Can you help? Images in blog posts.

Advice needed – protocol for using images in blog posts.

I really like using images in my blog posts, and as I take lots of photos myself, I can usually find something to use, but sometimes I want an image of something that I haven’t got. For example, the other day I wanted to illustrate a point I was making with an image of someone working on a computer. I did a quick Google search and found something in Google images, and I happily saved the image and used it in my post.

image

Have I done something highly illegal? Is someone going to come knocking on my door very soon? I’m becoming increasingly aware of the need to credit the use of pictures and photos that I use on my blog. I always knew that you shouldn’t just save random images found on the Internet and paste them where you want them, as they belong to someone, but how do you sort out which ones you can freely use, and which ones you can’t? Are there some that you can never ever use, and are there some you can use, if you credit their source?

I’ve googled this topic, and lots of sites explain things in words that are beyond me, as I am but a simple woman, with the technology part of my brain missing. I’ve heard of something called the Creative Commons, but don’t fully understand it. Via the CC, I was pointed to various sites, including Google images, and Flickr, but I still don’t understand if I can use some images or not. Is everything on Flickr free to use? Are some google images free to use, but others not?

I’ve found a list of sites which allegedly allow you to use all images on their sites for free, such as Stocksnap, Gratisography and Picjumbo. But sometimes, when you search for a certain topic, they only have about three images, none of which are suitable.

Does anyone have a simple one syllable explanation to help me wade through the huge amount of info out there, regarding what I should or should not be doing in order to have images in my blog posts?

Here’s a blog which I found really useful. If you scroll down this blogpost and look at point 6, it refers you to another blog written by someone who actually got caught out and had to pay a fine for using an image illegally. I definitely recommend you read this….

It all sounds very scary! I would love to have advice on all of this – but remember – words of one syllable please, and don’t assume I already have knowledge in my brain……..

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22 thoughts on “Can you help? Images in blog posts.

  1. If you google free images, then a number of free image sites come up. Sometimes you may find an appropriate photo, so contact the person or web that used the image and ask if you can use it for a post (describe your post) Many would agree if you credit them and give a link to their site. I usually allow my photos to be used if I am contacted and get a credit for them. I once had a post copied with photos with no comment as to where it came from – that really annoyed my as it received more likes and comments on his blog than it did on my. If you reblog something, I think it is only polite to mention the blogger and include a link to their site. By the way “another blog” was a really useful site.

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  2. Although the net is a free myriad,it helps being a careful & responsible user. Imagine if you see your photo right on another post,It gives you a certain feeling.But if someone gives you credit for using your own photos then its another feeling. Courtesy always pays-off.

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  3. I’m no expert, and I hope I’m vetting the images I use correctly.
    When I realized that it was wise for authors to have blogs, I read Kristen Lamb’s Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World – she has excellent advice on things like Twitter, Facebook, etc. I learned lots of interesting things, for instance that even though I’m an author, I don’t need to write a blog about how to write (Whew! That was a relief, since I thought there were enough of those.) Thus, I decided to blog about what interested me, so my blog can occasionally get a bit eclectic. However, I see a theme of pets – pet care, pet humor, pet training suggestions, Chewy reviews, and what Purrseidon ,our water-loving kitten, is up to.
    Strange as it may sound, I think that if followers like my blog, they’re likely to enjoy my fiction, particularly the Sea Purrtector series, which is from the point of view of a cat, who is sort of a feline 007.
    However, that doesn’t answer your question about images.
    In her book, Kristen suggested several options and sources, but the one I use is Pinterest. Hopefully, I’ve followed Kristen’s advice properly. I ‘save’ images to one of my ‘boards’ ie: humor (pets caught in the act of being themselves). bits of wisdom (info-graphics), natural wonders (many things, but blog-wise, beautiful birds). I also ‘save’ images which give me visual inspiration for scenes in my novels. There have been a few occasions when Pinterest has advised me that images I’d saved had been removed due to copyright infringement, so I checked which image to determine if I’d used it in a blog. Fortunately, thus far, the removed ones have been jpgs I saved for other purposes, but if they ever notify me that one I’ve used on my blog is an issue, I plan to either delete the image from the specific blog OR – if it’s an info-graphic and the core of the blog – delete the entire blog. If you’ve read my posts, you might have noticed that I mention where I find my images and information. If the image is from Pinterest, I merely mention that. However, if I’m giving a profile of a pet like Gandalf the traveling cat or Millie the mountain climber, I embed the link for the article I found the information at.
    Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comprehensive reply. So are you saying that if you find images on Pinterest them save them to your board then use them in a blog, that will be ok and not infringe any picture copyright? In my post, the links I gave to someone else’s blog mentioned that Pinterest images were subject to the same rules as other images, so I’m a bit confused.

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      • I save them to one of my Pinterest boards and mention that I found the image in my blog – I don’t really know who posted them, so can’t mention whoever took the photo. IF there is an infringement, supposedly the image’s owner notifies Pinterest of the issue. Pinterest takes the image off their site and notifies anyone who has saved it of the problem.
        At least that’s how the book says it should work and what I’ve seen thus far seems to corroborate that.
        I’ve also searched for ‘free ____” (fill in the blank for whatever topic I needed a specific jpg for). Thus far, I haven’t had any complaints.

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  4. This why I try to use only my own images unless it’s a reblog, when credit is given to the original writer and there’s a link to their blog. If I don’t have a photo then I’ve sometimes used Bitstrip and made a cartoon image to suit the content but that can be complicated and involves facebook.
    I usually search with the term Creative Commons or Public Domain. In a google image search, above all the photos you’ll see links such as ‘videos’ ‘maps’ etc. Click on the ‘search tools’ and more links come up such as ‘colour’ ‘type’ so you need to click on ‘usage rights’ and then choose whichever ‘Labeled’ category that suits. This greatly reduces the amount of images before you.
    When you find something you like, you need to ‘Save image as’ and download to your pc. Don’t just ‘copy image’ or ‘copy image address’ as you need to break the link (or something like that). I’m not too techie myself so can’t explain the reason why.
    If you have a name or site where the image originated from then add a credit. Of course, if you are told or find out that the photo wasn’t free to use in the first place, then apologizing and taking it down should suffice – in most cases, but you never know………..
    About Flickr;
    . Under Flickr’s Advanced Search you can choose to ‘Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content’ and specify your search further by ‘content to use commercially or content to modify, adapt, or build upon.’
    This link is useful. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/concerned-copyright-guide-legally-using-images-web/
    Hope you found some of this to be useful. Thanks for the blog link in your post, it’s very informative.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to use whatever I found. Now I know better and always try to credit the image. Creative Commons has various levels of licensing, some of which are free. You can use and sometimes modify CC images as long as you include the same licensing information and credit the original. Here’s an example of one that I used.
    https://oopswhatdidtheysay.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/endolphin/
    I would want credit if anyone used one of my images. I think it’s only fair to at least include a link to the website, even if the image is freely available. I’ve been guilty of not doing this but I wouldn’t do it now.

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  6. Thanks for the shout-out and the link to my blog post! It’s definitely a minefield. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I don’t want to be the person that gets caught out on this issue and have to pay a huge fine. I’ve been trying to build my own photo library (like someone suggested above) and take pictures of objects that might come in handy one day as stock images. I recently used one of these (a picture of canned goods) the other day, rather than search the internet for a generic one. Best of luck!

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  7. You are a writer, do you go around copying text from other blogs to use in yours? Silly question isn’t it, of course you don’t. You want to show of your own creativity, your own talent. So you want to replace a thousand words of yours with a picture – that is the legendary equivalent. Is it still your imagination, your vision, your story? Hardly. You have a Photography tab in your menu, you show photos of your own. You are a petty good photographer, so it won’t be too hard for you to take a photo of your own. The whole story will be yours to be proud of, pictures and all.
    But you may enjoy writing more than creating images. I have a suggestion for you. Look around among your friends here in the blogosphere. Some, like myself, are creative with image, but choke when it comes to the wordsmithing part. Find some friends whose photography you admire. Ask them to share, even ask for specific topics. A collaborative story, with credit for both author and photographer is something to share proudly with the world.
    Bye the way, just yesterday a shared a photo of a sculpture of a cowboy using a laptop next to his wagon.
    Just one more comment about using something from the Internet. Think of looking at appetizing fruit at a market. Taking just one grape is stealing, taking just one sentence, or one photo, is plagiarism.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for this. I completely understand. And it’s a very good idea to collaborate and ask friends. But sometimes I just want a fun image, or a cartoon, or a logo etc. People have been kind enough to suggest sites where images are free so I will follow these up.

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    • Definitely. You can’t always use your own photos. There’s no way I could have taken a photo of a dolphin for my post in the link I mentioned earlier. In return for being able to use these free images I license my own sites with the same option. That only seems fair.
      But I must say that my fruit shops have always encouraged us to sample the grapes before buying. Different product, different issue.

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