by Renju George
Wednesday, 13th Feb 2019 | 11:24:08 AM
The ultimate way to stay away from trouble when using images on your website is to use your own pictures or hire a photographer if you do not have the tools or the expertise to capture the quality of images you want
A few months ago, I received an email about some images that I had used on my website without consent from the rightful owners – and now the owners wanted me to pull down their images from the website. When I was designing the Karen Webs website, I figured I might need a page for promoting e-books and so I randomly searched for some e-book covers on google images to help me visualize how the e-books would appear on the website. Since I am yet to get started on writing my e-books, I decided I was not going to make the e-books page public on my website until I have some e-books of my own to promote – and that is how I forgot about the e-book covers that I had ‘borrowed’ from google for design purposes in the Karen Webs website.
How did the owners of those e-book covers know that their covers were in use in my website whereas the e-books page was not public on my website? Well – it turns out that there is software that people can use to detect where their images are in use on the internet whether publicly or privately. Technology now makes it possible for images to be matched for identical recognition and while this is a great stride for the fight against copyright infringement, it also spells trouble for those that are not careful with the images they use on their websites. Luckily for me – the gentlemen who sent me the email about their images were gracious enough to accept my sincere apology and immediate compliance with their directive. Copyright infringement can cost you hefty fines or the blacklisting of your domain altogether hence the need to be extra careful when handling images, videos, and all the other forms of content on your website.
The ultimate way to stay away from trouble when using images on your website is to use your own pictures or hire a photographer if you do not have the tools or the expertise to capture the quality of images you want . The other viable option is to buy the images you need from online photo galleries such as stock photos especially if you intend to apply the images commercially. If you need free images that will not get you in trouble – you can search in sites such as pixabay where they recommend but do not require that you at least credit the photographers that have volunteered their images for free use in their sites. A word of caution though – when using free images from sites that offer free images, please read their terms and conditions first to be aware of the limitations of using their free images. Do not under any circumstances use images from google search and the like without written consent even if the images are as appealing as low hanging fruit on the internet, all it takes is a single copyright infringement to get you in trouble that would have been easily avoided.
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