What about copyrights on images and photographs on the web

Using the correct image can help tell a story that words alone can’t, and in the era of social media, using the right picture can take a post from drab to fab very quickly. But unless you have created the images yourself, you’ll need to use images and photos created and owned by someone else. The best way to be sure that you are using online pictures legally is to assume that every print and photo you find online is copyrighted. This means that users will usually need the copyright owner’s permission if they want to copy the image or share it on the internet.

The excuse that the image didn’t have a watermark or a “©” to show it was copyrighted doesn’t work.
The copyright symbol does not have to be present for copyright to exist, and this lack of copyright notice has some people believing that there are no restrictions to its use. Copyright laws are often blurred with the sharing mechanisms on many social networking sites. However, as soon as an image is taken from one platform and used on another, there may be problems.


When someone infringes a copyright, various courses of action could be taken by the individual or the organisation that owns the copyright. For example, the image user may be asked to purchase a licence, and a commercial arrangement might be reached, after which no further action is taken. However, legal action might be taken by bringing a claim to court, which could result in a court hearing. Deliberate copyright infringement on a commercial scale may also lead to criminal prosecution. Even in situations where people may think their copyright infringement will not be detected, they risk being discovered and pursued through the courts.

Luckily if you have created the images yourself or you’ve hired a professional photographer, you are generally free to use them as you wish, but there are also plenty of sources where we can find illustrations or photos without becoming involved in copyright infringement and remain completely safe; for example, we can use: stock photo services which require you to pay for a license, creative standard licenses which confer the right to use an image under certain circumstances, and public domain repositories of images which are not subject to copyright in the first place. The use of licensed images ought to be much safer than unlicensed images; therefore, don’t use randomly selected images from the internet, which can lead to unpleasant situations, but be a little more creative and start taking your own.

There is no need to steal someone else’s pictures, so avoid undesirable consequences.
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