Giving Credit: Follow the Trail to Find the Creator

September 27, 2016

Just a quick reminder – when you do a google search and grab a gorgeous image to illustrate a post – on your website, blog, Facebook page or in a Facebook group or forum – somebody created that image, took that photo, made that visual!

Give credit where credit is due

It is really important that you take the time to trace the image back to its source. This can be as simple as visiting the actual page the image is on, typing in a url or googling the brand name that is watermarked on the image, or it might require a little more detective work… a google image search, for example.

Why bother?

This is important for a number of reasons –

  1.  on the most mundane level, it protects you from claims of copyright infringement
  2. on a personal and professional level, it allows you to express your gratitude and respect for the artist by acknowledging them as the source of the creation that has moved you – remember this is a moral right as well as a legal right!
  3. and on a spiritual high-vibing level, it can lead you to a visual feast of other images – a treasure trove for the eyes and the imagination that is often well worth the journey and which you would otherwise totally miss out on!

Or you can take a shortcut

If you are in a hurry next time you are searching for that perfect illustration – try going straight to a royalty free, copyright free source of images such as Pixabay, Unsplash or the images that are licensed for commercial use in the Pro version of Canva. That’s where all the photographic images I use in my memes come from…

Or have an incredible designer create something unique just for you (but make sure they clarify in writing who owns the copyright – an email will do).

But always – ALWAYS – if you really must use something you found randomly on the internet, follow the rabbit trail and trace the gorgeous creation back to its source – and then ask for permission before using it in a commercial context.

How I can help

If you have more questions about what images you can or can’t use safely, book in for an IP Strategy Session. In an hour, I can give you insights into Australian (and US or UK) copyright law and we can work out a safe way for you to use the material that you need, without putting yourself at risk of a copyright infringement claim.

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