Thursday, May 3, 2012

Picture me....

COPYRIGHTS

As bloggers we often search for images to use in our posts. While it's tempting to just Google up something, then copy and paste it, "borrowing" images without permission is a big NO-NO. We, as writers, should be extremely sensitive to this type of copyright infringement.

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I have found several resources that I use a lot for my various blogs and my flash fiction. The first is Morguefile.com. From their home page:
Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!

Wondering about the morgueFile license? Click here
It's also easy to add your own photos to the morgueFile. So, give back because this archive is for creatives by creatives.

Why is it called morgue file? Click here and find out.
When you find a photo you like, scroll all the way to the bottom to see if the photographer has any special requests. A few want a specific credit, many ask for a comment or email (I do both if I can) about how/where you plan to use the photo and some ask for nothing.

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Another site is Photopin.com, designed specifically to put photos in the hands of bloggers and extend the online presence of the photographers. They are very specific in their linking requirement, but very simple to apply. Their about page tells us:

PhotoPin helps bloggers find photos for their blog and makes adding them to their post fast and easy.

Just search for any topic using the search box (ex: HDR, puppies, etc.), preview the photo, and click "get photo" to download the photo as well as the proper attribution link.

PhotoPin uses the Flickr API and searches creative commons photos to use for your blog. (Note: we are not associated with Flickr in any way, other than powering our search results using their API.)
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The last is a fun clip art site, Clker.com, where you can get .PNG files in 3 resolutions, plus SVG & ODG. I often use these to build my own graphic images. According to their terms and disclaimer page:
Clker.com is an online sharing service where users share free public domain vector cliparts, or share public domain photos and derive vector cliparts from those photos using clker's online tracer.
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The one thing all three sites have in common....they need contributors to grow. So if you are a graphic dabbler or a photographer with a stash of old photos, think about contributing to these sites. Oh, and I got my great copyright graphic at Clker!

[If you don't think this is an issue, please read this author's blog - she was sued.]

18 comments:

  1. Might just have to check out those sites, not for photos since we always use our own. But, we may want to contribute some of our own.

    Thanks for the information.

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  2. I'll have to check out these sites. How does the rule for Pinterst work? Just curious. I'm always looking for pics to use, so this is a great resource. Thanks!

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  3. When adding to Pinterest, always link from the original source. When linking from Pinterest, it's better to link from the original source but WITH permission and WITH the appropriate credit.

    Pinterest is becoming a real gray area because folks are linking to blogs and websites that may or may not have permission to use the images.

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  4. Thanks for posting about this, Donna, and raising further awareness. My husband is a commercial photographer, so we've had some discussions about Pinterest and in black and white terms (no pun intended), it definitely ventures into infringement, and the Pinterest terms and conditions hold the 'pinner' liable.

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  5. Great post and a reminder about copyright infringement. It's so easy to forget about it when it comes to pictures.

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  6. Thanks for the links...graphics and photos are always an important resource.

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  7. Pinterest is going to see some rough times ahead, IMHO. I love it for research and inspiration but would never use photos from there for anything public.

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  8. It is easy and so many think that just because it's online, it's free to use anywhere.

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  9. Wow I didn't know that. I'll have to check out the different sites also.

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  10. I also use wikimedia commons (and have added a few pics on there of my own). You just need to look at the licensing (which is very clear) for each photo.

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  11. I'm a bad, bad, blogger. I will check out these sites.
    thanks for the great info!

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  12. Hope you can find something that works for you.

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  13. Thanks, Li, adding that to my list.

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  14. In my early blogging days, I was bad too. As I said, it's so easy to just Google what you're looking for. But the legal route is much smarter... ;-)

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  15. I'm resisting the Catholic urge to confess anything here, but many thanks for the tips. I also edit a topical poetry blog Poetry24 where contributors write poems inspired by news stories, and have wondered whether it's ok to use screen grabs of the original story if it mentions the publication? Like so much else on the internet, it feels like a grey area.

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  16. I used to think that was okay, but it's not. Please read this blog: http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html/

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  17. My favorite site for free-to-use photos is pixabay.com, but I'll be checking out a few of these sites.

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