You’ve been tapping away furiously at the keyboard for hours. You’ve edited and rewritten your post hundreds of times. You’ve agonised over your title and you’re ready to go. But your prized post needs a visual impact. Something to entice readers to read your post. It needs a picture.
“Ah thats ok I can get one off Google because if it’s on Google then anyone can use the photos right? ” Whowww hang on, that’s a definite nono. Using someone else photo without their permission is wrong ethically and may be illegal.
To keep it simple if you took the photo you can use it as you generally own the copyright. If you didn’t take the photo you don’t own the copyright so you cant use it . Unless you have been given permission by the owner.
“But I can use any photo if an attribute it to the owner right?” Noooooo. Its a mistake to think that everyone is happy with a link back to their site for using a photo but as far as the law is concerned its a no. Copyright law gives the copyright owner the right to decide if and where they give permission for their work to be used. So if they don’t want their photo on your site they don’t have to give permission.
‘But you said I need a photo, I don’t have the time to take every photo”
There are sites that have whole libraries full of photos that have been offered with Public Domain images that you can use. Some may just want some simple attribution but check each site’s policies. Heres a few for you to try
Few other things you might not know.
An image doesn’t have to a watermark or the copyright symbol to have copyright.
If you get a DMCA or a ‘Cease and Desist’ notice you cant blame your web-designer or anyone else. If your site so the liability is with you.
Lastly just because you see other people doing it, it doesn’t mean you can.