Free pictures of Jesus.. Free Jesus Wallpaper.. Free Jesus pics downloads. Its all over the internet.. Really? Its past time for this illegal activity to stop.
This issue has truly gotten out of control and I want to talk about whats REALLY going on. With love & humility, to explain, rebuke & challenge our Christian family on this issue. The websites that offer the free Jesus art.. and the folks who use it. Even though the website may say its ok for non-commercial, if its newer than 1924 its NOT. So here goes..
As the spiritual war increases, the devil attacks with his best most subtle ploys.. greed and power trips disguised as Christian works. The TRUE motive for “Free Pictures of Jesus” is ALL about traffic. Surprised? Read this entire post before you object. The greed stems from how many folks will click on a website so the “ads” there pay the owner. And the power? who has the most followers! Like any social network, followers help spread your message.. but when you are cheating to get them, what message are you truly sending? And this seemingly small sin is then shared with all those who download the beautiful art because they know it must be copyrighted… and they think about this each time they use the free art.. just small sins.. in sheep’s clothing? humm..
What bothers me is that some of the sites doing this have really great content. Much info, great links and creating deep discussions about Jesus. How very sad.. Lets look at all angles. First of all, it is illegal! Just type in “pictures of Jesus” in your search engine. Notice all the sites on the 1st page and their desciptions. If you click on these sites, you will see beautiful copyrighted artworks offered as Free Jesus picture downloads and/or Free Jesus wallpaper… but ALSO notice the “ads” on the pages. Do you really think they have permission to offer these images freely? or even just to show the images on their site? Noooo.. So why do they? Because its worth the traffic versus the risk that the artists will spend the time & money to prosecute.. and they may also try to cover this greed based use with the excuse that the Art is “for God’s people” anyway! Humm.. ok, lets consider that..
There are tons of great legal public domain art they could use, but nooo.. they include newer popular artworks because it draws more visitors & sharing (and ad views) and thats the REAL point here. TRAFFIC.. Show me one site that offers free Jesus art without ads or social sharing! Lets consider the art being God’s and not the artist’s right to control. If we go with that thinking, then everything we create is God’s and should be given away free. Whatever way/talent the Lord gave you to make your living.. whatever product or service you produce should be free, as its all from God’s hands anyway. Its all or nothing folks.. I like the ALL FREE idea but we are not in Heaven yet.. how would you make your living? What did God intend? think on this.
I’ve been a Christian art dealer for over 10 years so I know many artists well. And always drawn to the creative, I also know many musicians, writers and other artistic types. You surely know some too. Have you noticed what most have in common? They are all VERY sensitive.. they feel life & emotions on very deep levels and so are able to touch us with these emotions through their art, words & song! But they pay a price for this great talent from God.. this great sensitivity. Have you noticed it too? They are often withdrawn from main stream society.. too sensitive to deal with daily pressures.. often unsuccessful in “normal” vocations.. and some are long tormented souls. They live to create.
I’m just saying that God gave us all talents to use and weave into the fabric of life… and to support ourselves financially. Most artists I know need their art to support them. How sad it would be if any of our wonderful Christian artists had to work construction and damaged their very gifted hands. What magnificent images we would miss? NO! Their talent & work contribution IS their art.. and they deserve to control it and be paid, just as we do for our work. If you know any artists, you know this is true. Are we not all artists with our talents before God?
So whats the answer? Surely we want to spread the love & message of our Lord, but lets not corrupt it. Again, I feel certain that most folks know they are downloading illegal art and the point is that now they and all whom they share it with are brought into the sin these “Free Jesus Art” sites offer. Because each time they want to ”just” print it for a friend.. or on a flyer for a small event.. or whatever, they hear that small voice that says they could get in trouble.. that its not right.. that they should ask somebody.. and they often call me. Ahh.. sly Satan.
I challenge these “Christian” sites-> If you are truly just offering these images to share Jesus with the world, CONTACT the artists to ASK for permission (I can help).. and then SHOW on your site that you TRULY HAVE permission so folks won’t feel guilty or worry. Also consider removing the “ads” that are paying you from these “Free Pictures of Jesus” pages.. without the ads, the artists may consider your motives more true and agree. Do it right and make the Lord’s message PURE for His sheep that find you. How can you do otherwise?
Last- Warning & Facts- Why aren’t these website owners prosecuted?? Like any court issue, its usually too expensive & time consuming.. BUT to the copyright infringed, TAKE HEART! There is a FREE & EASY fix that few know about. All you must do is “make an effort” to contact the website to ask them to remove your copyrighted material. If they don’t show contact info, or don’t respond or remove the copyrighted art asap, then you just contact the search engines to have the pages REMOVED! THINK- Being removed from Google searches is a HUGE threat as traffic is the REAL motive!
But what about “Fair use”? In a nutshell, this loophole doesn’t apply when- a) the image is over 50% original b)the use is not intregal to a specific teaching c) and money is being made from its use. Facts are facts and fair is fair. “Fair use” is meant for school teachers, not website power plays run rampant. The mere threat of infinging pages being easy to remove from search engines should get your copyrighted work removed asap. I doubt seriously any of these websites want to disappear.
Below is the link to report & remove the pages from Google. Do know that Google gives you an example case as a strong warning about complaining when its “Fair Use”. Re-read my paragraph above on that. Also see the 2nd link below for GREAT info on determining whats “Fair Use”. Last below that is a bit more info & example verbage you could use.
Google Copyright Infringing websites reporting page
GREAT site explaining Copyrights & Fair Use
Great NEWS!! Read this from The Guardian 6/18/12
“Last month Google announced it was receiving more than one million requests a month from copyright owners seeking to pull their content from the company’s search results. Fred von Lohmann, Google’s senior copyright counsel, said copyright infringement was the main reason Google had removed links from search terms. He said the company had received a total of 3.3m requests for removals on copyright grounds last year, and was on course to quadruple that number this year. The company complied with 97% of requests.”
The Copyright Act unequivocally establishes the four factors used to determine fair use:
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (does its use create income? or is it intregal to a free specific teaching?)
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (was the work created for profit or for free giveaway?)
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; (is the work a small part of a bigger whole or is it over 50% your work?)
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. (Do you sell the work? Does website infer its free use?)
Example complaint verbage against a “Free Jesus Images” site-
The first webpage linked in the “infringing box” below comes up in top Google results for “fill in the blank if applies” and displays nearly 200 Jesus images. It also offers them as a free download (or wallpaper) from that webpage. Since Google requires a seperate complaint per image, this complaint is specific to the image that is on the 3th row up from bottom, 2nd picture from left, showing Jesus knocking on a door. This image is the copyrighted artwork titled “fill in the blank” by artist “fill in the blank” and I have proof that I am the copyright holder (or authorized to speak on the copyright holder’s behalf).
Using the Copyright Act’s four factors to determine fair use, it does not meet this exclusion because:
(use & word accordingly those which apply)
1. This website creates income from the ads shown on this infinging page. There is no teaching or educational info given specific to or requiring the use of this specific image. There is no info that this website is a non-profit educational organization.
2. this art was not created for free use
3. 100% of image is the copyrighted work
4. the copyright holder offers this image for sale through his personal website and/or authorized dealers. Therefore any “free” unapproved use effects the income and value of the legally sold versions and/or use permissions.
I have verified that this image is included in the download or wallpaper offerings from this website and that the copyright holder did not authorize the display or download of his copyrighted image from this website.
Some time ago I was able to find contact information to reach the website owner and advise of these infringements. He expressed no intent of stopping the infringements and now his contact info has disappeared from the website. I request Google take appropriate actions including the removal of this webpage from its search results asap.
Folks.. its your works, your income & your authority. Protect them!