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Is it illegal to copy a picture of someone else, found on a public site, and use it on your own site?

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Broadly yes, this is copyright infringement, even if you can see the picture on a "publicly accessible" website, that doesn't give you the right to use it. You need permission from the copyright holder (which may not be the same as the website owner).

If by "public site" you mean a site that shares stock pictures for free (with copyright release), then it would be legal, but I'm guessing you mean any picture from a site you can access. This would not be a legal use.

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  • That’s what I’m getting at. Specifically amazon reviews submitted by the individual with their picture as part of the review – Aarona3184 May 15 '20 at 21:18
  • Ok, that's different though. If you take a picture and willingly upload it to a site that uses it like that, you are granting a license to Amazon for the use of that picture. I'm sure its in the TOS somewhere when you sign up for an account... – Ron Beyer May 15 '20 at 21:21
  • So it’s safe to assume it still wouldn’t be legal because amazon would have the rights to the photo? – Aarona3184 May 15 '20 at 21:30
  • I'm not sure I follow what you are saying... Are you saying that Amazon's use of your photo in a review is illegal? Or are you saying that the reviewer providing a photo is doing so illegally? – Ron Beyer May 15 '20 at 21:32
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    It's illegal because the original owner has the rights to the photo, Amazon is just using the photo under license, depending on how the TOS are worded. Either way you'd need permission from the original copyright owner to use the photo. – Ron Beyer May 15 '20 at 21:57

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