Internet Image Copyright Confusion…
Over the weekend, I was putting a website up for a client and had a friend popping in and out of Skype keeping me company as it got late (yes, I am that dedicated!)
Every now and then I would ask him to load the site and comment.
One of the pages had a graphic illustration and my friend suggested an alternative. I’m always open to suggestions, although an image replacement would have to be approved by the client. So I asked him to send it over, let’s have a look.
The image was a perfect match to the page…
… until I asked where the image was from!
Pictures From Google Images Are Subject To Image Copyright…
Like many people using the Internet, my friend thought that because an image shows in Google’s image search, it can just be downloaded and used.
This is a big Internet myth!
I’m not any sort of copyright expert or legal eagle, but I do know this…
As soon as you put:
- pen to paper,
- brush to canvas,
- fingers to keyboard,
- take a picture,
- basically create anything original…
… you own the copyright. You don’t need to apply for copyright ownership. In fact, you don’t even need to display the copyright symbol.
It doesn’t matter where your work is published either – even if it’s on the Internet.
Another misconception is it’s OK to use if you give credit to the artist.
That’s a myth too. You do need permission to re-print or re-use the work.
Many people who publish online choose to waive some of their rights and allow reprinting and re-use under a Creative Commons Licence. The terms of the licence may vary, in most cases accreditation is required.
You can’t take this copyright waiver for granted though.
A free picture maybe worth a thousand words but, if you’re not careful that saving may cost you more…
At best, we’re talking about a polite removal request. Worst case – removal of the offending page(s) from the internet, possible removal of your website by your host or even Court action…
You’re a business, you don’t need that hassle…
Before you use images on your business website or blog, do check the image copyright information. If there are no copyright details, ask the original owner if it is OK to use their work. If in doubt, find another image!
If You Can’t Use Google Image Search, Where Do You Get Images For Your Website?
Every Stock Photo is a great royalty free image directory. It searches images from several sources that publish under the Creative Commons licence.
Of course, you can always create your own images. Taking photos of your business – staff and products in use etc. adds a nice personal touch to your website and blog.
What are your views on image copyright? Do you try to abide by it or just find it confusing?Image Copyright - A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words? by Jan Kearney