Are You Plagiarizing Images? | MJ2 Marketing


Are You Plagiarizing Images?

Finding that perfect image to go with your blog post, infographic, or website is a great feeling; but, if you’re not careful you could end up using a photo that you don’t have permission to use. One of the biggest misconceptions about image usage rights is that if the photo is online, it is available to be shared anywhere. Along the same lines, many people believe that a photo credit, attribution, or linkback is sufficient to satisfy usage rights. Neither of these are true, and using images without permission can result in a takedown notice, and even a fine.
The Basics of Copyright
U.S. law does not require use of a copyright notice to establish ownership of a creative work. This means that, unless you have concrete reason to believe otherwise, you should assume that every image you find online is copyrighted. Judges have even ruled that images shared on social networks like Twitter and Facebook are protected by copyright.
The Consequences for Infringing
In most cases, using a copyrighted image can leave you financially liable for any damages claimed by the works’ copyright holder. In one recent example, PRDaily was fined to the tune of $8,000 for using a copyrighted image on a blog post that fewer than 100 people had even seen. These types of lawsuits are fairly common, and copyright law states that you can be held responsible even if you weren’t aware that you were violating copyright.
Fortunately, there are still many ways for content marketers, bloggers, designers, and others to find high quality, legally obtained images. To see some of these options, read our blog post How To Find Great Images.

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