Sued for using Right Click

blog use photos

Do not right click for blog use!

As a person who works frequently with images, I wanted to share some thoughts on intellectual property, blogging and crafts…

You see, it is really easy with the internet to just google and then right click/save as the perfect photo and plop it into the perfect post or onto the perfect project.  We all know that photos help blogs to pop and can take a craft from simple to awesome!  A great photo can pull a person in and help them to stay and look around.  It helps search engines to find our blogs as well.  Unfortunately, depending on the picture, this practice may be illegal.  And to add insult to injury, ignorance is not a defense.

“Well that’s not fair!” you say.  “I gave credit!” “They put the image out there, so they must want people to use it.”  “I have a disclaimer.” “It helps them to be known…”  Unfortunately also not true.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this BLOGGER BEWARE story.

Images are interesting things.  They are the intellectual property of the person who created them… just like a canvas or a book.  Each image has a worth and as images are passed around like candy, they lose their unique quality.  The image is devalued. (Napster flash back anyone? Anyone?)  And here’s the thing… many people rely on income from those images to support themselves and their families.  I actually had the printer I work with tell me the other day that he regularly gets customers in who have right clicked and saved an image to print for their house… doh!  They will pay for decent printing but not the work that goes into the image?!  Geez…

So how do you find quality images?  With the bolded terms in mind, you can begin to look…

Some creators are very willing to share images and do so under “creative commons.”  Meaning, we bring things and share them, but typically with some stipulations.  Some images and sites will say “free for commercial use” meaning, go ahead, use it as you like.  Some images are “royalty free” meaning, once you buy it, you can use it as many times as you like, you don’t have to pay to use it over and over again.  Others have limited terms of use, meaning, use it only in this specific way or its OK if you link back/attribute to me, etc.  If you do not see these things, simply contact the creator.  They may share!  If those terms are NOT there, do NOT assume that it is OK to use.

Some places to look for blog images if you are not into taking or making your own:

Google search/images:  You actually can use this method, you just need to carefully screen your images first.  To the right side of the screen, you will find a gear.  If you click it, you will find Advanced settings. Make sure to adjust the images according to what you need.

compfight.com: This resource is cool because it gives you the specifics of what you need to do to use an image properly.  You can buy some as well as attribute properly for others and it differentiates them accordingly which is even better. It makes use of flickr capabilities to search tons of images.

photos in blogs

Look for license information before you use it!

stock.xchng: This site is great because it also tells you up front about license and usage of an image.

stockphotosforfree.com:  In order to download images from this site, you will need a free account.  It appears that all images have the same terms of use but always check before you use!

For a great in depth discussion about all of this licensing terminology, check out this article by john.do.

Remember, as with anything, you often get what you pay for.  Paying a dollar for a great image may go a long way to promoting your site when you compare it to not so professional free images.

Long story short, check before you use!  Better yet, take the time to make it yourself!

Thanks for reading and happy creating!

13 thoughts on “Sued for using Right Click

    • Glad you found it useful! It’s something we don’t think about often so hopefully this will help other bloggers use photos the right way from the get go! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  1. When I started blogging I couldn’t get my head around the whole images thing and what could and couldn’t be used so to play it safe I now use Fotolia and pay for the images, or I use my own. Occasionally I have used the ones from Wikipedia which pop up under your post as you type and make sure that I leave the credit in. Thanks for sharing some great info. 🙂

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