So you were browsing Facebook, and found a picture with an awesome quote on it. Now you want to use it for the latest post on your blog. Maybe even your business website. Or maybe you want to stamp your brand on the picture, then share it on Instagram. I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. If you do any of those things, you can get sued!
A simple Google search will show you countless stories of people being sued for thousands of dollars just for using pictures they downloaded from Google. I recently read one where a copywriter got a letter from an attorney. Even after deleting the image from his blog and sending an apology letter, he went to court and paid almost $4,000 for infringement!
Image copyright laws state that you’re financially liable for posting copyrighted pictures, even if:
Your site/blog is non-profit
You did it by accident
You remove the picture after receiving a complaint
You credit the website from which you got it, or the photographer’s name
In short, stay away from pictures unless you know for sure that they are non-copyrighted. However, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with lame, tiny pictures with watermarks everywhere. Quote pictures with plain backgrounds and text are generally okay to use. You can also take certain steps on Google to filter the non-copyrighted images.
1. Search for something under Google, then click “Images”
2. Beneath the highlighted word “Images,” there will be several words with arrows beside them. You may have to click “Search tools” first. Click “Usage rights”
3. Click “Labeled for reuse” or “Labeled for reuse with modification”
There are a few other websites with decent, safe images. My favorite is www.pixabay.com It has a huge selection of high-quality pictures, and you can download them in small to extra large sizes. Pixabay even has quotes! Oh, did I mention that the images are free, even for commercial use?
Make a nice day!