Friday, July 20, 2012

Blogging Pitfalls: Photos and Copyright Law

Sharing media files on the internet is easy. Post what you want into a search engine and undoubtedly you'll be able to find it in some form or fashion. We all know that we shouldn't be downloading or using copyrighted material such as books, music, movies, etc. But, what about pictures? I had my eyes opened this week by one of my favorite bloggers and authors, Roni Loren. On her blog today, she opened up about her story on being sued for using photos on her blog. I highly encourage you to read her cautionary tale here.
As a writer, I would hate for someone to illegally download or use my copyrighted work. Therefore, I do not want to do it to anyone else. Thus, I'll be going through my blog to make sure that every picture used is credited appropriately and abides by copyright laws. This is not simply out of a fear of being sued, but to ensure that the artists receive the proper respect. The old saying, "Treat others how you want to be treated" applies.
For more information about types of copyrights, check out this great post by Meghan Ward. If you'd like to find images for your blog be sure they contain a Creative Commons license, you can find them through sites like

What do you think about copyright licenses for images? If you are a blogger, do you worry about this for your posts?


  1. An excellent warning, and something we don't necessarily think about when it comes to pictures. But we should! You're right, art is art, be it writing or pictures.

  2. Difinitely eye-opening. Since I'm a photographer, I was very aware of that for photos. But I honestly didn't follow the thought through for free clipart and gifs (like that caution sign above). I'd hate to end up paying out a lawsuit for "free" stuff that someone else posted without permission, so I've gone through and taken those off too. I do have about 4 sites that only post their copyrighted stuff that I'll use in the future.

  3. It hurt my heart to read Roni's post today. I've been so out of the social networking scene that I was not aware she was going through this. But I'm so glad that she shared her story with everyone so we can benefit.

    I know have on my looooong list of to-do's to go through my blog and try to either replace the pics with those under Creative Commons, or remove them entirely. I agree with you, it's not out of fear of being sued, it's simply a matter of doing what's right and doing unto others as you'd like them to do unto you.

  4. It's daunting going through all of the blog posts, but I figure a little each day, and it'll get done. I've also added a Terms of Service to my site. I think it's always better to be on the safe side. Best to all of you.

  5. Thanks for posting this. I know I never pull photos from art of photography sites, but I'll be on my guard now. Thanks! :)

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