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hawkinsjk

Do I need permission to use beauty product pictures on a website?

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I'm in the process of selling beauty products online (Aussie, Creme of Nature, Pantene). How do I obtain the photos? Do I need permission to use them?

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If they are copyrighted then yes you need permission from the copyright holder. If your not sure and they are branded goods then you should ask the brand owner or the distributor you are using for permission.

 


 

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There are two different issues here, and you want to stay on the right side of the law on both.

  1. The photos (images) are copyrighted by someone (usually either the photographer, or their client who paid for the shoot). Using these images without explicit permission is a copyright violation. A copyright is implicitly created as soon as the photo is taken (or other creative act fixes something in a tangible form), so even if there is no copyright statement, you can bet that someone owns the copyright (unless the photo is very, very old, and the copyright has expired and it's now in the public domain).
  2. A product name, likeness, design, etc. may be trademarked by the owner, to prevent others from using it (even if you take your own photograph of the item). This needs to be done explicitly by the owner, and indicated in ads, labels, etc. with TM, circle-R, SM, circle-P, etc. I have heard of a number of cases where small sellers of products (not in formal distribution channels) were legally pursued for trademark violations. It was overkill and abuse of the law, with the real intent of the owner being to close down unauthorized distribution channels, but it was very costly for the little guys.

In either case, you should get written permission to use photos, and to use or sell anything trademarked or service marked by someone else.


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I have been trading for over 20 years and have NEVER  been requested to or received written permission to use  images, text ,marketing content, trade marks , logos  from any of my manufacturers or suppliers. I sell equipment from many country's including the USA  and never had any issues.

If you have a re selling agreement with your manufacturer or distributor then the permission is implicit! You are no different to the local corner shop who goes to the wholesaler and buy his goods and puts them on the shelf to sell. He is free to put a sign in his window saying  "hershey bars" on sale this week! he can use a picture of said bar to do this without any issues.

Not knowing what country your based its not possible to give specific advise, but it not a big issue, As long as you don't abuse things like logos and trade marks you will be fine.

Don't worry to much about it and get your website business up and ruining, Just talk to all your suppliers, you will be surprised how helpful they can be. 


 

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I made sure that I specifically asked my suppliers whether I could use their images, and asked also what part in their terms and conditions gave me the right to use their images. I kept their email replies, and still have them to this day. Most of the images they use are from the manufacturers and without asking them all, it was easier to get the permission from my suppliers.

One supplier that I deal with direct, only gave me permission to use the images and not to distribute the images. How do I stop people just downloading freely what they believe to be an openly downloadable image from the internet.

If you have no idea what can happen if you use images without getting permission, search the internet for 'Getty Images' and see some of the things they have done to protect their images. If you dont get permission it can cost lots of money so just be polite and ask. Most will say yes.


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4 hours ago, 14steve14 said:

How do I stop people just downloading freely what they believe to be an openly downloadable image from the internet.

That's been an eternal problem for websites. All sorts of technical fixes have been tried, but there's almost always an easy workaround. Probably the best way is to "watermark" your images with a "baked in" (not a separate removable layer) text including your name. Sure, this disfigures your beautiful product images, but it's not removable without a lot of painstaking work with a photo editor, and even then some trace of the watermark may remain.


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This is a nice handy free tool that lets you remove meta data and add watermarks to your files in a batch process.

Easy Image Modifier Free

I personally don't use water marks as none of my images are "mona lisa's" 😊 and I prefer nice clean images, but some people prefer them. It makes the process of adding nice and simple.


 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2018 at 11:59 PM, hawkinsjk said:

(Aussie, Creme of Nature, Pantene)

Unfortunately you have chosen a very challenging sector to work in 😂 You are best advised to seek proper legal advice. Having a quick look at P&G's terms ( they own Aussie, Pantene , Olay ,Venus and hundreds of other brands) and they sell only using approved retailers  they have a very strict policy.

"You agree not to collect and/or use any product descriptions, images, listings or prices except for your own personal noncommercial use or to place an order with us.

You agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes, any portion of the Site or use or access to the Site, including without limitation any "scraping" or using any robot, spider or other automated means. Running or displaying this Site or any information or material displayed on this Site in frames, via "in-line" linking or through similar means on another Web site without our prior written permission is prohibited. Any permitted links to this Web site must comply with all applicable laws, rule and regulations. You may not use any meta tags or other "hidden text" utilizing our name or any of our trademarks, or those of any manufacturer of products featured on this Site, without express written permission. Additionally, you agree that you will not: (a) take any action that, in our sole discretion, imposes, or may impose an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure; (b) interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Site or any activities conducted on the Site; or (c) bypass any measures we may use to prevent or restrict access to the Site."

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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18 hours ago, JcMagpie said:

😂Having a quick look at P&G's terms ( they own Aussie, Pantene , Olay ,Venus and hundreds of other brands) and they sell only using approved retailers  they have a very strict policy.

Per my #2 point above, some manufacturers (ab)use trademark law as a cudgel to close down unauthorized retail channels (the so-called "gray market"). You're likely in for a rough ride unless you become authorized (in writing) to carry their brands and legally use their trademarks.


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On 8/11/2018 at 1:08 PM, MrPhil said:

You're likely in for a rough ride unless you become authorized (in writing) to carry their brands and legally use their trademarks.

Yep! happening more and more these days as brands try to kick back against online discounting. Will only get worse I imagine.  Some are dancing around the edges of cartel / monopoly laws.

I had a product range I'd been selling for years (only small volume), then the company got sold to large brand holding company! They promptly put up the prices and shut down access to all except a limited number of approved distributors. I had a very nice polite letter saying as I did not achieve the new 50K/year minimum limit so I would now need to by from a approved distributor rather than direct from the factory as before. The price from the new approved distributor was silly ( less than 15% margin  as apposed to the 30% before).

This is just one way they use to control supply and keep prices artificially high. Never works in the long run 😂 I simply sourced a similar product from another manufacturer and dumped the last supplier. 


 

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51 minutes ago, JcMagpie said:

Yep! happening more and more these days as brands try to kick back against online discounting. Will only get worse I imagine.  Some are dancing around the edges of cartel / monopoly laws.

I had a product range I'd been selling for years (only small volume), then the company got sold to large brand holding company! They promptly put up the prices and shut down access to all except a limited number of approved distributors. I had a very nice polite letter saying as I did not achieve the new 50K/year minimum limit so I would now need to by from a approved distributor rather than direct from the factory as before. The price from the new approved distributor was silly ( less than 15% margin  as apposed to the 30% before).

This is just one way they use to control supply and keep prices artificially high. Never works in the long run 😂 I simply sourced a similar product from another manufacturer and dumped the last supplier. 

I feel for you. I have several manufacturers in the industry I am in, that will not sell to me because I don't have a shop. Some of the largest sellers that do have a shop, discount this particular manufacturers product heavily, and they do nothing. One of these manufacturers are also a distributor, and entice many smaller suppliers to them, and still wont sell those items to people without a store. I understand that they are trying to protect their brand, but some need to wake up to the modern times. I still get hand written invoices from the company for the advertising I do with them.


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Before installing the official version of oscommerce first look at a responsive version here

It's very easy to over complicate what are simple things in life

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I would ask permission if you find some quality images. I have found many manufacturers will happily provide images to you to sell their products. However, it is also very easy to take pictures yourself and edit images with photo editing software.


The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

- Rabindranath Tagore

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55 minutes ago, Smoky Barnable said:

it is also very easy to take pictures yourself and edit images with photo editing software.

Just remember that taking your own pictures, while protecting you from copyright violation claims, does nothing to protect you from claims that you are infringing on a trademark. You still should get permission to carry and promote a product.


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@MrPhil  you make a good point, I recall a few years ago one of the big clothing stores in the UK ran into problems with a brand of jeans. The brand refused to sell to them saying

they did not meet the brands expected vision so some crap like that.

The store promptly obtained stock from an overseas supplier of the branded goods and started selling and advertising them.

The brand owner took legal action and managed to get the store to remove the advents and good from its shelves. So I guess its just not worth taking a risk with the big brands.


 

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On 8/12/2018 at 12:03 PM, Smoky Barnable said:

I would ask permission if you find some quality images. I have found many manufacturers will happily provide images to you to sell their products. However, it is also very easy to take pictures yourself and edit images with photo editing software.

Im learning as I go with my business so excuse me if I sound ignorant. How would I go about asking for permission. 

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46 minutes ago, hawkinsjk said:

Im learning as I go with my business so excuse me if I sound ignorant. How would I go about asking for permission. 

I usually contact them through their websites and simply ask. If they cannot give permission they can direct you to someone who can.


The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

- Rabindranath Tagore

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