What You Don’t Know About
Could REALLY Hurt You!
Bloggers & Marketers beware!
Image misuse is a dirty secret among some bloggers and social marketers.
(And many of these individuals are people who get bent out of shape and acting hurt when someone then steals their posts… but I digress…)
If the morality of it isn’t enough for you, authorities are much more actively helping individuals that own images pursue legal action against thieves.
Now any image can be drag-and-dropped into http://images.google.com and Google will tell you where all the matching copies are! (Hint: Your no longer “safe” just because your blog is crappy and doesn’t rank well.)
When it comes to the images you must:
1) Own purchased rights to all images you use, and know the license limits, or….
2) Be using public domain images, or
3) Be using “commercial use allowed, creative commons, attribution required” and providing a link from that page to the author as specified in that image, or…
4) Create the image yourself!
Random images taken from Google should NEVER be used (on Facebook, your blog, wherever) as you are at high risk of violating copyright.
Royalty Free images (such as from 123RF & iStockPhoto above) are still purchased images. They are not free, just that you do not have to pay a royalty on every single time you use them. Keep in mind that many have strict rules about usage and can not be used in products you plan to make available for reselling (like PLR).
You can also get images from Flickr’s creative commons search but remember you MUST link to the source from the page the image is used on and give credit to the author. That means that these images (in whole or in part) are NOT able to be used as Facebook Cover images because there is no way to put the backlink on the same page effectively. (Clicking to see the link does not qualify).
The last thing you want is a copyright holder sending a shut-down notice to your hosting company and taking your site offline while you battle in court. I’ve met numerous people now who HAVE been busted. One guy I met at the Niche Affiliate Marketing System (NAMS) conference had to pay over $16,000 – Definitely something you want to avoid!
I purchase credit bundles through 123RF.com so I’m never tempted to go steal images.
When I can NOT find an image, I make one, even if it’s very rough, and maybe just words, in my graphics program (paint.net). This lets me still have the image that Facebook and other sites need for thumbnails, while not breaking any laws.
I also try to avoid sharing blog posts and other content that I know has (or often has) stolen images. The corrosion of “safe harbor” laws endanger me … and besides, I don’t share a thief’s content with my friends.
(Many people however are stealing “simply” because they don’t realize that Google Images is not a free image pool for them to use as they please!)
Remember that your business is your business. Treat it as such. Take care of it. (And get a LegalShield plan to protect it when things DO go wrong!)
Where do you get YOUR images from? What’s your favorite source?
~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing
PS: If you have an image that you’re trying to track down the original source of, try this simple method known as a reverse image search.