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Home » Blogging, Copywriting, Erika Taylor Montgomery, WordPress

4 Ways to Avoid Copyright Infringement with Blog Images

Submitted by on December 4, 2013 – 10:00 amNo Comment

From personal blogs to business blogs, writers of all backgrounds are seeking high quality images to place right next to their creative thoughts. With deadlines and inadequate budgets, often, bloggers will turn to the quickest and cheapest image resource that they can find – Google Images.

Plagiarism is to writer as copy and pasting is to image creator.

Plagiarism is to writer as copy and pasting is to image creator.

Unfortunately, many of these bloggers are unaware that this action is highly illegal.  Copyright infringement is a serious offense that could harm businesses as well as individuals. In fact, one of Three Girls’ clients was flagged for copyright infringement for an image on one of their blog posts and ended up having to pay nearly a $1,000 fine. Although there is no shortage of pictures to choose from a simple Google Image search, it is extremely important to know the following:

1). Avoid Copying and Pasting: We all have come across an image on the Internet that we’ve wanted to repost or share. Yet by taking the next step of actually posting the image to your business blog, you could be committing an outright act of copyright infringement.

2). Research Isn’t Always the Answer: If you’re not sure if an image that your business blog plans to use is copyrighted, then by all means, research it.  A quick Internet search can find out whether an image is registered or not. Even if you find an image that has not been registered, you should assume it has a copyright because copyrights are automatic as soon as the photo is taken or made.

3). Cite Your Source: If you plan on using an image for your business blog, you should always ask permission from its original creator. Yet, if you want to use a blog image, you will then have to deal with Fair Use Laws.  After receiving permission, you are required to cite the source within your business blog. Think of this as no different as having to cite your sources for those big term papers back in college.

4). Use Stock Images: Today, there are a ton of sites that offer stock images that you can feature in your business blog. Sites such as iStock and Shuttershock allow users to search images for free and then pay a small fee for using the images that they want. There are also many royalty free image sites that bloggers can use to find images such as Flickr’s special Creative Commons section, where photographers have given permission for you to use their images for free, as long as you provide the proper attribution. For images found on these sites make sure to look at the license requirements and put a link to the source as well as provide credit to the photographer if you use them. Always read the terms and conditions of each image.

Copy and pasting an image only takes seconds but that act of copyright infringement can harm your business for years to come. Do you have a stock or royalty free image site that you use for your business blog? If so, please share your favorite sites with our readers.

Photo Credit: BigTallGuy

Written by Erika Taylor Montgomery
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