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Similar questions have been asked before but I still could not find answers that made me understand it. I created a website and would like to know which laws affect me. The website does not have any ads and I do not sell any data in fact the entire thing is open source and free to use for everybody but I have the feeling that this does not matter at all.

The website is some kind of "proof of concept" and I made it to demonstrate some new techniques. To do so I used some images and Gifs which may be under copyright but since I don't earn money for myself and there is no company backing me I was hoping that there is some protection for private persons like me who just want to showcase the project.

I am also insecure about the GDPR regulations since I give users the ability to create an account and try it out.

Is there any way to protect me against greedy lawyers and companies? Could I write something like: "This website is a peace of art" and save myself with arguments like "artistic freedom" or "free speech"?

  • Regarding the copyrighted images; you need to find images licensed as public domain or creative commons. There are copyright exceptions, but don't expect they apply to you. – wimh Jun 5 '18 at 16:25
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    @wimh another option is for hansTheFranz to create his own entirely original images. Then he would own the copyright in those images and he wouldn't have to worry about whether they are in the public domain or how they are licensed. – phoog Jun 5 '18 at 17:30
  • phoog even though I like the idea, this would be impossible ATM. Thanks for those links @wimh I will focus on images with those licence it lowers the risk. – hansTheFranz Jun 5 '18 at 20:09
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To do so I used some images and Gifs which may be under copyright but since I don't earn money for myself and there is no company backing me I was hoping that there is some protection for private persons like me who just want to showcase the project.

Sorry. If your website is public facing (i.e. not password protected and available only to family and close friends), you need to follow copyright law. There is no exception to copyright just because a project is run by an individual for non-commercial purposes.

I am also insecure about the GDPR regulations since I give users the ability to create an account and try it out.

Your profile says you're in the EU. Then you need to comply with the GDPR.

Is there any way to protect me against greedy lawyers and companies? Could I write something like: "This website is a peace of art" and save myself with arguments like "artistic freedom" or "free speech"?

Nope.

A controversial website run by Peter Sunde had at one point a "free speech" disclaimer (similar to the one you propose) posted. However, Sunde did never use this defense in court: Finnish court slaps Peter Sunde with €350k fine. If he had shown up in court, I am pretty sure the court would have told him that such a disclaimer has no legal merit.

The only protection that will make you completely safe is to adhere to the law.

  • While Peter Sunde may at some point have claimed free speech, he didn't offer that defense in court. In fact, as the article you link to notes, he didn't offer any defense in court: "Because Sunde didn't show up in court, the decision was a judgement by default." – phoog Jun 5 '18 at 17:28
  • @phoog. The "free speech" disclaimer was posted on the web site. Updated answer with that informaton. – Free Radical Jun 6 '18 at 8:11
  • Even after the update, a reader could conclude that the court considered whether the disclaimer had any merit, but that isn't the case. The website could have laid out a perfectly valid defense and the defendant still would have lost. – phoog Jun 6 '18 at 14:02

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