According to Hubspot’s latest research, Facebook photo posts get 53% more “likes”, 104% more comments, and links on these posts get 84% more clicks.
Instagram and Pinterest also owe their explosive growth to our collective love of visual content. Any blogger or social media manager worth his or her salt aims to add compelling images to their posts.
Do you have the rights to use the images you post on line?
Image Copyright: What Are The Rules?
What’s the best way to add photos to your blog or social post, without violating someone else’s copyright?
It’s easy to right click and save images you find online, and for some reason, it doesn’t FEEL as bad as cutting and pasting someone else’s words without permission … but, turns out, the rules for copyright are the same for images as for written content.
You can’t use someone else’s images without permission — simply giving attribution is not enough.
4 Tools to Re-Use Photos and Images, LEGALLY
Here’s how to find and re-use images and photos:
1. Search CreativeCommons.org: Rather than explain all the levels of CC permission, you can read about them here.
Select photos with the right level of permission (say, images that allow commercial and derivative use, with attribution), and respect the content creator’s rules for re-use of their work.
A useful search engine for CC photos can be found at search.creativecommons.org,
2. Flickr Filter and Search Tools: You can also search over 200 million images on Flickr.com, filtering by different levels of creative commons permission to find the right image for your post.
There are also search engines specially designed to make Flickr photo selection and attribution easier. For instance, Photopin.com has an easy interface, and works great.
(Their tagline is “Search millions of CreativeCommons photos on Flickr and add them to your blog posts easily.”)
3. WordPress Plug-ins For Finding and Attributing Images: Suppose you have a WordPress blog, and want to find an image on Creative Commons for re-use? Try a WordPress plugin designed to search CC and add photos with the right level of permission, without leaving your blog (like PhotoDropper, or Compfight).
(Note: I haven’t tried either yet, but the online reviews seem promising).
4. Google Advanced Image Search: Google Advanced Image Search also has a filter for images that you are allowed to use: look under “usage rights”, and select “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”.
5. Take Your Own Photos! If you’re a talented photographer or visual designer, you’re in luck!What could be more engaging and personal, than a picture you took yourself … and there will never be any question about rights!
Takeaway: Do the Right Thing
From now on, take an extra minute to find and add the right image, while respecting the rights (and wishes) of the content creator. Just do the right thing!
What about you? Have you ever used an image without permission? Will these tools help you source images and photos legally for your blog?
PS - Many earlier posts on this blog have images swiped from Google images. The point of this post is to share how you can avoid making the same mistake.
With a little extra work this weekend, I’ll fix that. I’m going through every blog post, deleting improperly used images, and replacing those I don’t have permission to use with others sourced as above.
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