When creating content on the web, one question we come across often is image copyright. With it being so easy to right click and save any old image found on the Internet, it may seem appropriate to use it for your purposes. This post is all about using copyrighted images for your own use and what to watch out for so you don’t run into trouble down the road.
Recently, BizzyWeb received a notification in the mail. It basically stated that we owe the party about $800 for using an adorable little picture of a hamster on a wheel for a post we wrote. Now, we’re not in the habit of plagiarism and it was an honest mistake, but if we can make a mistake, that means it can happen to you!
According to the Social Media Examiner, there are four things you need to keep in mind to stay out of a stick copyright situation:
- Fair use – You are using an image fairly if your post revolves around a description or review of that image. However, if you want the image just to make your post a little snazzier, ask permission or buy a stock photo.
- Alteration of the image – If you’ve altered the image and it no longer resembles the original image, such as using the image in an info graphic or video, you’re in the clear.
- Partial use of an image – If you’re cropping out some of the original image because only part of it is relevant to what you’re talking about, you’re practicing fair use and within copyright law.
- Are you willing to take the risk? – There are many gray areas when it comes to law. Using images from sources in which you didn’t get permission could result in your entire website being taken down.
In the cases of image copyright, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. Consider buying your images or using free images from websites like www.photopin.com. Photopin is a website where original creators of images post their photos to be used for free. In other words, they come with the permission to use them. Be sure to grab the commercial license and give credit to the original photographer if necessary. By making this your regular practice you’ll be able to avoid surprise bills in the mail for incorrectly using an image.
Are you concerned with the content on your website? Whether you’re looking for original content or a way to generate more traffic on your site, BizzyWeb is here to help. Contact us today for a FREE Buzz Report and we’ll help you figure out how you can generate Buzz without getting stung! Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ to be notified of our weekly Buzz Builders calls and updates on the world of social media!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeblogs/3020966268/”>MikeBlogs</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>