Sunday, November 1, 2009

Givin' Props where Props are Due

My last post, about the yummiest, easiest dessert/snack ever, started out with me typing all the instructions and then taking photos from the internet to illustrate my point.

You see, I was all jazzed up to publish my post and get it in for the deadline in order to (hopefully) win a Flip video camera over at Better In Bulk. Later, when I actually made the delectable Oreo Truffles (or, if you have a weird sense of humor - like me - you can call 'em Oreo Balls) I did take pictures as I was creating a tornado in the kitchen. So, I later uploaded my own photos and took the pirate photos off my post. (By the way, in a few of the pictures, you can just barely see my huge prego belly inching its way into the shot. What can I say? Little baby Violet must already be an attention whore.)

So, anyway, a reader/friend brought up a good point to me: even though I lifted all the photos from Google images, and I did credit Google Images at the end of the post (BTW I removed the credit after I put up my own photos), should I have given individual credit to each site from which I got the photos? How does that work, exactly? I know some folks will use a "watermark" (like a transparent, but readable, site name across the photograph) to guarantee that any future publishing of the photo will give credit to the photographer. But, I just can't figure out what the deal is. I know sometimes when I search Google Images, the same photo comes up on site after different site, but credit isn't given to anyone. Maybe those are from a "free photograph" place? And, if my blog isn't earning any money, and I never claim that the photo is my own, am I still participating in copyright infringement? Or Creative Commons infringement?

I mean, technically, when it all comes down to it, I am pretty sure no one would ever sue me over it. Especially considering my desperate attempt to avoid being found by never putting my last name on anything here. But legality is not my real concern... I want to be an honest member of the blogging community. I want to spread the good vibes, not karma that says, "Too bad for you, suckah!"

I have read that putting a photo on a post is a good practice for keeping/attracting new readers. I know, I could subscribe to one of those sites that has photos for sale but really, would you want to pay every time you posted a picture of ketchup or coupons?

So, what's your take on this?

9 comments:

Jen said...

I do not know about the credit thing but those treats look amazing. Yum!

Foursons said...

I don't give anyone credit when I pull stuff off Google Images. I know it's probably wrong, but shouldn't they put a watermark on their photo before downloading it to Google Images? Don't know...sorry I know that's no help at all!

Jennifer said...

I don't think you did anything wrong. I do the same thing sometimes. But if you are worried there is a website with free images that you can use, fotolia.com. Check it first and see if you can find the image you want on there. Just beware, it is a time suck. There are tons and tons of images.

Small Town Mommy said...

Legally, you aren't supposed to use images unless they are in the public domain or Creative Content on Flickr. That said, I think someone would be unlikely to find you and then sue you after you have used their image (usually they will just ask you to take it down). As far as using pictures of things like ketchup or coupons, I would recommend going to one of the brand Web sites and getting it from their PR page. Most organizations have stock images for that purpose.

Good luck!

Wendy said...

This one is free: http://sxc.hu/ I always start there. Then I go to google images. I usually edit them beyond recognition or I give credit if I can find it. Usually I'm probably pirating them 4th hand & there's no telling where they came from.

I'm not profiting in any way & would happily take anything down that was pointed out to me to belong to someone else, so I think it is fine.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Girlfriend:

You can use any of my photos anytime, as long as you give me credit and I get $1000 per use. Seriously. Okay, not so seriously.

Because my photos probably wouldn't work for the ones you want.

Now, if you wanted some of my photos to inspire a blog post about hunting, drinking wine, funny stuff, or the oilfield, well, then, i'm your girl!

Mama B said...

I usually make my photo a hyperlink so if you click it, it will go to the source of the photo. that way it's giving them props and traffic...but I haven't used a ton of pictures off the Internet so I don't know what the "rules" are.

Kacie said...

yeah, that's always a dilemma for me. I use flikr.com to store my photos and I post the html code for them on my blog. Thing is, I can also search everyone else's photos and use them. I sorta figure - you CAN keep your photos private, so if they are labelled public, they're public, right?

But if I've posted a lot of someone's photos and especially if they're nice photos, I'll often link back to the place I got them from.

J said...

I use Corbis.com a lot...they have images that are free to use...