Last week I couldn’t bring myself to blog. I just couldn’t do it. This is going to sound really silly, but earlier in the week I’d read a blog by RONI LOREN who was actually sued for using a copyrighted photo on her blog.

I have yeeeeears of photos on this blog. Let’s face it, it’s so much more interesting if all the words in a post are broken up by pictures. It’s fun for me to find and include cool pictures in my post. I’ve always been very careful not to use photos with watermarks or anything that obviously belonged to someone else. But I’ve never worried so much about whether someone is going to come after me because I googled an image and used it.

I honestly believe that 80% or more of the images we find on the internet have been posted by people who don’t mind if we use them. But what if like this poor author some photographer claims I had no right to the picture posted? Roni (and many authors I know) went back and actually removed every photo from their blog sites. *sigh* I just don’t want to do that.

I mean, it’s not like I don’t understand intellectual property and being pirated … of course I do. (Been there. Done that. Cried as I watched my book being pirated in the thousands.) My issue is trying to figure out what sites freely allow people to use their pictures. Until I figure that out, I’m using photos I’ve paid for from stock photo sites. But here’s the thing, I already threw this out on my facebook page and a couple of artists said they like it when people use their pictures … with attributes and links of course. Again, how do I know who doesn’t mind and who will sue?

Of course this is spilling over to Pinterest and facebook. I really believe status updates with pictures get read more frequently than those without. I mean come on, they’re more interesting. I haven’t really seen people slowing down with their e-cards, inspirational or humorous sayings or LOL Kats. It seems like only authors have stopped posting all that man candy that makes me stop on a post and sigh.

Now why did this affect my blogging … because I’m a visual person. I’m actually motivated by the pictures I choose. I was so bummed I couldn’t include a picture with my posts last week that it stifled my muse. Silly I know … but hey, it’s how I’m wired.

So what now? I’m not sure. What do you think? Is this going to change how you blog? Will you find it less fun to visit blogs without fun little pictures to add to the posts? You know me … I’m curious about this stuff.

0 Responses to Picture This

  • Pictures do make for a more exciting read. I’m not sure how to handle this because as you said, everyone is still using these pics – except authors who read the blog.

  • 1. Deep breath! The chance of you being sued for using copyrighted images is slightly less than you being attacked by a great white shark named Bruce.

    2. There are plenty of folks who WANT you to share. It’s promo for them. It’s good for them. Don’t take a private photographer’s image that is for sale. If you see a watermark on something, don’t use it. Use common sense.

    3. There are lots of great stock image photography sites that have cheap images and freebies. 123rf is my fav….they have tons of free images and also lots for 99 cents. And if you are self-pubbing, you can get an extended license for some to use on a book cover. It’s a great site!

    4. There’s a pretty good chance that a lot of the stuff of Pinterest and Tumblr is illegal. I personally never got a Pinterest account because of this.

    5. If you’re looking for hot guys, there are plenty on the stock image photography sites.

    Don’t despair! You shouldn’t omit visual inspiration from your blog. Just be smart about it!

    :)

    Good luck,
    Penny

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