I’ve been reading a few articles about the legality of using photos on blogs. Two posts in particular caught my eye today - Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog – My Story by Roni Loren, who talks about the issues that surround taking images from the internet to use on your blog posts. Most bloggers/social media folk use images from the internet without giving much thought to where they come from or who owns them.
I’m one of them. I figured if I search for something in Google Images, I can save it and use it to illustrate a blog post topic. Turns out that someone somewhere owns that image, and I’m leaving myself open to being sued for using it without permission or paying for it. I always figured that if it’s in the public domain it was free to use.
Now I’m not so sure. I can understand that when a photographer takes a load of pictures, let’s say for a family portrait, then he own those images and sells prints to said family. That way the photographer continues to earn a crust and the family can request addition prints later on.
After all, the original piece of work remains the property of the creator, be that photo, video, sculpture, writing etc, unless some sort of contract is agreed to whereby the artist has relinquished all right to that creation.
The second post that grabbed my attention was WANA Commons–Beautiful Blog Images without the Worry by social media Jedi Kristen Lamb. She has set up a Flickr Group called WANA Commons - WANA standing for We Are Not Alone – and designed for bloggers to share their photographs.
Share your photos How To Guide.
All you need to do is set up a Flickr account, don’t worry it’s free and easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
Upload your images and add your tags and a Creative Commons Licence:
As you can see I’ve added the tags to a photo of my dog, Ben. If you want to share your photographs with a group like WANA Commons, add the tag WANACOMMONS and your name. Click EDIT next to the Create Commons Licence, if you’re not sure what options to use visit the Creative Commons website and learn what’s best for you. There’s also a UK based Creative Commons website.
Here’s a quick explanation of what Creative Commons means, taken from the UK site:
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that assists authors and creators who want to voluntarily share their work, by providing free copyright licences and tools, so that others may take full and legal advantage of the Internet’s unprecedented wealth of science, knowledge and culture.
When you get to the group just click the ADD PHOTOS button.
And here you’ll be given a simple boxy thing where you click the photos you have already uploaded to your Flickr account. You can only click 6 at a time, so be patient if you have lots you want to share with the group.
So these are the photos in my account. I clicked 6 on each row and the appeared in the box on the right. Then click Add To Group and hey-presto you’re sharing your photos with the group.
Because it’s all about creating a community where people can share their media to use on their blogs. You could visit a paid site where you can buy photo’s, and sometimes that’s a very good option if you’re looking for a more professional look for your project or simply want a wider variety of images to choose from.
There are plenty of sites that have plenty of options like royalty free images, subscription based services where you can use a certain number each month and so on. Whether you pay to use images or not I think it’s good practice to give credit to an image.
WANA Commons is an excellent way to share your photos with other bloggers and writers without worrying about the legality of using something without permission. I’m more than happy to let someone use my images so long as they give credit, a simple bit of text under the photo stating my name, or at the end of the article, is more than sufficient.
Sadly I’m well aware of being hypocritical here as I seldom remember to add a name or link to images I use on my blog. But that is going to change. From now on I’ll make every effort to ensure any image I use is done correctly and provide a name and link for the original owner.
Do you have any thoughts on using images you use taken from the net?
I was intrigued by the Weekly Photo Challenge this week because whilst I have recently snapped a few photos that show movement, those that really caught my eye showed little or none at all! As you can see, our dog Ben (Benji, BenTen, BenBen, Benjamina…aaand so on) has the knack for staying very still. This doesn’t reflect his true nature where he usually lives life at a hundred miles an hour. Buy hey, that’s a lot of energy and he deserves a rest!
Doesn’t he look so comfy cosy right there? I took about 30 photos of him dozing and slumbering, something of a rarity considering he spends most of his waking hours sniffing, licking and chasing stuff, not to mention begging me to throw his beloved tennis ball.
This last photo I took in our back garden a few days ago. Given that a lot of the UK has been subjected to torrential rain this week, it seemed appropriate to show how our neck of the woods has survived the drenching for the most part. I loved how the clouds seemed to be smeared across the sky by the movement of the wind around them, as if they somehow had mass like sand and were slowly eroding.
Went to the beach today, a lovely place called Wells-next-the-Sea in North Norfolk. Talk about hot, you could have fried an egg on the sand…well, not that anyone was, but there were plenty of barbecue smells wafting across the beach! I took some happy colourful photos for you to enjoy!
We found a spot out in the centre on a bunch of sand dunes. Forgive the scruffy old trainers, they’ve seen better days, but they make walking across the hot sand easier than bare feet! The family behind the wind breaker had a barbecue on the go, we could see the smoke but thankfully we were up wind and couldn’t smell what had to be the mouth-watering burgers!
I quite like this photo, mainly because of the contrails from the air-plane high in the sky and the thought of the holiday people on board heading somewhere hot, only to miss out on pretty amazing weather right here in the UK! We never bothered to walk to the actual sea as it was low tide and would have taken a loooong time get there!
That bit of blue you can see through the grass isn’t the sea but a strip of water, the sea is beyond the mass of sand and not actually visible from where we were camped out.
Beach huts line the edge of the beach, a couple were a little run down but the majority appear to be very well looked after. Brings to mind the golden age of the British beach where men wore those funny striped getups and it was against the law to show more than 4% of your body!
Wells-next-the-Sea wasn’t jam-packed with people like some beaches, there were wide open spaces, children playing, dogs dashing about, sand castles being constructed, barbecues sizzling and smoking, laughter, fun, games and good all round happy fun times! What a marvellous way to spend a Sunday afternoon, wouldn’t you agree dear blog reader?