You must have started blogging or started your own website, writing great articles complimented by images.

But here comes the twist, it’s not feasible to  use any image on the Internet on your blog/website without the permission of the owner or you will be in trouble for copyright infringement and you can be sued under legal terms and your blogging career will be finished before it has actually started.

If you are using images from Google Image Search make sure you are using the Usage Rights tool.

google images

You don’t have to use an image in your article for just the sake of using it. This can be the first step to avoid facing serious problem.

IT DOESN’T MATTER

  • If you link back to the source and list the photographer’s name
  • the picture is not full-sized (only thumbnail size is okay)
  • you did it innocently
  • your site is noncommercial and you made no money from the use of the photo
  • If you didn’t claim the photo was yours
  • If you’ve added commentary in addition to having the pic in the post
  • the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
  • you have a disclaimer on your site.
  • If you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn’t absolve you.)

You can still be sued and your blog/website is KILLED.

 

Here’s why it’s not a good idea to use images from any website:

A majority of images you see on websites do not belong to the organization at all; they are licensed from news or photo agencies like Reuters, AP, AFP, UPI and Getty for use in the publication and/or their websites. Photo subscriptions and licenses are priced according to the paper’s circulation, distribution area and website page views. The licenses never ever include the right to resell or lend the images for use by a third-party.

 

Some photo agencies like Getty are extremely aggressive with pursuing legal action, and it can get costly in a hurry. (Do a Google search for “Getty legal threat” to see what I mean).

 

So where you can find images which are free to use or modify:

 

  1. Creative Commons licensed pics— You can search for photos that are free to use (with some restrictions) through Creative Commons. Usually this means you have to attribute the photo to the owner and link back to their site. (All of my posts now have pics that are under Creative Commons license. And there are actually really great photos available.)
  2. Wikimedia Commons offers free media files anyone can use.
  3. Buy a subscription to a stock photo site — This can be pricey up front but then you have access all year. There are also sites that you can pay per pic.
  4. Use photos that are in the public domain.
  5. Take your own photos and share the love.
  6. Use sites like Pinterest and Tumblr with caution.
  7. Spread the word to your fellow bloggers.

 

Lesson learned: Protect yourself and respect the rights of other artists. Happy Blogging.

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