unnoticed by mom and pop website entrepreneurs, and just plain bloggers
who are only trying to help a world gone Upside Down, is the threat of
huge fines for a nearly harmless and forgivable "crime":
which is, unknowingly using copyrighted images chanced upon
the internet, and copying those onto your website for the enjoyment and
amusement of your
visitors. Unfortunately, the fines for doing so include
court costs and
lawyers fees, which probably amount to 99% of any actual damage done to
copyright holders. It doesn't matter that your blog got 2
visitors a week, you still have to pay. And that often
means, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
That's not at all to say that copyrighted images (or audio, or video)
OUGHT to be stolen or
"borrowed". They shouldn't be, even if someone doesn't know
any better. But the problem is proportionality. The
punishment ought to fit the "crime".
But the GOOD news is that you CAN protect yourself from any such
disaster: just don't use any copyrighted images, etc., in
blogs. "But", you ask, "how in the world can I know if any
old image I run into on the internet is copyrighted?" The
answer is, you often CAN know, as shown below. Otherwise, the
safe (and ethical) thing to do is to assume it is copyrighted.
MEDIA: Clearly, any image you take with your own
camera is not copyrighted
(except by you). And here's some breaking news: any
images or text released by the U.S. Government is copyright free.
But aside from that, there are BILLIONS of "free" images.
Such as from http://pixabay.com, and
Here's what you need to know about these trolls, from
is a party (person or company) that enforces copyrights it owns for
purposes of making money through litigation, in a manner considered
unduly aggressive or opportunistic, generally without producing or
licensing the works it owns for paid distribution."
Another link: "Copyright
trolls are coming after you"
SEARCHING THE INTERNET FOR
search for the item of interest: then, click the "Images"
tab; then, once you get a page full of images, click on the "Tools" tab
(above), then use the (newly opened) pull-down menu button "Labeled for
this causes Google to filter
out all images which violate stipulated conditions:
see the free and safe ones -- so feel safe to download and use on your
website. E.g., you
can choose "Labeled for
reuse" or "Labeled for noncommercial reuse", etc.
Much the same for Bing:
click the "Images" tab, then when you get a page full of
on the "Filter" tab (way right on the desktop computer), then use the
pull-down menu labeled
"License", and choose "Public Domain" etc, etc.
provides similar options: e.g., click on an image you like: when it
opens up, click on "More Information" and/or "File Usage" links.
More on reusing Wikimedia images here.