created those images has the right to permit or forbid use of his/her creations. There might be some images that are licensed in a manner that allows downloading redistribution, which one could maybe determine by looking for signs of a public license on the original web page. And that is even if the book is free. If a picture is licensed for only non-commercial use, the image has to go when the book is commercialized. If the picture is licensed with the attribution thing, then you have to attribute. If the picture doesn't say, it is unsafe to assume anything other than that it is protected by copyright.


No. This follows from the Berne Convention, which is the basis for copyright legislation in all civilized countries in the world and also in in the USA. It stipulates that all creative works become subject to copyright as soon as they are created:

The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality (Berne Convention, Article 5(2)).

The images you talk about are there automatically subject to copyright, and according to copyright law, you need permission from the copyright holder for any use that is regulated by copyright, including the uses you ask about.

None of the thing you mention (the non-commercial nature of the project, giving attribution, etc.) impact on the images' copyright status. If it is copyrighted, it is illegal to use without permission from the copyright holder.

What happens if latter the e-book is made commercial?

Using images without permission gives the copyright holder the right to sue you and demand compensation, even for non-commercial use. The amount courts will give the copyright holder usually depends on two things: Commercial use and attribution. Both commercial use and lack of attribution results in the offender having to pay more in compensation.

Obiter dictum: I am fully aware that it is not unusual to re-use images without permission and without proper attribution on the Internet. Most copyright holders probably never know that their copyright is breached, and a lot of them doesn't care anyway. So the probability that you are going to get sued for pasting images "found" on the Internet into an e-book is not high. But even if you're not caught, you are still breaking the law.

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