There are a few reasons why I rarely post images on this blog.
1. I’m a terrible artist. If I could draw anything more beautiful than a crooked stick figure, you can bet I’d post an image of it.
2. I’m not that great as a photographer, and in all honesty, I don’t feel like taking pictures, uploading them, resizing them, writing witty captions, etc. Sometimes I do that, but I don’t think I could do it for every single post.
3. There are tons and tons of cool images I’d like to use, but I don’t use them because I’m paranoid about violating someone’s copyright.
So that brings me to the subject of this post: copyright. I was reading Roni Loren’s blog awhile back, and she got in trouble for using a copyrighted photo on her blog. She discusses it in this post, and I learned quite a few things from her experience. The most important thing is that you can’t just find a random picture on Google, slap it on your blog, then post some generic message on your blog saying something like, “I don’t own this image; it is property of so-and-so,” even though that may seem sufficient to avoid problems.
That won’t protect you from getting sued if the owner of the image finds out that you’ve used that image without his/her permission. I guess it’s like downloading music illegally. Everyone does it all the time and think we’ll never get caught or get in trouble because “everyone does it.” But in my eyes, I suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, who wants to pay legal fees?
So before you post an image on your blog, make sure of three things:
1. You have the permission of the copyright owner, or
2. You are using an image that is in the public domain, or
3. The image is one that you have created yourself.
I’m glad that Roni wrote that post; it’s a good warning to everyone who has a blog or any kind of social media account that allows posting and sharing of images. I highly recommend that you read that post… and let others know about it.