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