What is copyright?Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work. Be careful not to infringe on anyone’s copyright. A work is automatically copyrighted the moment it’s created. By not giving proper credit, you’re actually breaking the law and opening yourself up to big fines, having your website taken down or even potential lawsuits. Therefore, always respect the creative works and rights of others. One great way to avoid this is to use free stock photo sites that fall under Creative Commons. Stock photo sites collect images from artists and photographers who have given permission for anyone to use them. Or simply just buy a photo from a paid stock photo resource, such as iStock, Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Creative Market, and you don’t have to worry.
What is Creative Commons?Creative Commons (CC) is an internationally active non-profit organisation that provides free licences for creators to use when making their work available to the public. These licences help the creator to give permission for others to use the work in advance under certain conditions. Every image which falls under Creative Commons means you can use them and don’t need to worry about getting sued. Read more what Creative Commons do.
Give credit to the creatorYet, it’s common courtesy to give credit to the creator. Just as you spent time on your work, so did the person who created the images you’re using. The creator deserves to have others know where their work came from.
How to appropriately give photo credit?As mentioned above, there are certain times when you don’t need to give photo credit, such as when you purchase a stock photo. If you’re reposting a meme on your Facebook page or uploading an image you found that is licensed through Creative Commons, always make sure to credit the creator. Here’s how to properly give photo credit. First, make sure you have permission to use it. If it’s not on Creative Commons, then email the owner to see if you can use their image. It’s always better to have it in writing. If you’re using it in on your website or blog post, put the name of the creator and a link to their website or the source of the image beneath it. The format should be something like this:
- “Photo by [artist name with their website hyperlinked]”
- “Image by [artist name] via [website hyperlinked].”
Hope this was useful!
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Disclaimer: this post is not a substitute for individualized advice from a qualified legal practitioner. This information is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. Seek help from a professional when legal advice is needed.