I was scrolling through Google Reader and came across this post about pictures on your blog on Angela's Anxious Life. As I started to read the bullet points she shared from another article, I immediately had to pull said article up. What I read come as a shock to me.
Here's the breakdown (as I see it):
If you use a picture without having permission from the originator, regardless of whether you list the source of the picture and didn't claim it was your own work, YOU COULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND SUED.
It's no joke. The blogger on the original article WAS sued. It's not something to be taken lightly. Sure, considering all things it is possible you may not have this happen to you... BUT it doesn't mean that it could NEVER happen.
Which is why I am working on a massive project of removing all pictures on my blog that are not my own and replacing them with either creative commons pictures OR my own. Also, I am strongly considering deleting my Pinterest account. I remember reading this article talking about the legal ramifications of being held liable if you pin a picture you don't have permission to pin. Pinterest in their Terms of Service clearly state under their disclaimer (#9) that you are held responsible for anything you pin.
Like I said, it may not ever become an issue. The bottom line for me is the following:
I do not want to do something illegal period AND I cannot afford to pay legal fees and compensation for use of a picture to the copyright owner.
I just wanted to share this with my followers, as it is something you may not be aware of. Take a look at all the articles I list below (which includes one on finding photos for your blog). It was a real eye opener for me and I hope it helps my fellow bloggers out as well!
- "Pictures on your blog... a coming lawsuit?" on Angela's Anxious Life
- "Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story" by Roni Loren
- "Reluctant to Join Social Media?" on The Bookshelf Muse
- "Where to Get Photos For Your Blog" on Meghan Ward's Writerland
- "A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest Boards Out Of Fear" by Alyson Shontell