We all know that a blog with pictures is more interesting than one without.
But what happens when you find that perfect picture that cleverly illustrates your idea…is a copyright violation?
I hate to be the Sober Sally after all these festivities but I know I would rather know this than be in the dark about it.
We all would hate to :
a) violate someone’s copyright but more importantly,
b) be hit with exorbitant legal fees because of that one little innocent picture.
Don’t think it can happen to you?
I saw a tweet late last night that I just had to blog about.
It led me to a BlogHer article by Roni Lauren and it almost chilled me to the bone.
Because I have been guilty of one or MORE of the things this blogger was sued for.
She learned that it does NOT matter:
- if you link back to the source and list the photographer’s name
- if the picture is not full-sized
- if you did it innocently
- if your site is non-commercial 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
- if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
- if 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 need explicit PERMISSION from that photographer or artist for the media you are using.
I know I am!
She also mentions that pictures on PINTEREST could also be infringing some copyrights.
She has deleted most of her pin boards. She suggests finding images that are approved for use under a Creative Commons license, Wikipedia Commons, a subscription to stock photography website, or even the public domain.
For the full article, and Roni’s story, please visit: Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued for Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog.
I might take a few days to go back through my own past posts and swap out pictures for those under public domain. I know I don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to dish out for copyright infringement!