The Copyright Problem in Our Digital Age
Online content creators know that there is no chance for your message to be seen without an eye-catching image associated with it. But where do you get these great images from?
Google has hundred of thousands of images available that are easily accessible and ready for download. But are they? Almost all the images you see on Google, or another search engine, are protected under copyright law.
So, what does that mean for today’s content creators? Most need to think long and hard whether the image they intend to use falls under certain categories of “Fair Use.” Fair Use is defined as “a legal exception to the exclusive rights an owner of has” of the original work. These categories range from why you are using this image to how much of the original image are you using. Failure for a creator to understand and fall within these categories can cost big time, sometimes upwards of $25,000 (not including attorney fees).
But, keeping up with the fast-paced, ever changing landscape of social media doesn’t lend itself to giving creators the time for reflection on copyright images. For a social media page to stay relevant it needs constant content. Fortunately, the Internet is always fulfilling a need to a problem. That is where “Creative Commons licensed images” comes into play. These are websites where fledging creators are looking to just get their work noticed, almost all the images or videos available on these sites are up for grabs for anyone to use (without fear of infringing on copyright). Some of these sites require a subscription, or a note of the original creator’s name/brand. But these are small inconveniences compared to the possibility of a massive legal battle you weren’t intending when you downloaded that funny image from Google.
Check out these FREE resources for images or videos: