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Would it be legal to collect images from Google and Bing and then use them within non-commercial research. These images would never be redistributed and during the research be converted into data that cannot be reversed engineered into the old image. (or any image of sorts)

  • What do Google/Bing terms & conditions say about this ? What have you looked for and found so far ? – breversa Sep 11 at 14:38
  • I'd note that Google and Bing somehow get away with collecting images for commercial use. – Ross Ridge Sep 11 at 15:42
  • Not posting as an answer since it's not any better than the answer posted earlier, but just want to suggest something. I don't think Google and Bing have a say in what you do with the images, they just display external images; it's down to the authors of the image. If your use case qualifies for fair use, then you're all good. But if not, or if you just want to play it safe, you can just enable the creative commons filter, or just use a search engine like search.creativecommons.org to get images that you will have the rights to use in the first place. – Seth Sep 11 at 16:52
  • @breversa The terms and conditions are really vague on this, theyre obviously legally not claiming any ownership but otherwise are trying to push people to use their API. From a Bing/Google PoV the added value seems to mainly be that they're classifying the images as what they are automatically and that identification seems to be what thheyre protecting – Strah Behry Sep 12 at 16:13
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It looks like copyright infringement, unless you can defend your use as fair use. But you would have to defend such usage in court, therefore you should hire an attorney specializing in copyright litigation to get a more detailed analysis. The nuisance value of getting sued might dissuade you; but who would sue you? Probably the photographer(s) / artists: it's not clear what Google and Bing have to do with this. On the one hand, you aren't just copying a little bit of the protected work, you're taking the whole thing. On the other hand, the nature of your use (non-commercial research) is in favor of fair use, idem effect on market and the "transformative" nature of your work.

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  • In this instance Im wondering tho how I am really copying it, merely extracting some information of the picture and the data it is converted into isn't of the kind that would ever allow someone to know that individual entry of data is their image. But is actually using the images for research the same as taking the image and taking some information from it the exact same law-wise? Does the fact that unless the process is described no one would ever know their work is part of the research change anything? – Strah Behry Sep 12 at 16:53
  • Legally, no, but it massively affects your chances of being detected. – user6726 Sep 12 at 18:48

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