Sunday, January 02, 2011

I Want to Know- Where Do You Get the Pictures for Your Blog?


She Has Copy Rights, Too

*****

Artists have Copyrights, too.  Most of us bloggers, even with the best intentions, from time to time forget that.  Jonathon Bailey wrote an extremely helpful article on this back on July 14, 2009.  Here's the address for his article: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2009/07/14/creative-commons-image-search/
I recommend every writer who blogs read it.  Most of us are focused on copyright infringement as it it pertains to writing.  We run non-commercial blogs and we do it because we love to write about all things writing related.  But after being plagiarized, I learned that pictures have to be attributed properly to be used. 

Some of you may have noticed that for months I have been buying photos to use in my blog and going backward to replace photos and pictures that I can't remember where I got the originals from (PhotoBucket, mostly) with new pictures that I purchased the right to use.  I've been using iStock Photo for this purpose, since they have a good reputation.  I've even taken down a year's worth of posts to eliminate anything that I might have questions about in deference to artists and photographers.  All that's left are postings with pictures I've bought rights to use.

Maybe I've gone to extremes here, but I'm trying to learn from the mistakes that David Boyer made.  I have to admit, his actions have made me think.  After I saw that he'd used Ben Templesmith's art on the cover of some of his books without getting permission, I started to think that this must have been accidental or incredibly stupid.  Who would blatantly steal from a famous artist and expect not to get caught?  But he did it for money, not on a non-commercial blog so in the end what he did was very, very wrong. 

So I have to ask all of you- where do you get the pictures you use on your blog?  How do you make sure you're treating artists and photographers the right way on your blog?  Is it enough to attribute the creator, or do we need to get written permission?


MySpace Tracker

44 comments:

G said...

I would say about 99% of the pics on my main blog and 100% on my picture blog are courtesy of yours truly.

I've posted perhaps less than 5 pics total that were not mine (mostly from e-mail or elsewhere).

Everything else has been due to the efforts of me using a disposable camera to capture my surroundings and what not.

Example: The pic on my header was taken in 2008 during my last vacation, at the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg PA.

As for my other blog, the header is of Newington's smallest official park, taken in the late spring/early summer of 2009.

Rick said...

That is such a smart way to do things, G. I'm going to do more of the same. One thing I've noticed about book reviews is that they provide the art and pictures, so I'm going to look at doing more of that.

Can I ask if you taught yourself to do photography?

David Cranmer said...

I use iStock all the time. Used it recently for my New Year post and image for my "Melanie" promotion coming up tomorrow.

Rick said...

I should have talked to you along time ago, David! And Happy New Year to you.

Steve Buchheit said...

All the photos I've used I've taken myself. Then again, at this point I don't have much to promote commercially, hopefully that will change with time).

However, yes, you should get permission to use photos to be completely in the clear. There is a case for fair use given the non-commercial nature of the blogs, however I wouldn't push it to far, nor would I post too many non approved images. If you know the person that owns the art, a quick email stating your admiration for the piece, and how you wished to use it on your blog should work to get permission (but definitely get the approval back first, before posting).

And here is where the fun comes in. There are also incidental uses that may run you afoul of the law. Fortunately with non-commercial use we don't have to worry about too many of them. If you take your pictures in or from public spaces, you should be good. However, let's say you are visiting someplace and want to take interior photos and post those. You should ask permission to both take the photos and to use them. If there are people in the photos, and the situation is one where a person had a reasonable expectation of privacy, you should also ask permission of those people in the photo (it's much worse for commercial use).

And then there are photos of trademark(s/ed) and patented objects.

Natasha Fondren said...

Apparently, I don't use pictures much anymore. I use a lot of YouTube videos and if I do a review, I'll post the book cover art, assuming the publisher wants as much publicity as possible.

I also do movie stills. I'm not sure that's legal, but I tend to think of those as fair use, like a quotation from a book is fair use... but that's just in my mind and I'm not sure it works that way, LOL.

I used to use more pictures. I remember that I'd do searches and click through and see if I could track down a copyright or if it "felt" like it was not copyrighted. Yeah. Not good, LOL. *hangs head in shame*

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Rick, first thank you for the sweet comment you left on OMM today. I have been rather absent, of late, on OMM and on other blogs. Hopefully, with the holidays now behind us, I will have more time to devote to posting and reading.

I do get permission to use artwork and photos by emailing the artist or photographer for permission. But, what about artists who we cannot contact, i.e. Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet...et al. Is it alright to use images of their paintings as long as we credit them??? I assumed it was, but am I wrong? Is there another procedure? And is there a place where one can go online to get images to use for free?

Thanks Rick - I always learn so much here!

Rick said...

Pretty complicated stuff, isn't it? I'm so glad you weigh in on photo/art issues because most of us that write don't have your multi-disciplinary insights. An artist friend of me just informed me that when you buy a painting, it doesn't mean that you are allowed to destroy it. If you have time, could you explain that one to me?

Rick said...

Hi, Natasha! I was thinking about your blog while I was on the road over the holidays. You have the most wonderful way of making people feel at ease and welcome. So whatever pictures you put up on your blog, we're going to vote for them. All of us.

Rick said...

What a wonderful point, K. I don't know the answer. I heard that a picture of a picture is the property of whoever took that second picture, but I don't know for sure. I'm going to email Steve and Lana and ask them. Thank you so much for bringing this up.

G said...

The most I've ever done with photography is to point and click with a disposable. Not the most expensive way or the most brilliant way of doing things, but it works for me.

I have a lot of fun doing it and it helps keep me sane throughout the days/weeks/months.

Travis Cody said...

Most of the images I pull from Google images. I make an assumption, perhaps incorrectly, that if I google an image then it is part of the public domain and OK to post on my blog.

There are certain images that I'll directly attribute, such as the ones I used for the NBA finals or the NCAA championship - it's easy to credit those to the photographer because the credit is right there when I save the image.

Having said that, I'm probably fooling myself here. Thanks for the reminder that even though I might have come across on image on Google, somebody is responsible for producing it. And although the image might seem to be in the public domain, perhaps it isn't and I should be more aware.

the walking man said...

All of the pictures on my blog are my own and anything I take from youtube is allowed by the owner because youtube now will block any work that the artist does not want reproduced. There will be either a blocked or no embed code.

Nevine said...

Rick, this is such a fabulous post, because, as you know, I do use a lot of artwork on my blog. As K. Lawson Gilbert mentioned, there are artists whose permission we can't ask, obviously, but I do make every effort to credit the artist. I mention the name of the work, too. And, if the artist has a blog or website, I do contact the artist and ask permission. I've done this several times in the past, though I tend to post older artworks by artists that are, by now, deceased.

Now, sometimes I don't hear back from an artist I made an attempt to contact, so I do make a decision to use the artwork, not having received the approval. But, I never ever just post an image. I always always credit the artist. I realize, completely, that artists put so much time and effort into their work and that their material is not free for us to just use. Yes, it's on the internet, but that doesn't mean it's up for grabs.

Nevine

Ocean Girl said...

I used a painting as header of my blog but removed it and replaced it with my own picture. I feel better now.

Rick said...

I'll try and do more of the same, G. Thing is, I always remember to write, but rarely remember to take a camera. Besides, I can always use a little extra sanity.

Rick said...

Travis, that's what I used to think, too. Then I started noticing these little "Image may be subject to copyright" notices, and, like you, I started re-thinking things. After being plagiarized by David Boyer (a.k.a. David Byron and so forth) I started re-thinking things.

It seemed different, too, when it wasn't for commercial gain on a writing blog. Boyer and his ilk were stealing for profit, and when they get paid, the writer or artist has to get paid.

More to learn on this.

Charles Gramlich said...

Almost all the pics I show are either ones we took (usually Lana) or are book covers and I figure the writers are happy to see me reprint those covers. I have posted a few Frazetta's though so maybe I should be careful.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the photos on my blog are mine. It's that one-tenth of a percent that'll I'll need to look at. You make a valid point here. Whether words, music, or pics, we all need to be careful and get the necessary permission.

Here's to the new year, cheers!

Rick said...

Thanks, walkingman! I didn't know that. That helps everyone.

Rick said...

You know, Nevine, it makes a great argument for using the work of long deceased artists, doesn't it? I think we're coming to an age where thoughtful people like you and the others that have commented are raising the level of respect on the internet.

Lots of issues still to deal with, but clearly bloggers have, in a way, become publishers. In fact, many blogs are read more than some magazines and books. Who would have thought?

Rick said...

Hi Ocean Girl! That's great news. I asked Lana Gramlich to design a logo for my site so that I would feel better, too. She's such a fantastic artist that I'm happy she even considered doing it for me.

Akasha Savage. said...

I don't have to worry about this! I'm so useless with technology that I don't even know how to put photos on my blog!! :D

Rick said...

Charles, is Frazetta still alive?

Rick said...

And Happy New Year to you, too, JR. I'm looking forward to seeing you again in the month's to come.

Rick said...

Hey, Akasha! It's probably safer not to post photos that you have any doubts about, but they just spiff things up so much, you know?

Lana Gramlich said...

Of course, 99.9999% of the images on my blog are my own. In the rare case that they're not, I always provide attribution & a link.
I try not to think about how many of my images might be out there, being used without my permission. It's too depressing.

Rick said...

No one better be using your images, Lana, or they'll have a whole lot of your followers after them including me!

By the way, if you go to www.tineye.com and put your image in their search engine, they'll go through over a billion web images in under a few seconds to see if your stuff is anywhere else.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I have been a long time reader of Lana's blog and when she announced the logo, I thought, I'd have a look and I am glad I did. I am enjoying your blog.

As an artist myself, this is a frustrating topic. There are people out there telling artists to suck it up while other artists use their work and resell as their own. I wonder when this kind of cannibalism became OK?

If a non-commercial blog wants to use one of my pieces and gives me credit, not only am I OK with it, I am deeply flattered. The only time I hold back is if the site is of a topic morally or ethically borderline for me.

Occasionally, I have posted the work of other artists and I always attribute it to them (and link if they have a site) and get permission whenever possible. I have never gotten a 'no'!

Wiki's Creative Commons is a great place to get photographs of places or things that I cannot personally get to and their images are in the public domain. There you might find the Monet or other famous images that has probably expired its copyright and the photographer has released theirs.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love your new logo btw, :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

I've always thought I was careful, giving the link to the image at the bottom of my blog - but when my publishers made my first trailer, and I wanted to do the second one, they told me to use places like istock - I purchased images and videos, some as little as a dollar . . . I'm very aware of this, and like you, want to go back and get rid of anything I am not certain is under the correct copyright!

It's important to me, too...

Many of the pics I use, though, are my own, taken with my camera.

Rick said...

Thank you so much, Michelle- I'd never heard of WikiCommons. That's a big, big help for all of us.

Rick said...

Charles, is that the best logo in the world or what?

Rick said...

Wait, Kathryn- those are your feet at the beginning of your blog, aren't they? Please tell you didn't pay to use someone else's feet. :)

mafarivar said...

The images you used of mine were of a much younger me! and the others I painted and drew, but you have my permission...

Mariana Soffer said...

You are right about your concern. Regarding the photographs, I mostly search them in google images or in flicker, I sometimes also use friend's photographs with their concent. On flickr I do check if there is a problem with the copyright or I think the author must be cited and linked to. But you made me realize that when I search images on google, I do not take so much care about that, I just grab the pictures from the pages they are in, although I take a brief look at them to see if it says something speciall about the copyright of the picture (which generally they do not), but maybe I should send them an email or ask them explicitly to the people of that website if they allow me to use that picture, thanks for making me realize that.
I have an interesting post you might like to read reagarding copyright which is:http://singyourownlullaby.blogspot.com/2009/06/copyright.html, that also reflects another viewpoint of this things.

Jai Joshi said...

You know, this is a good point. Something I haven't considered when it comes to my blog. I was very careful when doing my book trailer to use only pics in the public domain.

But in my blog a lot of the pics I use I get from the internet without doing a copyright search. Some of them I know are in the public domain so they're not a worry but the others I'm not sure about. I should go back and deal with that. You're so right.

Most of them are my own pics taken by my own camera so at least that's not a worry.

Jai

Sandi McBride said...

Mostly they are mine, sometimes my sisters' but thanks for reminding us that we should be careful!
Sandi

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

GREAT post!

I snap my own photos for my blogs, and then I always worry others will use them without my permission.

Buying stock photos is the right way to go when looking for blog photos if you don't snap them yourself.

I'm hoping your blogging will give you a chance to delve into your own photography more. There is nothing like communing with nature. :D Gooooo Rick!!!

Hugs, JJ

B said...

When are you going to put up a new post?

Christina said...

You've been staying incredibly busy. When and where is the next convention you'll be attending? I need to catch up with you.

mafarivar said...

Rick is a ninja, so he disappears sometimes...

laughingwolf said...

i use pics/text found online, give credit where it's listed... NEVER with the intent it's my original work

Barbara Martin said...

Photos can be a concern, even the ones I use from flickr to illustrate some of my posts. Sometimes I get emails from others asking permission to use them in a commercial manner and then I have to refer back to Flickr Common even though the photo credits are plainly stated for each post. And after posting the Flickr images on my blog I have to go through them to ensure the credits show up on Google images.