Some of you are blogging or writing articles for your websites. Yea! It’s great for business. Some of you are inserting images into those posts and articles. Yea! Readers like pictures. My question to you is: Are you ALLOWED to use those images?
If your answer is: “Well, it was on the internet so I can use it, right?!” or “I just found it on Google Images …” then you need to read on!!
You did not take that photo. You did not make that image. Therefore, you CANNOT USE that photo or image. It is copyright infringement and it is illegal per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). Yup. There’s a law. Google breaks it daily, but that is another story.
So, what do you do? Skip images altogether in fear of doing the wrong thing? Well, no. The following sites let you use their images copyright-free as long as you attribute it to them.
By attribute, I mean that they want credit. Fair enough, right?! It is easy to do, too. When you copy the image to your hard drive (in order to upload it later), make the file name their name. In other words, if some guy named Joe took a picture on morguefile.com, name your file >>> joe-morguefile-window cleaning ladder. Once you upload the image, anyone who hovers over it can see this attribution and you are all good.
Flickr.com is a great place for images, but they are the one exception to the above rule, in that some of the folks on there do NOT want you to use their images. This is easy enough to solve though; when you search for images on Flickr, do an Advanced Search and check these two boxes:
OK – lecture over. Carry on 🙂