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I want to use

http://data.whicdn.com/images/28250497/we-are-never-satisfied_large.jpg

As cover of my book.

There is a watermark saying supermegatrolled.com

However, it's unlikely that supermegatrolled.com owns the copyright. In fact, the sites use the material anyway without problem.

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marked as duplicate by bybe, John Conde Mar 13 '13 at 2:56

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The above answers your question regardless if there is contactable details or not. –  bybe Mar 10 '13 at 18:25
    
That's not the same question. Basically one way to make money is then to produce a lot of copyrighted works. Don't put copyright notice and wait till some suckers think it's from wikipedia or whatever. –  Jim Thio Mar 11 '13 at 1:34
    
Jim you know you can view the images meta information with some programs. That may contain author information. –  Anagio Mar 11 '13 at 22:28

1 Answer 1

United States copyright law would consider it a copyright violation whether or not you could contact the author or even knew who authored it.

Consider the case in which the author of that work is trying to sell it at their obscure website that you cannot find. Somebody took it off their website and uploaded it to supermegatrolled (a clear violation of copyright). You take the work and use it not knowing who the author is, or how to contact them. The author finds out about your usage and sues you.

In this particular case, it is very easy to find out who the author is. I dragged that image to Google image search to use the "search by similar images" feature. The original source appears to be here: http://neversatisfiedcomic.com/

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I've heard the max liability is $500. For all I know, the drawing can be made in 12th century. –  Jim Thio Mar 10 '13 at 13:19
    
According to Wikipedia, The basic level of damages is between $750 and $30,000 per work but it can go as high as $150,000 for willful infringement. –  Stephen Ostermiller Mar 10 '13 at 13:25
    
Defendant can reduce that to $200 if they can claim that they have no reason to know that the work is copyrighted. However, there is no clear rule on what cases this can work. For example, most graphs in wikipedia picture are probably grey area. Hmm... –  Jim Thio Mar 10 '13 at 13:59

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