Originally Posted by DWFII
As I understand it (I'm the forum admin at another site)...and it has to be spelled out in the terms of usage...any photo or text posted to a forum becomes the property of that forum.
Unless, of course, it was posted without permission. That may seem like a broad caveat but really it's not so much. If the person originally posting the photos owns the shoes and took the photos, then they are his to post. If the photos are widely available on the internet as advertising material, then they are in the public domain. I don't know how the person who posted those photos obtained them (were they stolen?) but if they were taken by the maker, and made available to the public...esp. in the absence of an explicit injunction about reproducing them was ever made...then they are again fair game.
Someone more conversant with Internet law may wish to chime in here and clarify or correct me.
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson
Unfortunately that is not the case. The person or company who has taken the photos always owns the copyright, unless you state otherwise, that they are free of use for everyone. Most forums and blogs don't care about this at all, and posters don't even specify where the pictures are taken from (which in my point of view is a decent thing to do). Most of the time noone cares, but strictly legal, you are braking the copyright laws.
A little late to the game here, but worth clarifying... you are both right... sort of. The original photographer owns rights to the photos, but that doesn't mean no one else can use them. "Fair use" is an exception to copyright law that allows the reproduction of copyrighted material under certain circumstances. What's considered "fair use" varies from case to case, but generally speaking, if the reproduction isn't for profit-making purposes and has no negative impact on the value of the copyrighted work, you'll be fine.
Posting pictures of shoes for discussion purposes in a shoe thread on a clothing forum is almost certainly a "fair use" of copyrighted material. This is also how editorial blogs are able to post pictures that are not their own. Etiquette would have re-posters credit their sources, but while this doesn't always happen, it doesn't give rise to any sort of legal claims under most circumstances.