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I am writing my Thesis about Machine Learning and for that purpose I am searching for Databases with Pictures. I have seen that some people just download pictures from Google Images with a script and there are a lot of tutorials how to do that. I know that some of those pictures have a copyright.

Am I allowed to use those pictures for my (non commercial) Thesis? Do I have to filter them by the license and look on every site the picture appears?

  • You might try ccsearch.creativecommons.org – Brandin Oct 31 at 11:55
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    This question seems more suited to Academia StackExchange. See also (and possible duplicate) on Academia Stackexchange: How can I find images to use in my thesis that are free/unrestricted by copyright? – Brandin Oct 31 at 11:59
  • @Brandin I posted it here after I read that: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/274963/… – Ludy Oct 31 at 12:12
  • Yes, that is probably in the context of software licensing, like computer programs and source code. Anyway if you look at that Academia answer you will see some other information that might help you for this specific issue. Your aspect about ML is interesting though since you usually will want big quantities and limiting your learning material to specific licenses will probably just make your model worse than the researchers who are ignoring licenses and just taking everything that is available. – Brandin Oct 31 at 12:40
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I know that some of those pictures have a copyright.

All those pictures are protected by copyrights. Some of them may have an explicitly stated copyright license.

Am I allowed to use those pictures for my (non commercial) Thesis? Do I have to filter them by the license and look on every site the picture appears?

When you are not the copyright holder and you don't have a license, then you are not allowed to use those pictures, unless your usage falls under a "fair use exemption" in the copyright law. That the usage is non-commercial is by itself not an exemption.

This means that for each picture you want to use, you will have to obtain a copyright license. Sometimes the owner will have made it clear already what license applies and sometimes you will have to contact the owner to negotiate a license.

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