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I was watching the news and saw an interesting story that caught my attention. The story was about a blogger who was getting sued for 50k for using a picture on his blog found in Google. The photographer email the blogger with a take down notice to remove the image. The blogger had the picture on his blog less than a week and remove it right away when he was notified. 

However, the photographer still wanted to get compensation for using his photo that was copyrighted. The blogger now is facing chargers of 500k for using a photo that he had access to for a couple of days. This post will be addressing could using images on social media get you sued

Could Using Images On Social Media Get You Sued

Lets begin by explaining what is fair use? (in US copyright law) the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder. Bottom line you might be violating copyright laws if you have not directly receive permission from the owner to use their images in your blog. We do not have the right to use someone else’s images with out their approval. 

Most Common Mistakes Everyone Makes Online When They Use Someone’s Pic:

It Doesn’t Matter If:

  • You link back to the source
  • If you list the photographers name
  • If the picture is not full sized
  • If you did it by mistake
  • If you place a claim that the picture is not yours
  • If the picture is embedded
  • If you have a disclaimer in your site
  • If you immediately remove the picture down after receiving a take down notice
  • If you have added annotations to the picture

If your using images that you have not receive permission exclusively from the owner you might want to consider removing the images since your violating copyright laws. 

The most common mistake we make is copying other bloggers. They place disclaimers in their website about the images their using. Beware of copying what other bloggers do even if they are known in the blogging industry. Be diligent about doing your own research about copyright images. For the most part many bloggers find pictures on Google and paste it on their website giving attribution back to the owner thinking this is fair use. However, there are waiting for a law suit to happen. 

What Images Can I Use For My Blog?

1. Creative Common Images: Did you know you can find free photos that are available for your use on your blog? Create a search using creative commons license pics.  Be certain to provide attribution and link back to the owner site.

2. Wikemedia Commons: a great resource where you can find free images anyone can use. The images found in Wikemedia Commons are in the public domain and therefore copyright free. These images are available for anyone to use and modify them for any purpose. 

3. Stock Photo: Join a stock photo subscription site where you can find millions of awesome royalty-free stock photos and vectors.


4. Use Your Own Photos: A great way to avoid getting sued for using copyright images is using your own photos.  For the most part, we all own smartphones we can snap away pictures at any given moment.  Go ahead and start taking pictures of anything you see that might be interesting for later use in your blog. 

5. Beware Of Sites Likes Pinterest:  Pinterest is a type of image-based social media that allows you to easily share your interests and items that you find with others by pinning each others post.  However, did you know by pinning someone else’s image you could also be breaking the law using copyright images. Make sure when pinning someone else’s images there are not violating any copyright laws. If your not 100% sure do not pin these images to your board. 

*** The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. ****

[box type=”note”]I hope this articles comes in handy for anyone using copyright images.  Sooner or later you might get caught. Make sure to implement these changes to avoid this happening to you. Make sure to spread the word and share this article with your fellow bloggers. [/box]