Theres A License For That
Educating yourself on copyright basics is one of the best ways to protect your company from the financial or legal ramifications of infringement. To help you on your way, here are some of the most common terms and licenses youll see:
Royalty Free:The use of the word free here is misleading. A royalty free image means that while you are not required to pay each time you use the image, you will still need to make a one-time purchase of the rights in order to use the image on your blog. Royalty free images can still result in copyright infringement penalties, if their found to be on your site illegally.
Public Domain:Images in the public domain can be used without restriction for any purpose. Why? Because nobody owns or controls the rights to the image.
Creative Commons :This is a public copyright license where the original creator of the image has decided to allow others share, use, and build on the original free of charge.
Note that some public domain and creative commons images require attribution or links back to the original image source, so be sure to check requirements of use.
These are simply the most common licenses, so be aware that there are additional types of licenses in circulation. If you come across an image with a different license, be sure to do your research before posting it.
Precautions To Take Before You Pin
- Fair use can be a bit sketchy, and no one seems to agree about what is allowed and what isn’t. This includes book covers, movie posters, and pictures of celebrities. You are probably better off if you avoid sharing those types of images.
- If there are no “Pin it” buttons, and especially if there are no other social media sharing buttons, then assume you don’t have the owner’s permission to pin it.
- If it is something you really want to pin and aren’t sure about, then ask for permission. The worst that could happen is that you get a no.
So What Can You Do To Protect Yourself
Fortunately, there are options for those who want to eliminate the risk of violating copyright laws. Here are a few ideas to help you along the way.
Buy the rights to the images.Buying image rights is always an option, but the cost of doing so can range from a dollar to $15.00 or higher. Depending on how many blogs you post, doing so for every one may not be within your budget.
Create your own graphics.You dont need to be an Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop master to create great graphics. There are a lot of tools and resources that can help you get the look without the expensive software or time expenditure. For example:
- Hubspot has a pack of 60 social media image templates that you can download and use to quickly create images for your blogs, social media, infographics, and calls-to-action.
- Canva allows you to easily drag and drop images, shapes, text, and more to create stunning graphics and images. Background images can be purchased, used for free, or uploaded from your desktop.
- Similar to Canva, Piktochart provides everything you need to build graphics. Both free and paid versions of this tool are available, so its up to you to decide which version you want to use.
While there are thousands of places online to find images, as we discussed above there is risk that the images may be incorrectly labeled. Here are a few places that provide public domain and CC images that you can use with confidence:
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Browse Hundreds Of Royalty
Since all our photos are copyright-free, you can use them to create everything from viral memes to products like mugs or shirts. Whether youre looking todownload lifestyle pics or product shots, youre sure to find stunning shots for all your business needs.You can use any of our photos for your online store or brick and mortar business some of the most popular use cases include: blog posts, social mediagraphics, website banners, ads, catalogs, posters and presentations. Whether youre a store owner, developer, designer or student, youre free to use anypicture for any purpose.
Under both of our Royalty-Free and Creative Commons licenses, you are able to use and editany images found on Burst. Lucky you! You have the freedom to crop,recolor or otherwise modify any picture however you see fit. Learn more about our licences here and start creating with Burst!
How To Stop People From Pinning Your Content
- Ask them not to. Just include a politely-worded message on your site asking people to refrain from pinning your content and sharing it on other sites. If this doesn’t work, you can send a cease and desist letter.
- There is coding that can be placed on sites to keep people from pinning it. National Geographic’s website has this coding. If someone tries to pin from a site with the code, a message pops up saying that pinning isn’t allowed from that domain. It is simple and easy to use.
- You can make a members only section of your site. A lot of event photographers do this. Clients can log in to see the pictures from their event.
- Add watermarks to your pictures. Create a business logo or just embed your web address from the photo. If your picture is posted somewhere else on the web, at least you will be properly credited.
- If you don’t want to share it with the world, then don’t put it up on the internet. There is no way to 100% guarantee that your works won’t get copied somewhere else on the internet. If that is a problem for you, find a different medium to display your work.
It’s not the traditional model for business, so everyone is clinging to their content in a panic.
Obviously there is a line and some people do cross it. I’ve had my articles copied word for word on other sites before and had to report it. That’s wrong. If someone is taking your photo and selling it in a calendar, that’s wrong.
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How To Find The Best Images:
from the resource hub. Grab the list of 10 sites perfect for Pinterest images, free for you to use in your promotions. Just leave your email address to be able to download the sheet, and gain access to the Resource Hub with lots of other great Pinterest resources too.
Are you using copyright free images in your pinning?
If youve got any questions, leave a comment below, and dont forget to pin this post for later:
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Pinterest boards are a little trickier to embed, but it can be done by using its widget builder and copying and pasting the code into your blog post.
Often, readers can engage with embedded posts more deeply than static content by following users, liking, or commenting on the posts.
Consider replacing screenshots with embedded posts so that readers can engage with your examples.
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How Do I Use The Content Claiming Portal
I recommend you ensure youve claimed your website on Pinterest before applying, as that will unlock what I consider the most valuable feature: only allowing your images on Pinterest if they link to your site.
Once youre sure your Pinterest account is in good order, as long as you own copyright to visual content, you can apply here.
Its a fairly lengthy form. Ive just shown the bottom here, where you need to:
- Describe your content.
- Assure everything you filled in is accurate.
- Agree to the terms.
- Type your name as your signature.
After your application is approved, youll be able to begin uploading your content.
To get started, follow these steps:
*Beware: Block all is selected by default. I think most creatives will prefer Website only. Of course, its totally your choice!
Theres no limit on how much content you can claim in total, but you can upload up to 50 works to the portal at a time. We currently only support images, but we may expand to additional file types in the future.
Once youve uploaded content, you can check its status in the portal.
How Do Copyright Free Images Work
Some websites allow you to download pictures for private use yet disallow images to be used commercially. This includes instances such as business cards, websites, or posters. The images on the following websites have protection under Creative Commons CC0:
“The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.”
The following websites either support or are fully composed of CC0 images available in the public domain. The owners of these images have allowed users to modify, edit, and use their images without copyright backlash.
Before delving into the free stock image sites, there are two common courtesies to consider when using CC0 images.
- Although you do not have to give credit to the creator, we recommend that you publicize the artists’ efforts.
- These websites often have a Donate page or splash screen. If you use free image hosting sites often, consider donating to their cause. If everyone using a copyright-free image site threw in the price of a coffee, it would greatly benefit the photographers and artists offering their wares for free.
Now that that’s cleared up, here are the websites you need to bookmark for quality, copyright-free images.
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Can I Use Images I Find On Google
Almost always NO.
You can but even then, I wouldnt trust that whoever posted the image knows the allowed usage.
Because they said so wont be honored as a defense if you get sued.
Heres what I had to say years ago about .
- You got it from a free photo site.
- Youre sharing within a social media platform, using their built-in tools.
- You have written permission .
Repetition for emphasis: Im not an attorney, and this is my non-expert opinion. I cant guarantee that youll be safe even if you follow these principles.
So, my friend had to have her entire website redone. She struggled to find legal images to replace those that she loved. Cause lets face it, when the worlds your oyster youve got the best stuff available.
Except that its not available. It belongs to someone else.
What Is Image Copyright
Put simply, image copyright is image ownership. Its a form of legal protection that is automatically given to a creator as soon as an image is snapped, saved, or drawn. Photographs, digital art, maps, charts, and paintings are all fair game.
Laws about image copyright vary by country. Fortunately, 177 countriesincluding Canada and the United Statesare members of the Berne Convention treaty, which sets basic copyright standards.
According to the treaty , a copyright owner has exclusive rights to:
- Reproduce the work
- Distribute the work to the public
Sounds simple, but it can sometimes get confusing.
Heres an example. Remember the star-studded selfie snapped on Ellen DeGeneres phone during the 2014 Academy Awards? Technically, the owner of that images copyright is Bradley Cooper. Why? Even though he used Degeneres phone, he took the photo.
That means, legally, Degeneres needed to ask Cooper for permission to post the photo. This example is popular with intellectual propertylawyers, who use it to show that copyright ownership is not always as obvious as it seems.
If its not your image, find out who created it and ask for permission to use it.
Have more questions? Check out the World Intellectual Property Organization FAQs.
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Can I Share Others Content If I Link Back
Sometimes. I mean, dont ever share others content without a link back. But just because you link back doesnt mean its OK.
From attorney Sara Hawkins:
Taking another persons image or graphic and giving them a shout out, linkback, or any other type of attribution does not negate copyright infringement.
And from Roni Loren, who still got sued over an image that she removed immediately when notified:
It DOESNT MATTER
- if you link back to the source and list the photographers name
- if the picture is not full-sized
- if you did it innocently
- if your site is non-commercial and you made no money from the use of the photo
- if you didnt claim the photo was yours
- if youve added commentary in addition to having the pic in the post
- if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
- if you have a disclaimer on your site.
- if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice
Ask for permission where you found the image making sure that youve found the original creator of the content .
You can use to try to verify where the image originated.
The content creator may be thrilled that you want to share their content or they may say no.
- Honor whatever requests they make for links and credits, or for not sharing.
- If you dont like their credit requirements, move on.
- If they say no, move on.
- If you cant find the content creator, move on.
Schedule Your Images With Buffer
Thanks so much for reading all the way to the end of the blog post. As a thank you, I would love to share a nifty feature that we have built into Buffer to help you share your images as quickly as possible.
Whenever you share your blog posts or marketing websites with Buffer , we will automatically pick up images from those websites and suggest them to you for your social media posts. You just have to click on your favorite image to add it to your social media post.
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Why Copyright Infringement Is A Problem
Theres no question that Pinterest encourages re-pinning community photos. After all, the platform was built on the idea of sharing and collecting digital objects. But the goal is to ensure users pin from the original source, providing credit to the content owner and including a detailed description. Disputes occur when an image is taken directly from a website and uploaded to the platforms server without approval from the owner. With a growing number of unsourced pins being saved to user boards and profiles, copyright holders are being directly impacted. Images on the platform are being exploited for commercial gain, and the personal work of artists is being stolen.
Content Policies And User Bans
In October 2012, Pinterest added a new feature allowing users to report others for negative and offensive activity or block other users if they do not want to view their content, a bid that the company said aimed to keep the site “positive and respectful.”
In December 2018, Pinterest began to take steps to block health misinformation from its recommendations engine, and blocked various searches, content, and user accounts that related to, or promoted, unproved and disproven cancer treatments. The company said it also blocked multiple accounts that linked to external websites that sold supplements and other products that were not scientifically validated. In January 2019, Pinterest stopped returning search results relating to vaccines, in an effort to somehow slow the increase of anti-vaccination content on the platform. Prior to the measure, the company said that the majority of vaccination-related images shared on the platform were anti-vaccination, contradicting the scientific research establishing the safety of vaccines.
In June 2019, anti-abortion group Live Action was banned from Pinterest the company said the permanent suspension was imposed for spreading “harmful misinformation, includes medical misinformation and conspiracies that turn individuals and facilities into targets for harassment or violence.”
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What Is Fair Use
Fair use is an exception to the rule when it comes to copyright. It pertains to specific cases when copyright-protected works can be used without permission.
Common contexts for fair use include criticism, news reporting, teaching, or research. In these cases, the copyrighted work is typically used as reference material, and in a way that is beneficial to society.
Fair use rarely applies to social media marketing. In fact, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act judges fair use cases based on these four factors:
- Is it for commercial, non-profit, or educational use?
- Is the copyrighted work highly creative, or more fact-based?
- How much of the work is reproduced?
- How does the use affect the potential market for the original work?
These were the exact questions asked in the case of Graham v. Prince. In 2017, Richard Prince was sued by photographer Donald Graham, after he printed out screenshots of Grahams and other Instagram posts onto canvases and displayed them in a gallery. Prince argued his appropriation art fell under fair use exemptions. But the judge ruled to the contrary, noting the work does not make any substantial aesthetic alterations, and was made for commercial purposes.
Its very unlikely images used for social media marketing without copyright permission will meet fair use criteria. Remember, if you take the risk, you could be held responsible for breach of copyright.
Beware Of Incorrectly Licensed Images
While understanding the difference between licenses and always attributing your images can help you maintain legal image use, you can still run into trouble when images are licensed incorrectly.
For example, a person may buy a CC image for his or her own purpose, but then upload it to an image-sharing site and label it with a CC license. If that happens and you use that image, youre still infringing on the copyrights held by the original artist and since intent doesnt matter when it comes to copyright infringement, you may be fined. Thats pretty scary and it happens more than you might think.
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