With so many bloggers out there who like to use photos, this is an IMPORTANT read. Please reblog to share with others.
I have been quite copyright conscious for the better part of the past decade when I started learning about signature tags. Back when MSN had groups, I joined one group to learn how to make them, and joined a few others along the way.
After awhile, groups were starting to get into trouble for using graphics by various artists and a big controversy started in the Signature Tag community. Some artists were willing to work with groups and individuals as long as they followed the artists TOUs. But more groups were found (especially on Yahoo) that didn’t care to follow any copyright rules.
Many artists banded together and came up with a way to allow us to use their graphics; some free of charge, others you had to pay. I thought it was a fair deal, but was saddened that a few of my favorite artists were pay to use; prices were probably fair but I couldn’t afford it. And there were still many groups/individuals who continued using copyright images with disregard to the Artists.
It’s been several years since MSN dropped groups; some moved to forums. I’m not sure whatever became of the people or groups that disregarded Artists copyrights. But I’m guessing there might have been some that were fined or had legal issues.
Anyway… I think bloggers need to be more cautious when using photos. Either use your own or contact the owner and get permission. Otherwise you’re taking a chance of having legal issues like the writer below had.
Here’s what I learned about Fair Use:
It doesn’t matter…
- if you link back to the source and list the photographer’s name
- if the picture is not full-sized
- if you did it innocently
- if your site is non-commercial and you made no money from the use of the photo
- if you didn’t claim the photo was yours
- if you’ve added commentary in addition to having the pic in the post
- if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
- if you have a disclaimer on your site
- if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn’t absolve you.)
NONE OF THAT releases you from liability. You are violating copyright if you have not gotten express PERMISSION from the copyright holder OR are using pics that are public domain, creative commons, etc. (more