Use Images Carefully - They May be Copyrighted and You Could be Sued
It’s funny, a couple of months ago I accidentally deleted a lot of my images in GooglePlus. Because of this accident, the images in the blog posts at Writers on the Move were deleted. The grey generic circle took their place.
At the time, I was annoyed with myself and warned everyone to be careful when deleting photos in their Google+ accounts. Using images is an effective way to make our blog posts more engaging. It’s an effective marketing tool.
Well, I recently read two SCARY articles from bloggers, one a PR company, who were sued for using copyrighted images in their blogs without permission. In both cases, it wasn’t done intentionally, but none the less they were sued for a significant amount of money and had to pay.
I don’t copy images off the internet to post on my blogs, at least not that I can remember doing. For years, I’ve used image services like, BigStock.com and buy images when needed. I also use Microsoft Word’s Clipart. And, lately, I’ve been creating my own images, like the one above. I bought the image of the rabbit holding a sign then added the "Be Aware" and background color.
Going back to the articles I read, it was mentioned that even Pinterest could be problematic. Comments mentioned that Pinterest protects itself and if you are caught repinning an image you don’t have the copyright to, you’ll be on your own.
I haven’t read the fine print on the site, so don’t know for sure. It’d be interesting to find out though. I’m thinking of eliminating my boards that could be a problem, like my Around the World and One Day. I love the images on them, but they’re not worth possibly being sued over.
So, should this concern ordinary, run-of-the-mill bloggers?
This isn’t just a scenario heavy-hitter sites need to worry about. It’s something anyone blogging with images needs to be concerned about, unless your 100% sure your images are safe.
I’m including the links to both articles because I think everyone should be warned about this. Ignorance of copyright laws won’t save you. Adding attribution or taking the image down won’t save you. It’s time to rethink image use before it’s too late.
You’ll learn a whole lot more from these articles:
"Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story"
(Read the comments also for tips on safe images)
"How using Google Images can cost you $8,000"
I love to know what you think of this using images in your posts. And, it'd be great if you share where you get your images from.