Is That Your Picture?
Copyright laws in the technology era
Remember the good old days, where we would write a research paper by hand, and if we needed a picture we would make a photocopy and attach it. In those days we knew to give credit where credit was due. How about today?
Are we infringing on copyright laws without knowing?
What are the consequences, even if accidental?
Would you be more inclined to read a black and white text article?
Or a colorful, attractive looking article?
Most people prefer the attractive looking choice. Therefore when desigining their website or posting information up to their website, they add color and pictures.
Where do the pictures come from?
While most professionals purchase pictures from places such as bigstockphoto,istockphoto, getty images, shutterstock and the like, newbies may prefer aGoogle image search and use free pictures from Google.
Is there anything wrong with using Google Images?
Actually, there is something wrong with using Google Images.
Google is a search engine. What they do is scour the Internet and index every page of every website, so that when you want to find anything, it will be on your screen in milliseconds.
Therefore when you go to images.google.com and type in a search request, find the desired image, download the picture and use it for your own use, you may be using a copyrighted image which you took from an index provided by Google
What does this mean to you?
If you do a Google Image search for a picture and you use it for any sort of online publication, such as a website, PDF or newsletter, in essence you are using someone else’s image.
This is illegal and if done, you can get charged with copyright infringement.
Have things changed over time?
Years ago, if you “stole” a picture, the odds of the original owner finding out about it were generally slim.
Now, with everything being placed on the Internet and being indexed, it’s much easier and probable to be caught using someone else’s images without paying for it.
The bottom line is before you “borrow” information or images from a source, make sure it’s legal to use it in your publication. Otherwise you may get emails threatening a lawsuit if you don’t back pay for images or ideas “borrowed” from others.
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