When you find that perfect image on Google, but guess what, that doesn’t make it yours to use. We know, shocking.
If you’re a designer, working as a freelancer or within an advertising agency, blogger or any type of content creator you might want to read this so you never, ever make this mistake. Unless you like to live on the edge, this may be a US10,000 copyright infringement lesson you may want to learn the hard way.
Let’s get to the “that’s no excuse” list.
Current Fair Use image copyright laws say that you’re financially liable for posting copyrighted images, even if:
• You did it by accident –
We aren’t quite sure how to elaborate on this excuse so let’s carry on.
• You immediately take down the picture after receiving a takedown notice –
So, you got the email explaining you got caught and you quickly edited that blog post, changed that social media ad, took down the billboard. Yea, this still doesn’t count and you’ll be entitled to pay up.
• The picture is resized and/or cropped –
Well big or small it’s the same image really.
• If the picture is licensed to your web developer or designer (get your own license, thank you very much)
Even for royalty free image licensing that comes with perpetual use. If you purchased image/illustration to use on X project, you can use it forever and a day on X project, but no, you can’t use same image on Project G without an additional license. Hush.
• You link back to the photo source and cite the photographer’s name
You are single handedly stifling the potential that intellectual property has to be a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being – Yup
• Your site isn’t commercial and you make no money from your blogs
Using copyrighted content has no relation with what your blog is doing. Very separate. Once you’re using copyrighted content you are responsible for acquiring proper license to use.
• You have a disclaimer on the site
We aren’t even too sure what this excuse is about either 🙂 You’re still liable and will need to license image you’ve taken and will be charged for copyright infringement.
• The pic is embedded instead of saved on your server
Another example where the imagery is separate from whatever it is you’re using it for. Be a part of the solution to strike a balance between the interests of creatives and the public interest, providing an environment in which creativity and invention can flourish, for the benefit of all. Once you’re using copyrighted content you are responsible for acquiring proper license to use.
• You scanned it from a magazine
You get brownie points for the scan and all but still stifling economic development. Once you’re using copyrighted content you are responsible for acquiring proper license to use and will be charged for copyright infringement.
• You found it on the Internet
Good one, but this oldie but goodie excuse will get you nowhere in a rush. You’re still liable and will be charged for copyright infringement.
Realizing that intellectual property has the potential to be a catalyst for economic development and social and cultural well-being is vital. Be a part of the solution to strike a balance between the interests of creatives and the public interest, providing an environment in which creativity and invention can flourish, for the benefit of all.
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