Oh Snap, Can I (Legally) Use that Photo?

Everyday we search for just the right photo for our post on our blog, Facebook or Google+ from a wide variety of sources. But do you have the legal right to use the photo just because it’s online? No. Can you get in trouble for this? Yes. Let’s look at what you can and can’t do to remain a good citizen of the web.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that just because the photo is online that you can post it anywhere. That is NOT true. Don’t do it.

Can I post a photo from Pinterest and put the link to Pinterest as the photo credit? No.

From attorney +Sara Hawkins  attribution does not make it right.

“Taking another person’s image or graphic and giving them a “shout out,” linkback, or any other type of attribution does not negate copyright infringement.”

So, when you need a photo how can you find something that you can use? Here’s a list of 11 places to get a free and legal photo for your blog. “The bottom line is if you can’t afford a stock photo, you certainly can’t afford the fine that comes from stealing one.”
link: http://www.authormedia.com/11-places-to-get-a-free-and-legal-photo-for-your-blog/

An important point to remember is to properly cite the photo on your blog or social media post once you find a photo that you have permission to use. At the bottom of my blog posts, I add “Photo courtesy of Blah Blah via Creative Commons” with a link in their name to the photo, this is the same text we use on 12 Most. For my social media posts, I list photo credit: NAME/source.

You can also, of course, contact the photographer or artist to request to use permission to use their photo.

I realize that this seems complicated but it really boils down to two main points:

1. If you don’t have permission to use a photo or graphic, don’t use it.

2. Cite all sources. Period.

I hope that this helps you learn a bit more and make more informed decisions on your photo usage. Remember, just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t make it right. Be a good citizen and don’t tarnish your reputation.

More information on the full article.
#DMCA   #bloggingtips   #socialmediatips     #photography  

Photo courtesy of John Carleton via Creative Commons/Flickr.
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