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Topic: Personal images cannot be used as Book Covers

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Subject: Personal images cannot be used as Book Covers
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2006
Posts: 725
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Just a reminder. Please do not submit personal or random pictures as book cover images. they cannot be approved.


6/23  EDITED to Clarify: No pictures of your cats, dogs, babies or familes. No trips to the mountains or pictures of your shoes. We are getting thes kind of images lately and need to let people know that they can not and will not be accepted for the site.

It is ok to add a scan or an image from another web site as long as it is not marked by that site as copyrighted. or search inside arrow.


Last Edited on: 6/23/08 9:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2007
Posts: 1,180
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Hi Betsy,

Noticed you were a BIC.  I have recently posted a few children's books that had no cover image and was trying to update my bookshelf. 

I found quite a few images from other book sites, copied, saved and then uploaded them to PBS.  I was assuming the size would be OK? 

For the books I could not find images, I scanned in the book.  Not really knowing the right size, I checked the properties from the book images from other sites and tried to make them similar size.  500x500 pixels?  Truly, I only know enough about this to be dangerous.  LOL!

I just did this last night and this morning so I am not sure how long it takes to see if I did it correctly.

Any tips?

Thanks!  Dana

ETA:  Never mind.. I just checked my bookshelf and all the images are there.  Yeah!!!

Last Edited on: 6/22/08 2:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I can't believe people seriously do that :-b

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,367
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Isn't copying images from other sites breaking the copyright of those sites?

I would think the only images that could be accepted would be ones scanned or taken by the members.


(edited to fix a typo)

Last Edited on: 6/22/08 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2007
Posts: 1,180
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Good point.  I followed the guidelines in the help docs which actually said another "internet database" but Amazon was listed as an example.  I did not think about copyright of the site?  I would think the image belonged to the book/publisher?

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 71
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I just wanted to clarify, as I want to make sure I am reading the OP note correctly.

Some of these books available here (that are missing images) are soooooo old we may never find a picture of them on "another" website to copy over to here -- if I do find one on "another" site, I NEVER use those ones that have the "look inside" arrow at the top of the book -- how distracting!

So, am I understanding the OP correctly that it is NOT ok to scan a copy of a book we have in our possession for use as the cover image? I've done quite a few on my own bookshelf that I found were too old to locate anywhere else, and I happened to have the book, and many (romance novels in particular) I've seen look to be personal copies as well -- in some you can make out a price written on the cover.

Believe me, I exhaust ALL possibilities searching online before I take the time to scan my own because that takes up so much darn time ... I take great care in scanning my original copies, and if there are any blemishes or marks, I use Photoshop to clean it up and make it look like new on screen, and scan it large enough so that it will be a perfect fit for the PBS website. I would bet it's hard to tell some of the books I've personally scanned vs. professional images on other websites.

I guess I am a completist -- I don't like seeing those blank holes and want to fill them up with the correct book images when possible -- and if it comes from my own collection, I didn't think that would be a problem. ISBNs match -- good picture/scan should be OK regardless of ownership.

Last Edited on: 6/22/08 3:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/22/2008 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2005
Posts: 113
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Regarding copyright issues it is my understanding that technically you can download and display all the book covers that you want from Amazon and other book sale sites because it is the publisher that holds the copyright. Amazon is displaying them under Fair Use. I suspect that any cover images that have Amazon’s “look inside” text and arrow embedded in them will not be in the same category. 

We don’t accept images that have the Amazon arrows, or other copyright logos printed on them.  You can also obtain many cover images at least for newer books directly from the publisher’s website.  If you read the fine print, the publishers freely allow the use of a low-resolution image to advertise the book.  Publishers want their books to sell, book images and reviews advertise the books for them, it’s a win-win situation.

It is ok to scan the cover of a book that you own and post it to the website as long as it follows the image uploading guidelines.  It is not ok to post a picture of your grandkid, dog, flowers from the garden or a tampon box.  All the images are individually vetted and those types of things are not going to be approved, and if members continue to upload them after they are asked nicely not to do so, or if they are rude to the image approver who asks them not to they will be reported to the "powers that be".


Date Posted: 6/22/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 71
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Thanks for the clarification Sarradee when the OP said "personal pictures" I interpreted that to mean, personal pictures of the books I own, didn't think people would be posting otherwise to the book images --- that's strange! :-)

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I can't remember the title of the book but somewhere there's a book having nothing to do with it's picture, the image being of Scott Bakula in his Enterprise roll LOL.  I heard once of a swapper who put whatever pictures they wanted because she felt it was still better than nothing. 

This is my understanding of the thread:  If we can scan pictures of books whose covers aren't available online I think it's a great service to the site.  If we've got Wuthering Heights with a picture of our dog as the image, that's no good.  I've never run across one that was, like, family pictures or anything.  I have to agree with the grinchygirl, that is strange as all get-out.

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Melissa, what Betsy was referring to is people have done such weird things as post a picture of a dog or flower or whatever when they couldn't find or scan the cover of the actual iimage of the book. Just random whatever pics!!! She didn't mean that your own "personally scanned image" couldn't be used, just that your own pic of your kid or your dog can't be used.

Yep, gotta agree that it's totally weird but we've apparently got at least a few people that seem to think that ANY pic is better than just the plain blue icon!!!! YOU figure it out, it gave me a headache trying to reason their logic! hahahahah

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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There's a great thread that got me started on figuring out how to add images and correct data for my books:

Want to help with Data & Images? Find help here

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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interesting that someone said they won't use the amazon pics with the arrows that say look inside here (or whatever).  I have copied several photos like that and cropped off the white parts and that pic has always been accepted.  Maybe because the top part is cropped down too?  you can still see part of the arrow but I try to crop out as much as I can without compromising the intergrity of the photo.

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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ok, who do you contact when you find an image on a listing and the image is the incorrect one....

Revealed (Fountain Creek Chronicles, Book Two)
Tamera Alexander
ISBN-13: 9780739476840
ISBN-10: 073947684X

the above book has the cover art for Book Three in the series...

ISBN-13: 9780764201097
ISBN-10: 0764201093

this ISBN listing has the correct cover art for the book above.

thanks to whomever can fix this...

Date Posted: 6/22/2008 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 542
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I suspect in some cases the wrong picture is being uploaded.  My digital camera assigns a file name to each picture, but the names are all quite similar; it isn't smart enough yet to assign a meaningful name to the photo. 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 6/23/2008 1:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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What kind of nutcase is uploading personal pics???  That's just looney.

Now I think I have seen it all here at PBS...

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,830
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i had to laugh when i saw this thread, since i bumped into one of these just last week.  :)  i was looking at my own bookshelf, and noticed that the picture wasn't the right shape.  so i clicked on it - and instead of the book image it was some guy standing in front of his car!  i uploaded the book cover, and it's been replaced.

the funny thing is that i'm sure it wasn't that picture when i posted the book within the last month.

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Leslie, it is in the Help Center to NOT use Amazon pics with the arrow, eBay pics with the emblem in the corner, and other pics that disctincly proclaim their copyright issue with that image. Most databases use publisher issued or user uploaded pics which is no problem, but if there's any indication that the image came from somewhere specific, it will now be rejected. Yours should have been rejected in the past, and will be replaced in the future as someone runs across them with time to do so. It is not acceptable by the guidelines we have been given. I think when they first started allowing images to be uploaded, they didn't really have much of any guidelines at first.

Christy, any member of the Book Image team, either a blue BI or a yellow BIC can help you with any image issue you have either by fixing it for you, or helping you learn what to do to fix it yourself next time.

Bret, I would certainly hope that yours is a better answer than any we have come up with since that would make it an innocent mistake. But, who uploads a pic without looking to see that it's the right one????

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Interesting Sherry because I have used those pics in the recent past, couldn't tell you what books but definitely in the last few months.  but I know better now!

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Well, at least they weren't submitting nude personal pictures.

... or were they? ;-)

Date Posted: 6/23/2008 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2006
Posts: 725
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Sorry I forgot to put this on my watch list after posting. and haven't been in the forums today. Please see my clarification in the opening box. Thanks Sherry and Sarra for picking up my slack and answering all the questions.

Jane... No nude pictures and gosh I hope no one tries!



Subject: ???
Date Posted: 6/24/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2008
Posts: 30
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Sarradee, can you explain "Use the Upload Book Covers link NOT the Edit Book Data link"?  I have never seen an Upload Book Covers link on this site.  I have always used the Edit Book Data link, and none of my images has ever been approved.  Where should I look?

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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Upload Book Covers is on every page, right next to the Edit Book Data link. You have to use Upload Book Covers if you want your images to upload properly.

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2006
Posts: 725
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Look at the bottom of this page for a Upload Book Covers link. Every page has one. You can also on most books click on the blue box icon and it will take you to an upload page with the ISBN prefilled for you.


Date Posted: 6/24/2008 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2008
Posts: 26
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"I have never seen an Upload Book Covers link on this site. I have always used the Edit Book Data link, and none of my images has ever been approved."

Being new, I used the Edit Book Data page to submit a few covers, and maybe half of them were approved within a couple of days. When I read this thread a few days ago, I went through my bookshelf and uploaded cover images for all the books without one through the Upload Book Covers page, and all of the books but one had the cover image by the next day.

I noticed one book on my bookshelf still missing a cover and couldn't remember which method I had used for it, so I uploaded the cover from Upload Book Covers. However, I got a message saying "The images were skipped because there is already a pending image waiting for approval in the system." It seems odd that it is taking so many days.

Last Edited on: 6/24/08 8:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I have another question. I know it says to only upload pics less than 5 MB. Is a KB less than a MB or more than a MB?