Manic Monday: Copyright and How It Can Affect You...

Photo from Stock Xchng.
Just got zinged for using a photo on his blog without permission!
If you're like me and you blog, and if you're like me and you put photos on your blog then you're already aware of copyright issues. Most people know that if you use photos in your blog you have to be very careful, you cannot just grab any photo off the internet and use it in a blog post. I get most of my photos from Stock Xchng, RGB Stock, and MorgueFile. All are excellent resources for stock photos and all I have to do is give a credit and they're free.

How this subject came to my attention again was that I noticed on another blog that the author had stopped doing a Man Candy day due to concerns about copyright. Meaning they didn't want to run afowl of photographers who had taken the photos. This is one reason I decided not to post these types of photos directly to my blog initially, and decided to have a Pinterest board instead. Imagine my surprise when doing research to see that photographers can still sue Pinterest which actually ends up being you since their contract states clearly that you agree that any situations where a photographer or company claims copyright and that they're going to sue, you are responsible for all costs. That's right, Pinterest is not responsible, you are! Needless to say, I had missed that little tidbit when reading through the contract initially. I admit I skimmed it, like I do most online contracts. However, when I saw this, I knew I had to take down at least one of my boards. I certainly can't afford it if someone decides to sue me over a photo on my blog, so that being the case I deleted my Male Eye Candy Pinterest board. However, the eye candy has not gone away! LOL I created a new board Man Candy and it only has photos I can legally use. The way I found these types of photos was by going to Flickr, and doing an advanced search that had creative common's licenses, and had photos that could be altered and changed, and could be used commercially. I figured that way I was covered. And Pinterest links back to the photographer on Flickr so it works well for everyone. I also may decide to start tweeting and or FB'ing links to man candy. But we'll see. This was an idea mentioned to me by another author as a way to get around this. So, if you want to take a look, here's the link to my new Man Candy Pinterest Board!

I guess the moral of this story is be very sure that you can use that photo legally, otherwise you can wind up with a heap of trouble and lots of legal bills. If you want to know more about this and who the author was who ran into trouble because of a photo on her blog, you can read it here.

Want some legitimate places to find photos for your blog? Here's a list that I use, and yes, you still have to give credit as to where you got the photo, the only one you don't I believe is MorgueFile.

1. Stock Xchng
2. MorgueFile
3. RGB Stock
4. Free Digital Photos
5. Free Range Stock
6. Pixel Perfect Digital
7. Free Media Goo
8. Open Photo Net
9. Flickr Be very sure with Flickr that you go to Advanced Search and select Creative Common's License, Find Content to Use Commercially, Find Content to Modify, Adapt or Build Upon to be sure you can legally use the photo.
10: Flickr: Wanas This is a group of writers with blogs who decided to provide photos they had taken and make them available to other bloggers, all you have to do is give a credit to the photographer and you can use them without reprisal for free!

Another great resource for photos for your blog are photos in the Public Domain. This means you do not have to credit anyone and you can use the photos for just about anything at all.

Here are some resources for Public Domain Photos:

1. Wikipedia: Public Domain Images Resources 
2. Public Domain Pictures
3. Image After
4. Public Domain Photos
5. Public Domain Images
6. Pixabay This site has many wonderful free photos, vectors and drawings submitted by fantastic photographers and artists. While you don't need to give a credit, this site reminds us that photos of people or properties you need to get permission from the person or owner before using for commercial purposes. (You're okay for using on your blog though)
7. PD Photo

I'm always amazed at how so many people think you need to buy stock photos when there are all these resources that you can use at your fingertips.