Anne-Marie emailed me to tell me about a discussion going on about copyright protection for photos and content. What is the legal position around using other peoples images? Are you OK if you provide attribution? Or is that only CC licensed?
If you look in the comments you will see there is some excellent discussion, I am not sure I can add anything other than what I do.
In preference and safety order
- Create a new photograph myself
- Get permission from the copyright holder and take a thumbnail copy pointing to the copyright holders full sized image, with attribution
- Use a CC licensed image from Flickr and stick within the rules and rights
- Buy a small stock image that does the same job
- Use the thumbnail without permission but still link and attribute the copyright holder
The reality of the web is you can not always get permission in time and while flickr and stock photo sites have large collections there is not always the exact image you need or in the case of stock, the budget to buy it. I would always much rather take a photograph myself but without a lot of time and money the props, equipment and locations aren’t always available.
Inevitably most of us are going to do #5 at least once fully expecting a take-down notice. You might be surprised though when I have used this approach most people have thanked me for the link and traffic. I expect people would be upset if I took the full res image or didn’t attribute of course.
It’s a minefield of ambiguity and I fully agree with this comment from Jonathan …
Most people I talk with could care less about whether they would win in court, but rather, about being sued in the first place. For all practical purposes, small Webmasters want to steer clear of gray areas and, for better or worse, this is one of them.
Making your blog posts illustrated and pretty is not worth a costly legal fight I am sure you will agree!
How do you go about adding images to your posts?